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  string(19) "2018-11-12 13:21:35"
  ["post_date_gmt"]=>
  string(19) "2018-11-12 03:21:35"
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  string(5682) "Returning to work after maternity leave can be hell for many mums, but it’s become a necessity for most families; the only way to cover the increasingly high cost of living. So, what can we do to make this process as painless as possible?

As mother of a 2-year-old, this has been a challenge I’ve faced these past 12 months, and I’ve learned a lot about myself, what I’m capable of, and how to best juggle these two parts of my life.

It is important to realise it’s not going to be 100% smooth sailing, no matter how much you prepare. There are going to be hiccups, and that’s ok.

It’s Never Going to be Perfect

Women in particular are prone to setting extremely high standards for themselves in an attempt to “do it all”, and return-to-work mothers are particularly susceptible to this.

And setting unrealistic, or sometimes downright unattainable, goals is hugely damaging.

Dr Sarah Egan of Curtin University has conducted several studies on perfectionism and its effects, with results showing a clear link between perfectionism and increased levels of anxiety, depression, & exhaustion.

Interestingly, motherhood is linked to an increase in perfectionist tendencies.

Whether this is a by-product of societal pressure on mothers to “do it all” or genetic makeup (or likely both), the fact remains that it’s a lot of pressure to put on one person, and wholly unrealistic for most mothers.

So, what can you do to combat perfectionism and grapple the huge task of returning to work?

 

BE REALISTIC. 

Set realistic goals you know you can achieve.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a high achiever, but ensure you are being honest with yourself about what you can achieve, especially in the first 12 months after maternity leave.

It is a huge adjustment to make, and even if you’ve been doing the same job for 10 years, you are going to find there are new challenges in it now that you’re a mum.

You cannot do it all, and that is ok. Don’t let anyone, including yourself, feel lesser for that.

DON’T LET SUCCESS DEFINE YOU

Additionally, don’t let your success or performance define you. Dr Egan’s studies have shown that wanting to do well and achieve is all well and good, “but when it becomes a problem is really when people base their whole self-esteem on doing well in everything.”

It’s ok to make mistakes, it’s ok to admit sometimes that you can’t do it all, or that you need help, or a break.

Be less critical and kinder to yourself.

HAVE A GOOD SUPPORT NETWORK

Returning to work after is often accompanied by emotions of guilt for many mothers, and it’s often overlooked and/or misunderstood. It’s therefore important to have a strong, supportive network around you, with whom you can discuss your concerns and work through these feelings.

This network is crucial for helping you through the hard times (there will be many) and those moments of loneliness. If you don’t have a strong support network to turn to (which is more common than you think), then you may consider starting your own group. It can be as simple as inviting another working mum in your office out to lunch, or for a coffee break.

WEATHER THE STORM

Sometimes everything might feel like it is crashing down and you feel like giving up, Lauren Smith Brody, author of The Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom’s Guide to Style, Sanity, and Big Success After Baby suggests these methods to work through those times you may feel like leaving your job:
  • Understanding that even though you may be returning to the same job you know how to do, you are now learning the brand-new skill of how to be a working mum.
  • Make sure you celebrate small successes. Whether this be putting together a check list and checking this off as Brody does, it is important to feel a sense of accomplishment.
  • I know it is hard but as Brody says it is important to “…not make any major decisions for three months” after returning to work
PLAN & ORGANISE AS POSSIBLE It’s not always going to be possible, and it’s not always going to happen – don’t beat yourself up for those times, but do try and be as organised as possible when possible. This isn’t just up to you either – the whole family can help out here:
  • Save time by pre-cooking meals or batch cooking.
  • Have clothes, drinks and food for the family organised the night before.
  • Enlist your partner or family to help with tasks so that everyone gets out in time.
  • Take it easy on yourself to start and build from this. It may help to set up some objectives to help ease you into your work life.
  • Know your entitlements as a parent and employeeunder your workplace agreement. Weather this be the option of working from home, working part-time or carers leave when your little one is sick.
Most importantly, look after yourself. Remember that there is no right or wrong way and do whatever works for you. No one should expect you to be perfect, and that includes you." ["post_title"]=> string(46) "For the Mums Gearing Up to Brave the Workplace" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(28) "mums-gearing-brave-workplace" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2018-11-09 13:19:34" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2018-11-09 03:19:34" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "http://www.coxpurtell.com.au/?p=39965" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" }

Returning to work after maternity leave can be hell for many mums, but it’s become a necessity for most families; the only way to cover the increasingly high cost of living. So, what can we do to make this process as painless as possible?

