Coming back from Maternity Leave: 10 Things to Consider When You Return to Work

Dec 30, 2019

By Brittany Fuller Caito

I’ll save you details of my birthing experience, but WOW, it was a rollercoaster ride.  Everyone gave me a heads up that time flies, but I should have listened more intently. I blinked and I already have a 4.5-month-old daughter. I can only imagine how fast the years to come will pass by.

“Being a parent is your No. 1 priority. If your manager or employer doesn’t support this then you may not be in the right role or company,” said Dalyn Wertz, mother of two at Comcast Business. “You need to feel supported to manage the work-life balance and continue to focus on what is most important — raising a healthy and happy child.”

One of the most intimidating thoughts about coming back to work is how do you establish a work-life balance? How will I still be the best contributor to my job while also being the best mother to my child? The answers will vary by person but here are some tidbits to think about when you are coming back from maternity leave with some advice from fellow #channelmoms:

  1. Ease into it. Don’t start on 20 projects when you return. Day one can just be organizing all of your emails so you can focus. Bre Hughes, mother and manager at Telarus said,I have to remind myself one day at a time, one project at a time and no matter what [my children] come first.”
  2. Make sure your newborn’s paperwork is submitted (on time). This includes insurance information and benefits, proof-of-life documents, etc. Pretty much you have to give over everything except for your newly born child.
  3. Check in with your support system. You know that saying “it takes a village”? Use the village.  You just got used to being a new mother; now you’re learning to be a working mother.
  4. Be like a duck — let the water roll off. Adapting to change is key. Corey Cohen, mother and vice president at TBI said, “The one thing that’s constant is change. Returning to work after being at home with your little one, for however long you had, is a change.”
  5. Pumping at work. If your company has a separate room for breastfeeding mothers, that’s great! If not, suggest it to your HR department. This is becoming a standard with most employers.
  6. Mom guilt is real. But leading by example can pay off in the end. Hughes said of her teenage daughter, “Showing her that having a strong work ethic and balancing everything is a great tool for her.”
  7. Find your inner planner. Now is the time to use a family shared calendar because you are about to multitask like you have never multitasked before.
  8. Take breaks when you need them. There are a lot of hormones still racing through your body. Be sure to pay attention to yourself and take some mental breaks. Bonus: You get to enjoy coffee again!
  9. Shut off email after work hours. If you aren’t doing this already, now’s the time to start. You aren’t an ER surgeon; people will survive if you respond back tomorrow.
  10. Enjoy it. Jess Maria, mother and vice president at Pax8, said, “I really focus on choosing happiness and gratitude, even amidst the chaos.”
  11. Bonus tip: Don’t be too focused on establishing a perfectly even work-life balance. Moms are superheroes that can accomplish anything.

About the Author

Brittany Caito is a senior manager of field engagement in the Comcast Business Indirect Channel program, where she is she is focused on driving marketing activities and field engagement to help create net new sales opportunities and accelerate existing sales opportunities. Caito is an industry veteran with more than 10 years of channel and telecom experience in various roles at Time Warner Cable, BroadView Networks and Windstream. She employs a unique, out-of-the-box perspective to develop bold, new strategies. Caito graduated from North Carolina State University and is a die-hard Carolina Panthers fan. She has made Raleigh’s thriving technology hub her home. She considers dogs like children and is an animal welfare advocate.