Work After Baby: Same Job, New You

Apr 08 2019

Life changes drastically with a new baby, and parents returning to work often face unexpected challenges, emotional hurdles, and a welcome return to autonomy and a sense of self– all at the same time. Our mentor team shares advice for how to navigate this adjustment and help you establish a new normal.

Advice from Peers

Angie Rieger

Seek advice from others who have been in your shoes for the best advice for the situation and environment. – Angie Rieger, SVP Planning & Head Of International

List your Needs

Nicole Kalscheur

Identify what you need to feel supported in your transition back to work. Meet with your boss to discuss the items that you’ve identified as non-negotiable, and also share ideas that would foster a more supportive environment in general. There’s plenty of evidence that indicates supporting mothers transitioning back to work is valuable to companies. If you have the time to do so, include this in your proposal. – Nicole Kalscheur, Director Of Employee Health And Wellbeing

Do the Research & Start a Discussion

Mary Burke

It’s possible that your boss really has no idea what you’re going through. It might be an opportunity to start a discussion like this: I really like my job and want to be successful here. Many workplaces are finding that it makes good business sense to give new parents more flexibility in order to retain good people. It’s even becoming something that employees look at while making job decisions. I know how committed you are to diversity and supporting women in the workplace. I researched some examples (probably best to have companies similar to yours in size and type plus articles about the types of policies that might work for you) and wondered if I could share this with you. – Mary Burke, Founder & CEO, Building Brave

Work with your Manager

Alisa Robertson

Returning from work after maternity leave is a very difficult transition. You’ve likely missed a lot while you’ve been gone and you have the added stress of worrying about your baby who is transitioning to a new caregiver while you’re working. Often times you have to work extra hard at a time when you may want to be someplace else. The good news is, it usually gets better with time. If you’re having trouble catching up or getting back to your pre-maternity work level, work with your manager to set some goals with an appropriate timeline. Most managers would prefer to retain a hardworking employee who cares about her work, than lose her to an organization that’s more supportive. – Alisa Robertson, SVP & Chief Advancement Officer

Profound changes tend to bring intense stress, but they can also serve as powerful catalysts. Finding a “new you” in terms of how you lead both at home and at work gives you an opportunity to consciously shape a life you love.  

Download Building Brave’s Mobile Mentoring app for more advice from professional women at all ages and stages. Get guidance for your specific situation, or consider fresh voices and perspectives.


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About the Author

Meghan Wollack

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