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Resuming work after baby, how to manage?

Resuming work after baby, how to manage?


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You have just had a baby, you are going back to work and you are determined not to suffer the prejudices that often hit mothers in the professional world. Our advice to take up this challenge.

During maternity leave, we prepare her return

  • We concrete the guard mode. From the beginning of your pregnancy, start your research to find the type of care that suits you and especially someone you trust. To entrust your baby without apprehension is THE condition to go back to work with the available spirit.
  • We brief his man. If you want to invest in your job, you can not do everything at home, it's mathematical. This is the time to approach the subject with dad: what can he take care of? Go drop baby at the nanny in the morning? Hmm, hmm ... It's nice, but it will be up to you to get it at night, so leave the office early, at a time when everything is played in meetings and informal discussions ... Attention therefore sharing that seems egalitarian but only in appearance. You too have to let go of the ballast and accept that your man does things his way, not necessarily less well, but different.
  • We keep in touch. Of course, your maternity leave is done to allow you to recover and install with your toddler a tender and reassuring relationship. But that does not prevent you from looking at your emails from time to time, having lunch with your colleagues, getting by to be invited if your box is experiencing a big event in your absence. In short, stay here, show yourself!
  • We take stock of his motivations. Becoming a mother changes a woman! Before returning to work, really take the time to think about your professional desires. A fourth, that would tempt you now? Or: Strong of your new status as a mother, do you feel safer, and want to take on more responsibilities? No to self-censorship: being a mother and having ambition is not incompatible!
  • Three weeks before the recovery, we meet his superior. If you are aiming for an arrangement of your working time, it will not be taken by surprise. If you want a promotion, you can reassure him on your aptitudes to assume it by explaining to him broadly the organization set up in your private life.

When we come back, we adopt the right attitude

  • We think before talking about his children. Avoid reshuffling the ears of your colleagues with the misfortunes of Cherub, his colic, his dimples, etc. At work, make the effort to talk about something other than your baby. This will be the best way to avoid reinforcing existing stereotypes against mothers.
  • We train ourselves to respond quickly. Do not remain silent when these famous stereotypes are expressed a little too roughly. Your boss tells you that this file is not for you because it involves too many trips? Answer him gently: "Take care to explain to me the ins and outs of the file, I take care of managing my family organization." With a smile, of course!
  • We are patient. In your absence, the company has continued to live: you missed part of the film you need to catch up. Plan lunches with colleagues or small breaks at the coffee machine to glean information: who is on the rise now? Has the proposed merger of this and that service progressed? How does this new software work? So accept to be patient if you have not found exactly the same position as before you left, not the same responsibilities: you expect this "upgrade", it also probably tests your motivation.

During the first year, we remain vigilant

  • If nothing moves, we go to the crenel. Patient does not mean resigned. If a few months after your return nothing has moved, take the bull by the horns. Renew with your supervisor your request to reinstate your former position or an identical position. Always nothing ? Meet the Human Resources Department: Would a training make you more "useful" to the company? Can another position suit you?
  • We mount a folder. You are placardized? Keep the emails of all your exchanges with your superiors and the HRD, report after each meeting, collect testimonials from colleagues. This will be very useful to you if you enter the Defender of Rights because of discrimination in pregnancy or if you attack the Courts.
  • We network. Follow the news of the sector in which you work, take an interest in competing companies, reconnect with colleagues from the boxes where you have worked in the past. Set up a watch so that you can grab the first job opportunity that might come up outside.

Isabelle Gravillon