Career Advice

How to Get Back Into the Workforce After A Maternity Leave

Playing at home

At times, returning to work can stress new moms out as they think about childcare, schedules, the demands of the job and the emotions around separation. However, preparing in advance can help mitigate some of the upheavals and hopefully provide comfort during what, for many, is an amazing time.

Whether you are returning in a few more months or you are gearing up for a maternity leave right now, keep reading.

A Business State of Mind

It is normal to feel out of touch after being out of work for a while. Get prepared by re-engaging with work colleagues, checking up on emails if you’re returning to your company, and start reading updates on what you may have missed. Try out your proposed “return to work” schedule a week before going back to work so you get reacclimated to commute traffic, saying goodbye to your little one, and the time it will take to get out the door while still packing a diaper bag, getting dressed, and having adequate snuggle time.

If you are not on LinkedIn but are looking for a new, post-maternity job, I suggest that a few months before your return, you sign up and reconnect with colleagues and previous employers. Meeting with a recruitment consultant can assist you with updating your resume, conducting mock interviews, and registering for online courses to enhance your skills.

Consider Asking for Flexibility

As a mother and employee, your life is three-dimensional, and your work-life balance can become unpredictable. For example, you might need to carve time in your schedule for when you need to drop your child off at daycare or pick them up after school, and your hours may shift. So before you go back to work, you may want to consider requesting a flexible schedule. The first five years of being back to work will come with mixed emotions, stress, and occasionally having to leave work to tend to your child. Speaking with your boss about your needs, any changes to your goals, and what support you may need as you transition back can help you find balance.

Workplace Rules to Live By

Now that you’re a mom, the rules may be a little different. Talk to your boss about any new expectations and changes in your abilities, as well as any company shifts that have happened while you were away. Avoid feeling left out by making an extra effort to reconnect with team members. Try attending an off-site outing with colleagues to show you are a team player interested in finding out who they are as individuals.

Returning to the workplace can be a challenge, but by taking the right steps, you can make the transition as smooth as possible.


Makeda Waterman is a professional writer with an Education in Journalism, Mass Communications, and Public Relations. She writes for the Huffington Post Canada and Elite Daily on millennial topics with the goal of helping people improve the quality of their lives and career.

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