Becoming a parent is a transformative event that brings many completely new challenges with it. Balancing a career with the life-changing responsibilities that come with a new baby most definitely counts as one such challenge!
As a maternity coach, I specialise in supporting employees through the entire process of their maternity leave, from the initial handover and maintaining career momentum, to providing therapy in the case of a traumatic birth.
At the end of each and every maternity coaching programme I run, I always ask one very important question:
“If you were to do it all over again, what would you do differently?”
It is so important to take some time to reflect after such a huge period of change. This is borne out by the fact that just about every returning employee mentions that they wouldn’t have stressed so much about the prospect of returning to work.
Instead, they would simply enjoy being in the moment with their new baby, taking full opportunity of the precious time off they have to spend bonding with them.
The good news is that many new parents eventually decide to do it all over again, and when they do, they can prepare to take the sage advice they gave themselves the first time round!
I advise all the new parents I work with to focus on their working arrangements as early as they can. Having agreed plans in place means you won’t have to fret about the details of your return as the date draws nearer.
Discussing your plans in advance also means that if you are thinking of requesting flexible working arrangements for your return, there will be plenty of time to discuss and agree the details. I have acted as an advocate on many of these occasions, putting well thought-out cases forward to HR on employees’ behalf.
But it isn’t only new parents who learn from the advice they give themselves about their maternity leave period. I have changed my own coaching techniques to help fully support that feeling of being in the present moment, such as bringing forward my own Mind-Awareness sessions.
These sessions are based around mindfulness techniques I have received specific training in myself, as well as those I have seen work well with other parents.
It is also extremely important to remember that your life and your career will still be waiting for you, in the midst of all those nappies and midnight feeds!
To help ease the guilt that comes with taking time away from work, and the fear of careers grinding to a halt, I use a set of self-devised cards and diagrams that help new parents understand their motivation, their use of ‘time’ and how they will resume their career…when they are ready to.
Sometimes, an experienced set of eyes and ears can make all the difference to a smooth and successful return to work. My supportive maternity coaching services can take a great deal of pressure and stress away from new parents, allowing them to return to work feeling more confident and motivated than ever before.
To find out more, give me a call on 07939916779