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Goodbye leave, hello work

After months of maternity leave you go back to work. The warm welcome you were hoping for may look different. On the one hand, it's nice to see your colleagues again, but it may also be difficult to leave your baby behind. How do you deal with this well?

Danielle (32) is just getting back to work after the birth of her second child. “After those months I was ready for something for myself again, but I also find it very difficult. My colleagues have worked extra for me in recent months. So I would like to be fully employable again soon, but I am so tired because of the broken nights. How do I combine it all well?”

Balancing between work and home

Roseriet Beijers, developmental psychologist and researcher at Radboud University, agrees that it is not easy for many mothers to return to work. “Many mothers find it difficult to balance home and work and have negative experiences with this. For example, they have difficulty taking their child to daycare, cannot concentrate at work or do not feel as productive as before.”

“The course made me think, because becoming a mother is quite something that we should think about a little more”

Danielle also finds it difficult to hand over the care of her children. She therefore attended a workshop to return to work in a healthy way. I hardly take a moment for myself, because the little one in particular requires all my attention. The Soft Landing workshop by Mom Inc. did help me with this. I can now let go more, not everything has to be perfect. “The tip I brought along is to really fantasize about your ideal week and write it down. If you know what you find important, you can make better choices and then you will be less guided by the issues of the day. The course made me think, because becoming a mother is quite something that we should think about a little more.”

Stress and guilt

New mothers often struggle with guilt and stress when they return to work after their leave. Mom Inc., an expert in work and parenting, conducted research among more than 400 mothers. This shows that 65 percent of mothers experience returning to work as negative. Almost 30 percent drop out in the months after their leave. The most frequently given tip by the participants: “more attention from the employer for my return”. Managers are often unaware of this.

Take some space and have a conversation

Advice from Lotte (Mom Inc.). Take the time to prepare for your return and talk to your (possible) partner and your employer. Create a clear training plan together. But also: don't set the bar too high, new mothers often expect too much of themselves. I would like to say to the manager: regularly check with your employee how things are going in this new situation, because getting back to work can be stressful.”

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