Maternity leave and more specifically taking care of a newborn transports us far far away from the world we once knew. Sleepless nights, never-ending feeding sessions and the deep immersion into the world of new mommyhood quickly severs us from the reality we once lived.
Yet, too often, we expect to bounce back to the way things were before baby. And, to do it in short-order.
Much of today’s media – across all of its channels – entice women to use extreme tricks to bounce back faster than ever. I haven’t tested the majority of these products myself, so I can’t profess they don’t work. But, personal experience – and scientific research, too – has made it abundantly clear that spacing effort over many shorter sessions produces more effective results than trying to do it all in one big session.
This is true when it comes to losing the baby weight as it is to regaining our professional edge after maternity leave.
If you’re looking to stay on your professional game during your maternity leave. Or you’re wondering how you can prepare for your return to work here are four strategies to get you started:
Stay on top of what is happening in your industry by reading newspapers, industry blogs or career advice books, or listen to podcasts that discuss topics related to your field of work. Much of this can be done from the comfort of your couch without taking you away from your little one.
If you want to stay up to date on what’s happening at work. Then do just that. Check in on emails, but avoid engaging and replying as that can do more harm than good. The aim here is to simply stay abreast of what is going on at your company. You can also do this by calling up your office friends to hear what’s been going on in the office.
If there’s one thing I hear from many career-conscious women on maternity leave: I want to use my brain. So, use it. That doesn’t mean you have to work, but you can attend industry or networking events. Looking for something you can do at home: comment on articles, engage in virtual conversations on professional networks, or write and share an article
Don’t let them forget you. Business can change quickly and you don’t want to be left out of opportunities. Remind your boss of your presence by giving them a call, sending an email or visiting the office (with or without your baby). Join office outings and events like the holiday party or ask to attend key meetings or conferences (even by conference call).
Watch this episode of The Crazy Good Life to learn more about how you stay professional fit on maternity leave.
Now I’d like to hear from you. In the comments, share tips that helped you stay on your game during maternity leave. Or what did you do to ramp up back to work?
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