As mother of a 2-year-old, this has been a challenge I’ve faced these past 12 months, and I’ve learned a lot about myself, what I’m capable of, and how to best juggle these two parts of my life.

It is important to realise it’s not going to be 100% smooth sailing, no matter how much you prepare. There are going to be hiccups, and that’s ok.

It’s Never Going to be Perfect

Women in particular are prone to setting extremely high standards for themselves in an attempt to “do it all”, and return-to-work mothers are particularly susceptible to this.

And setting unrealistic, or sometimes downright unattainable, goals is hugely damaging.

Dr Sarah Egan of Curtin University has conducted several studies on perfectionism and its effects, with results showing a clear link between perfectionism and increased levels of anxiety, depression, & exhaustion.

Interestingly, motherhood is linked to an increase in perfectionist tendencies.

Whether this is a by-product of societal pressure on mothers to “do it all” or genetic makeup (or likely both), the fact remains that it’s a lot of pressure to put on one person, and wholly unrealistic for most mothers.

So, what can you do to combat perfectionism and grapple the huge task of returning to work?

 

BE REALISTIC.

Set realistic goals you know you can achieve.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a high achiever, but ensure you are being honest with yourself about what you can achieve, especially in the first 12 months after maternity leave.

It is a huge adjustment to make, and even if you’ve been doing the same job for 10 years, you are going to find there are new challenges in it now that you’re a mum.

You cannot do it all, and that is ok. Don’t let anyone, including yourself, feel lesser for that.

DON’T LET SUCCESS DEFINE YOU

Additionally, don’t let your success or performance define you. Dr Egan’s studies have shown that wanting to do well and achieve is all well and good, “but when it becomes a problem is really when people base their whole self-esteem on doing well in everything.”

It’s ok to make mistakes, it’s ok to admit sometimes that you can’t do it all, or that you need help, or a break.

Be less critical and kinder to yourself.

HAVE A GOOD SUPPORT NETWORK

Returning to work after is often accompanied by emotions of guilt for many mothers, and it’s often overlooked and/or misunderstood. It’s therefore important to have a strong, supportive network around you, with whom you can discuss your concerns and work through these feelings.

This network is crucial for helping you through the hard times (there will be many) and those moments of loneliness. If you don’t have a strong support network to turn to (which is more common than you think), then you may consider starting your own group. It can be as simple as inviting another working mum in your office out to lunch, or for a coffee break.

WEATHER THE STORM

Sometimes everything might feel like it is crashing down and you feel like giving up, Lauren Smith Brody, author of The Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom’s Guide to Style, Sanity, and Big Success After Baby suggests these methods to work through those times you may feel like leaving your job:

  • Understanding that even though you may be returning to the same job you know how to do, you are now learning the brand-new skill of how to be a working mum.
  • Make sure you celebrate small successes. Whether this be putting together a check list and checking this off as Brody does, it is important to feel a sense of accomplishment.
  • I know it is hard but as Brody says it is important to “…not make any major decisions for three months” after returning to work

PLAN & ORGANISE AS POSSIBLE

It’s not always going to be possible, and it’s not always going to happen – don’t beat yourself up for those times, but do try and be as organised as possible when possible. This isn’t just up to you either – the whole family can help out here:

  • Save time by pre-cooking meals or batch cooking.
  • Have clothes, drinks and food for the family organised the night before.
  • Enlist your partner or family to help with tasks so that everyone gets out in time.
  • Take it easy on yourself to start and build from this. It may help to set up some objectives to help ease you into your work life.
  • Know your entitlements as a parent and employeeunder your workplace agreement. Weather this be the option of working from home, working part-time or carers leave when your little one is sick.

Most importantly, look after yourself.

Remember that there is no right or wrong way and do whatever works for you. No one should expect you to be perfect, and that includes you.

Tags: career mum | career woman | Diversity | diversity and inclusion | diversity at work | diversity in the workplace | inclusive | inclusive workplace | maternity leave | motherhood | Recruiter | Recruitment | return to work | returning to work | working mother | working mum | working woman | working women |

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