Motherhood can be challenging enough, but what about trying to balance a career at the same time?
If you’re expecting, be prepared to reflect on your goals and aspirations as your priorities might change.
You might find that motherhood opens up career prospects that you didn’t even think were possible.
You’ve probably heard of the term work-life balance. It’s become a bit of a cliché and, for some of us, might be a challenging concept to grasp.
Bring a pregnancy into the picture, and the ability to keep this balance going can become even harder than expected.
So, how can you plan to maintain a balance between motherhood and career when you’re expecting?
Let’s delve deeper into the prominent challenges involved and how you could possibly survive and thrive.
Maternity Could Stall Your Career
If you’re a woman, the honest answer is that yes, maternity could mean there will be a delay in the progress of your career.
If, for instance, you are in the midst of pursuing a professional certificate that requires two years to complete, taking a year off is (quite understandably) likely to prolong that process.
Likewise, if you want to go back to work on a reduced number of hours, this can impact the ease with which you make the transition to your new work arrangement.
A study in the UK was conducted and concluded that about 26% of men versus 13% of women were able to climb up the corporate ladder and upgrade their jobs within five years after having a child.
Career Planning Can Be Crucial
Take some time to think about your goals. This can help you make educated, realistic decisions about what you want from your career and family life. Ask yourself the following:
- What are my values and goals?
- What do I want to do in the next five to ten years?
- What and who might stop me from reaching these milestones or help me with them?
- What do I need to do in order to bring myself closer to my goals?
You might actually discover that (in addition to changing your job objectives) a baby can change your perspective on life in general.
You may view motherhood as a career step instead of something holding your career back.
Conversely, you might also realize that your priorities persist even after having a child or that other career opportunities might be better options.
Don’t Keep It a Secret at Work
For women career, having children might seem like a tradeoff to some. It doesn’t have to be. Many choose to conceal their pregnancies from their employers because they fear being mistreated or looked down upon.
However, your boss and colleagues are probably going to find out about your pregnancy sooner or later. So, consider giving your employer as much of a heads-up as soon as possible.
This can help everyone else in your office to prepare and adapt to your possible absence. You may be surprised at all of the help people at work are willing to offer you.
Even if you do ‘come clean’ early on, you’re most probably protected by law against any pregnancy-related discrimination at work. Don’t worry about that too much.
Prepare for Your Comeback
If you feel like you’re missing out on work while on maternity leave and that you might be a little “rusty” once you do return, maybe it’s time to recall some of the best bits of your career. Career development doesn’t have to only happen at the office.
In between dealing with diapers and baby formula maker, write down your main accomplishments, as well as the skills and abilities you used to achieve them.
This can help you recall your qualities and uniqueness and offer some perspective on your life right now. It can also help you gain some clarity on your career path as a whole.
Create a Self-Care Program
Give your boss a schedule to let him or her know you’re planning to make changes to your day, but that you intend to stay on top of your job.
Morning sickness, tiredness, fluctuating hormones, and a growing body may all cause tension at work. That’s why you might want to think about scheduling ‘mini-breaks’ for food, moving (or rest), and hydration during the day.
Balancing motherhood and your career might be easier than you think.
Although motherhood has the potential to put your career on hold, with some planning, communication and by reflecting on your goals and aspirations, you may even view motherhood as the missing ingredient in your personal, as well as professional, development.
If you’re a mum who has managed to balance having a child and a career at the same time, leave a comment below and share your ups and downs!
Also Read: Must Read Top 10 Early Symptoms of Pregnancy