A couple of weeks ago I was talking to a friend who is taking the big step of going back to work — in an office, with a commute, and with colleagues. It is such a massive shift, not only for her but also for her family! So I jotted back some of my random tips, just become they might be useful. (Please do know that I am in no way a professional expert and these really only are my personal thoughts based on my personal experience!!)
Going back to work — tips and thoughts
1) Do not try and pretend you don’t have a family and are able to work the same way as people who are not mothers, or even single mothers. That does not mean you are going to work less, but your hours might be different and that is (or should be) ok. I spent years stressing about it, feeling guilty about it, worrying about it and feeling horrible every time I needed to point out that I could not do a meeting at 6.30 pm because I needed to leave at 7.30. I paid babysitters huge amounts to compensate for my lack of confidence and the false assumption I had — that I needed to adapt, no matter what.
In 2020 – you can go home and do the call at 6.30 from home very easily. Having the confidence to assume this is ok and proving that this works seamlessly is super important from the start. You are not being difficult, but just finding alternative solutions. This, in turn, will make you into a more productive employee.
2) Do not take on the mom role in a company. Though it is against my nature, I do not bring the homemade cake or cookies to work that I made with the kids. There is a fine line between taking care of the kids at home and the kids at work. Within the work environment, it is important to not naturally take on the role of the group caregiver, but to be identified for the job you have been hired for.
I am going to continue thinking of other tips I might have and it would be great to hear yours! (Here is a post I did with some tips 5 years ago.)
PS: Above a photo of me on my way to work this morning. Kids have been packed off to school, the day has been sorted and I have my game on (I hope ;))