Maternity Leave: Returning to Work (part II)

Becoming a parent is the most amazing but strange experience, one that brings a huge amount of love, a heap of anxiety and a newfound sense of responsibility. 

After almost 11 months of being a “stay at home mum” and building an amazing bond with my little girl, it was time to start a new chapter and return to work! 

I was filled with mixed emotions, but the amazing support and understanding shown by my employer and Head of People, Sam Bradshaw, was second to none!

I didn’t have the easiest of starts to my pregnancy as we had to go through seven rounds of treatment in order to fall pregnant with our little Evie, however, I chose to keep this to myself and not tell my employer, which in hindsight, I wish I hadn’t done!

A Supportive Transition Plan

One of the first experiences that really stuck with me once I told Sam that I was pregnant, was about how they will support me through my pregnancy, maternity leave AND my return. 

I just didn’t expect the level of support that I received!

We sat down and discussed an outline of a plan that was flexible to change at any point. 

Sam made it so clear to me that there was no pressure and everything could be changed whenever we needed.

This plan was tailored to my needs and designed to ensure a seamless reintegration into the office. 

It included:

Flexible Work Arrangements: 

Understanding the demands of early parenthood, my employer offered flexible work hours and the option to work remotely, allowing me to strike a balance between my professional responsibilities and my role as a new parent.

Phased Return: 

Recognising the potential challenges of jumping into a new schedule, my employer allowed me to ease back in gradually which started off with KIT days which then moved into the phased return. 

This phased return provided a gentle transition, allowing me to slowly move back into my role without getting overwhelmed.

Access to Parental Resources: 

Astute went above and beyond to provide access to resources that supported my journey as a new parent. 

From providing me with access to a group of other parents who share tips and tricks, to arranging for me to speak to a charity who support parents going back to work after having a baby.

Open Communication and Supportive Environment

Returning to work after maternity leave can be an emotionally charged experience and the MUM GUILT IS ON A WHOLE OTHER LEVEL!

Astute understood this and maintained open lines of communication throughout the process. 

They provided a safe space for me to express any concerns or challenges I might face, assuring me that my wellbeing was a priority and are still continuing to do so.

Since having my beautiful little girl, I have suffered with Post Natal Depression, something that 1 in 10 people suffer with, but still not spoken about enough. 

I have been able to lean on Astute and the people within the company for their support and guidance. 

Being able to have such a good relationship with my employer has been a God-send!!  

Furthermore, my colleagues played a HUGE role in making me feel welcome and supported. 

Their warm welcome back made me feel so much better about coming back, even though a few people thought I was the new girl!! (Do you know who I am!?!?!?!)

In all seriousness, I cannot thank Astute and the team for making this process as easy as possible for me.

Conclusion: A Journey of Empowerment and CRAZY-NESS!

Returning to work after maternity leave is a huge milestone, one that requires understanding, flexibility, and support. 

My experience has been a testament to the immense value of having an employer who not only acknowledges the challenges but actively strives to help remove them. 

The incredible support, open communication, and empowering benefits provided by Astute have made this transition a journey of empowerment, enabling me to navigate the crazy balance between parenthood and a fulfilling career with confidence.

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