If the thought of heading back to work or tackling your career following a stint of maternity leave has you shuddering, you’re not alone. As if contending with our own feelings of guilt and sadness weren’t enough, many working mothers face unending criticism. According to some, we’re spending too much time away from our little ones; to others, we’re not contributing enough to society – and let’s not forget that many of us have spent upwards of nine months away from the desk. Is it really possible to return to work or to carve out a career post-childbirth?
The great news is that balancing motherhood and a career needn’t be difficult. Or as daunting as it first may seem.
In fact, those many months that you’ve spent as a stay-at-home mum could actually make you a better employee, and stand you in good stead for entrepreneurship. Motherhood prepares you for tackling your own business, and makes you better equip you for a new career choice entirely.
Motherhood prepares you for thinking on your feet
Motherhood comes complete with an array of challenges and hurdles, which you’ll learn to overcome with aplomb. In order to reinvent yourself as a working mother, and rejuvenate your career, it helps to apply such problem-solving to your workplace – or your potential new role. What do you want to achieve today, and what’s standing in your way?
Motherhood will give you a fresh perspective
Motherhood is a great way to gain a little distance from your career, and to assess the choices you have made – and have yet to make. Having dealt with numerous nappies and countless hours of crying during your maternity leave, you’ll no doubt find office politics a breeze; motherhood tends to inspire a certain stoicism that will ensure that everything else feels like a walk in the park in comparison. What’s more, the enormity of welcoming a small person into the world tends to put all other so-called problems into perspective. If you can birth a human, you can do anything.
Motherhood will help you to re-evaluate your priorities
Do you want to work to live, or live to work? Motherhood is super-effective at helping new mums to understand what truly makes them happy. And, if you’re anything like a large percentage of mums, that’ll be your incredible toddler and not the daily grind. It’s no secret that we’re more productive when we’re calmer and happier, so take a long, hard look at your priorities. What do you really want from your career, and how can you achieve it?
Motherhood will improve your drive to work for yourself
Many mothers turn to self-employment and entrepreneurship in order to satisfy their own work-life balance. After all, flexibility and the ability to make your own rules are wholly appealing when you’re itching to get home to your little one. Perhaps you’ve been keeping a blog or doing a little web design on the side. You may decide, after months of hard work, graft, and painted clothes, that interior and nursery design are more your style. Armed with a new determination and some toddler-level negotiating skills, such a role should be a doddle; knocking down vendors while in search of those rustic or shabby-chic shutters that you’ve fallen for can’t be any harder than asking a toddler to eat their greens, surely?
Motherhood instils a need for change
Prior to falling pregnant and having your baby, you may have been plodding along at work, desperate for a change but never motivated enough to hand in your notice. Has there ever been a better opportunity for change than this? It’s absolutely never too late to retrain, or to completely change your outlook on your career – particularly now that you’re craving more flexibility as a working mum. Thanks to your newly acquired planning, crisis management, and communication skills, the world is your oyster. Motherhood helps us to reassess what we’re worth, and what we’re good at. Where does your future lie?
Motherhood will hone your time-management skills
There can be little denying that your experiences as a mother will have taught you some amazing time-management skills. The chances are that you’ve become accustomed to doing ten jobs at once; deftly showering, applying makeup, choosing an outfit, dressing a toddler, packing a changing bag, and feeding a baby in the time that it normally would have taken you to do your hair.
It’s perfectly okay to feel hesitant about returning to work – especially if you’re considering a career change, or heading back into a particularly competitive role in an established industry. Motherhood teaches us to handle challenges, and approach brand-new situations with renewed vigour and logic; not to mention impeccable negotiation and delegation skills. I can only hope that the world is ready as you stride towards your true potential!