You’ll never truly be ready for the challenges and uncertainty of being a new parent. When I found out I was pregnant with Ava, I immediately began thinking about how to balance my career while being a new mother. It was not easy at first, but with careful planning, support from my team at work and family and an initiative towards work anytime/anywhere, I was able to smoothly transition to my new role as a working mother.
A few things I learned from going on maternity leave…
- Preparing for maternity leave made it easier to return to work – It also gave me the peace of mind while I was at home bonding with my new daughter. I took four months off for maternity leave, much of it during busy season. I wanted to make sure all of my clients were taken care of while I was out. Transitioning the work to other managers and anticipating questions that may arise allowed me to give my full attention to my newborn daughter while also making the transition back to work a much easier one.
- Delegating to others at work and at home allows me to #BeMore – Delegation is something I have struggled with both in my professional and personal life because relinquishing control is not easy for me. But going on maternity leave forced me to train and trust others to get things done while I was gone. This was a great opportunity not only to train and mentor others, but also to relieve some of my own anxiety and stress after I returned to work. Having a baby also definitely forced me to accept help from anyone willing to give it! Relinquishing some control and putting trust in others has allowed me to focus on new opportunities and experiences. I’ve realized you can’t have it all if you have to do it all!
- Flexibility at work has been crucial to my transition as a working mother – Becoming a parent completely changes your routine; at least it changed mine! Before having Ava, I was that person that came into the office during the wee hours of the morning and stayed 10-12 hours before going home and being done for the day. Well today, my schedule could not be more different. GHJ’ work anytime/anywhere initiatives have provided me the flexibility to now split my work day into several blocks of time and work from home more often. So while I may be working from my living room at 11 p.m., that is because I was able to spend the evening with my daughter, which is priceless! It is wonderful to be at a firm that recognizes the importance of flexibility. The progressive initiatives at GHJ have provided me the opportunity to #BeMore at work and at home.