It’ been a few weeks since my last proper blog post, as I have been starting the ‘juggle’. On the 19th June, I returned to work after 21 weeks of Maternity Leave. So my Back to Work blog is dedicated to that ugly monster ‘insecurity’!
Since 1995 (when I left uni) I have been extremely lucky to have had continuous employment in my chosen profession, marketing. I have had some bloomin’ awesome roles in some great companies – from lingerie brands to blue chips (RBS and Scottish Power) to Snow Sports, Camping and now the Scottish Holiday Park industry (I’m head of marketing / director of Scotland leading holiday park operator Argyll Holidays). I’ve been there for 5 years and have lead the company forward to win multiple industry awards as well as 2016 Scottish Marketing Team of The Year award. So….for an outsider (or even someone completely ‘normal’) you would think that I would be safe in the security that my job would still be there for me when I went back after spending blissful 1 on 1 time with my beautiful daughter. Errrr NOPE! My boss told me that I suffered from Preggers Paranoia – but the thing is, being pregnant just made it seem a bit more normal. The thing is, my job is like a relationship. I’ve had jobs in the past where maybe I haven’t been treated as well as I should’ve (like a relationship), so when I finally do work for a decent company (the good guy), my confidence has been irreparably damaged.
(my first industry award….waaaay back in 2009)
However….after chatting to some other gals, a mixture of nurses, teachers and accountants, it appears its not just little ol’ needy me, that feels like this. This is actually a phenomena that is common with women transitioning back to the workplace. I had one of my very good friends covering my role, so it was relatively easy to keep in touch with whatever was happening in the office, but my unfounded paranoia didn’t exclude him! Heaven forbid, that would be FAR too rational! Knowing where I fitted back into my team, when he had been doing suck a great job was a challenge, and I’m sure that it was difficult for him too. So I’ve found that its good to talk! I’ve tried my best to express my feelings up front, because when I keep it all inside – I just stress and worry, and I don’t want to take my worries home to my hubbie and Wee C.
My top tips on returning to work
Try to stay in touch
If you can do this informally (over lunch, coffee or a glass of wine!), even better.. That way, when you return to work none of the big stuff is a surprise – and the culture shock isn’t too hellish. This also minimises the pre work FEAR, the night or week before your return.
Try not to put too much pressure on yourself
- Plan your first couple weeks back, set up meetings with colleagues, internal and external stakeholders, boss, team etc.
- Skim over what has happened, but don’t dwell to much on the past (what’s done has gone!).
- Discuss your objectives and goals for the next few months and start to pull together a plan.
Always Be Prepared
This one sounds simple, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
- The night before work, make sure that your clothes are laid out – yours, and your baba’s.
- Make sure all the nappies, bottles etc are organised.
- If there’s baby classes to go to, make sure that everything is in place for them.
- If you’ve a busy work day, work out what time you need to be there and plan back from there. Give yourself 2 hours to get organised before you leave the house – that will allow for baby feeding, baby fun, baby cuddles, baby dressing, more baby cuddles…and for you to get washed and dressed!
- Plan your meals, organise your lunch, batch cook on days off or weekends – so that you are spending less time cooking when you get home. Cooking at night means less time with your baba!
Don’t sweat the small stuff
- Do your shopping online – get it delivered straight to your kitchen! Bliss
- Get a cleaner (if your husband will allow!…..Col-D!!!) – who wants to waste precious time off doing cleaning, hoovering and dusting? NOT me!
Treat Yo Self
The transition back to work plus the emotional juggle of being a mum and career gal is hard, its very important to make sure you take time out for yourself. IF you’ve always had a weekly manicure – make sure you get one at least once a month and pre book yourself into your hair salon. If you look good, you feel good – well I do! 🙂
So here I am, 3 weeks on and it kinda feels like I’ve never been away. Although I feel like I’ve grown up a lot (it’s about bloody time!! Being away for a few months has given me perspective on where I want to go with my career, it has given me a refreshed outlook on my work – and I know that I have a whole lot more to offer. I am already getting my creative juices flowing and I’m perfectly positioned to start smashing my own personal and career goals. I believe that it it is possible to do it all, and I’m going to enjoy sharing it with my 14 feet of love – and you!!