Maternity leave offers new mums the opportunity to bond with their baby and settle into motherhood. It can last up to one year in the UK, though many women like to get back to work sooner in some circumstances. Sadly it’s not as cut and dry as just leaving the workplace and not thinking about your career for the next 12 months. Despite being on maternity leave, many mums just can’t help but get pulled back into their work in one way or another. This can mean that you’re not able to devote the time and attention to your child like you intended. With this in mind, here are four ways to avoid getting sucked back into work during your maternity leave.
It might take a few early mornings and late nights, but where possible you should try to wrap up any loose ends before going on your maternity leave. An incomplete project, for instance, might call for your input even if you’ve given birth and have put it to the back of your mind. It can be hard to say ‘no’ even when you haven’t got the time.
Don’t try to sneak under the radar when you take your maternity leave. It’s not about boasting about the new addition who’s entering your family – it’s about letting people know that you’ll soon be uncontactable for some time. If people aren’t aware you are off being a mummy, you’ll possibly be looking at calls and texts from colleagues, clients and customers despite being off work.
Yes, the temptation to check your work email will be there. You should, however, resist it at all costs. A single memo can suck you right back into the thick of things, so avoid logging on if you can. You could even get someone to temporarily change your password if you think it would help.
It’s impractical to just cut yourself off from your work colleagues. After all, you may class some as friends, while others might have presents for you and your newborn. The trick is to keep all communication as strictly personal. The slightest mention of work could be a slippery slope that leaves you struggling to cut yourself off from your job.
Hopefully, you won’t give work a second thought if you put these tips into practice during your maternity leave. In the meantime, you can find similar advice to help you adjust to motherhood at Your Baby Club.