This is a collaborative post
The majority of mothers take time out of their professional lives when they find out that they have a little one on the way. Statutory maternity leave is 52 weeks – or one year – and this is split into two different types of maternity leave. The first 26 weeks are referred to as “ordinary maternity leave” (or OML), and the last 26 weeks are known as “additional maternity leave” (or AML). When you begin and end your leave is entirely up to you. Some mothers revel in being able to spend as much time as possible with their little one and away from the office. Others feel the urge to dive straight back into their careers. Whether you fall into the first category, the second category, or somewhere in between, the decision is entirely your own and the “right” thing to do is whatever makes you feel happiest and most comfortable. However, having time off can also give you the chance to review your job. Time off might help you to realise that the role you’re in just isn’t quite right for you. If this is the case, this is the perfect time to contemplate a new career. Here are a few things you might want to consider along the way!
Having a child is expensive business. Any parent will be able to tell you this. So, you may find that you need to find a role that pays a little more in order to maintain or improve your standard of living while supporting a child at the same time. There are plenty of jobs that pay well out there. You just need to spend a little time conducting research and finding one that fits your area of interest. Whatever field you work in, there should be some chance for progression and a pay rise. If you’re reluctant to leave the company you’re currently working for, you can always ask about opportunities for promotion and advancement. If they say no, you can look into competitor companies or completely different roles.
Something besides pay that concerns many parents is working hours. Before you have children, you may have all of the time in the world to dedicate to your job. But with the pitter patter of little feet comes increased responsibility at home, and you’re going to need plenty of time to dedicate to your offspring. Some workplaces will expect you to maintain the hours worked before you took maternity leave. If this isn’t possible and they aren’t willing to be flexible, never be afraid to walk away into a new role that better suits your personal schedule. Otherwise, you may find yourself overworking yourself and experiencing stress and exhaustion – things that are neither good for your work nor your parenting.
These are just a couple of things that you might want to bear in mind when returning to work after pregnancy. Remember to always prioritise your own and your child’s needs and to never feel rushed or pressured into anything professional!