Working After Baby: Five Questions for a Mindful Return
I’ve been the mom crying at music circle as my toddler belted out the words to Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star for the very first time. I was gearing up to return to work after my second baby and here I was with this deep feeling of gratitude for getting to spend my days with my children, mixed with regret that I would miss out on these moments in the future. I could not hold back those tears, as the noise in the room faded to a dull buzz and his little voice sang clear, and I knew, this is what matters. As I looked around the room, my gaze met with several other parents who’s knowing looks told me that they knew just how special this work is of raising our children.
Returning to work after having a baby is a significant milestone in parenthood. I’ve seen this time and again while working as a Certified Career Strategist with other parents during their career transitions; when you face big changes, expect that there will be highs and lows as you work through the transition. Ask yourself these five questions as you learn to ride the wave of change that comes with working after baby.
What do you value most in your career right now?
It takes courage to pursue meaningful work while showing up for your family when it matters. Know yourself and use your awareness to guide your career choices and actions. You’ll increase your engagement and satisfaction with work.
Where can you give yourself greater compassion?
Whether at work or home, you cannot care for others and give them the grace they need to grow if you do not show yourself the same kindness. Build yourself a self-care toolkit by considering the simple acts that recharge your energy and use this toolkit daily. You’ll show up for others with greater ease and give yourself a chance to grow.
How can you take care with your time?
It takes mindfulness to use your time with care. Every month, review your values and goals. Then choose only two or three priorities for your career and personal life. You’ll enhance your presence in the moment when you set realistic intentions for your time.
Why do you show up for your work?
Work may look and feel different as a parent and it takes creativity to find your ideal blend of family and career. You need to know why what you do matters and where you are headed. With a clear career vision, you’ll find and adjust your path to achieve your goals.
Who can help you?
Social connection is a basic human need. It gives you power to take risks, experience movement, and accomplish more together than alone. Talk with your workplace and family. Connect with parents going through similar changes. Start having the conversations that will help you integrate your shifts at work and home, so you can live your life.
Take it from a professional who has been through the transition of working after baby twice. It’s a milestone moment in parenthood, it takes a period of adjustment, and through it all you’ll find your stride and strength. If you’d like to connect with other career-minded parents going through similar changes, Join a Group where you’ll feel supported in your career and return to work.