Returning to Work After Maternity Leave
One of the mothers who had recently returned from her maternity leave answered this question for me recently.
When she responded to this question and shared her experience, I felt that I had to share her story to see if anyone else has had a similar experience.
I know it can be extremely difficult starting work again after starting a family, as I am a mother myself. This is a topic that is close to my heart and needs to be discussed more openly, as I am concerned many mothers suffer in silence without talking to one another.
So let’s open the discussion.
Have a read of her personal story below, and let me know if this resonates with you.
Please note: she has asked to be kept anonymous, so I have respected her wishes.
“I think every mom can list a million of her own difficulties from day to day. However, often we face a very serious choice between career or motherhood.
It is so difficult to make this choice, especially if you know that your skills and experience are in high demand and if you are at the peak of your career.
Well, I made up my mind a couple of years ago and pushed my career into the background.
I dived into motherhood and I do not regret it at all.
In saying this, my next serious question was raised – ‘how do you return to work after maternity leave?’
As I returned to my previous job, I was suddenly faced with the fact that no one at work was welcoming my return, and although I was full of high expectations for myself and ready to start working straight away, for a long time my workplace could not find any important projects and tasks for me.
This was all extremely disheartening.
Not to mention the fact that everything was completely different in the office and within the team since my return. I felt like I was back to square one like I was a newcomer.
I didn’t know how to start getting involved in projects with the (now very) close-knit team again and felt that I was trying to earn recognition all over again.
One of the worst feelings I had was that no one seemed to remember or even acknowledge my long service and loyalty to the company. In my case the company that I have worked with for more than 10 years!
I must admit, the feeling of uselessness haunted for an awfully long time. The whole experience made me dread returning to the office.
So, I made the decision that I would start going to interviews to change my job and start fresh. The next hurdle I faced was that whenever I mentioned during the interview process that I have a child who is now 2 years old, it seemed the interest of the potential employer dropped sharply, which was so disheartening.
It took more than a year of searching before I finally joined the work process again and partially regained my position. This took some adjustment.
Although things were tough (to say the least) after becoming a mother - this was an incredibly useful experience for me that I wanted to share.
I really want to believe that someday everyone will start to treat motherhood with the respect it deserves, especially in the workplace for new mothers. I hope that women will be able to realize they are worth so much in any sphere of life and that choosing between a career and starting a family should not be so difficult.”
If you have had a similar experience or have been affected by anything raised in this story and you are contemplating how to continue your career after maternity leave, please know that you can write to me or book in a free consultation call to get the clarity you need.
Simply contact me here where I will provide support, and we can discuss the next steps together.