Contributing to the smooth transition of a new mom returning from her maternity leave to the workplace isn’t such a hard thing. In fact, it revolves around being understanding, kind and considerate. A smooth transition from her time before the maternity leave and to the time after the leave is very possible if members of the team all decide to help.
Things might be a bit different after the first few weeks after they leave, but with the team’s support, it will be easier for her to return to the status quo and get even better. Colleagues can make things easier for a returning mom if they:
1. Give Her A Warm Welcome
For a returning mom, nothing beats knowing that her colleagues are glad to have her back. Getting the cold shoulder or an indifferent attitude on the first day back at work might make a returning mom feel out of place and sad. But warmly welcoming her by tying a balloon to her personal chair, leaving flowers for her, making homemade cookies just to honor her can make her feel elated and happy to be back at work. It will make it easier for her to pick up from where she stopped, knowing that nothing has changed.
2. Give Her The Chance To Express Herself
The maternity leave period can be quite isolating and a lot of women will be so open to having conversations regularly with other grown-ups when they get back to work. You can make the first move by inviting her for coffee or to get lunch. If you have been through that phase as well, you can tell how your own transition period was and be willing to hear about hers. Give her the freedom to express herself as much as she wants and don’t forget to keep the details confidential.
3. Share Information With Her
There are probably some tips you know that could make things easier for her. Don’t just assume she probably already knows all there is to know, go ahead and share your knowledge with her. It will not only help her learn the things she didn’t know, it also serves to show that you care enough about her.
- Regardless of how minute you think the information is, don’t hesitate to share with her. If you have access to resources and meaningful suggestions that can help her, also do well to share. Also, if there were certain mistakes you made during your time, you can also caution her against such mistakes and she will be grateful for that.
4. Reassure Her
This isn’t suggesting that you cook up lies or knowingly exaggerate the state of things. Being a working mother does not become easy overnight, but it gets better with time. Reassure her that even though the first days might appear difficult, things will definitely get better with time.
5. Compliment Her
The compliments here are all-round. Compliment her work and how well she’s handling her transition. Remind her how efficient she is with her work. Those words of encouragement might be what she needs at any given point.
6. Cover For Her
If as a result of any emergency or unforeseen circumstance she has to go somewhere early into her return back to work, be willing to cover for her. That will assure her that you’ll keep things under control for her and she wouldn’t panic so much about the situation. She’ll most likely be willing to do the same in any case when you also need someone to cover up for you.
7. Be Honest With Her
Knowing how another mom handles her situation can be quite effective for a returning mom. Particularly if it’s someone who appears to handle things effortlessly. Telling a returning mom about the challenges you also faced and how you handled things makes her know that she is not alone. Don’t be the person who makes her feel she is failing at balancing her new roles
8. Check On Her At Intervals
Her time back at work will likely get easier as each day passes, but you can also make that easier by regularly asking how she’s holding up. It helps her to know that someone is there concerned about how well she is doing and it will also help her open up whenever she has challenges.