Mums Back to Work

Ideas & Info for Mums

Mums Returning To Work

“Being a housewife and a mother is the biggest job in the world, but if it doesn’t interest you, don’t do it – I would have made a terrible mother.”
Katharine Hepburn

Come in, sit down and lock the loo door if that’s where you’re holed up with your laptop/blackberry/iphone whilst the children seek you out. Or is that just me that does that when it’s my turn to hide? If you’re an HR/Talent/E&D Professional interested in better supporting your maternity leavers take a look at The Talent Keeper Specialists website or contact the office on 01727 856169.

Becoming a mother is a major life transition and a different story for each of us who’ve done it. I’m a mum of two and author of Mothers Work!, a practical and uplifting guide to getting back to work after baby (published by Hay House, June 2011). Being a mother isn’t easy, I know, but it’s blooming marvellous when things are going well. I coach all sorts of mothers, not just those with jobs beyond the home, and for all different reasons. Mothers often get in touch for coaching because they’re feeling lost, overwhelmed or underwhelmed.

Does this sound familiar? Recent mums I’ve worked with say a couple of months coaching has made all the difference to their sanity. Click on the “Take Away” image for tips you can use right now.

Coaching for working or want-to-be working mums

Coaching for working or want-to-be working mums

I help mums who are planning on or thinking about going back to work, make a smooth return. As the author of Mothers Work! and a working mother of two young children I appreciate the mixture of guilt, fogginess, apprehension and excitement you might be feeling at the moment. I’ve made two successful post-children career comebacks and it’s that personal experience combined with a decade of coaching experience and the research knowledge from writing Mothers Work! that makes me a useful, inspiring and credible ‘maternity-comeback’ coach.

Join the discussion and get useful tips on the Mothers Work! Facebook page

Why do women work with a maternity comeback coach?

I believe maternity comeback coaching does three powerful things:

  1. It validates the unique mixture of thoughts and feelings each mother has about being a mother and combining that very important role with work beyond the family.
  2. Maternity comeback coaching provides a relaxed space and time for women to build a picture of  their overall ideal scenario – taking account of career ambitions, values and preferences for their family – and a plan of action to achieve it.
  3. It builds a woman’s confidence and minimises ‘imposter syndrome’ (the “Who me? Go back to work and be taken seriously after a year at home with a baby? Yeah, pull the other one”) that many women feel irrespective of age and professional seniority after they have been on maternity leave. Minimise this and performance is increased at work from the word go.

Getting into the nitty-gritty here’s a flavour of the things mums often want to discuss in coaching sessions which might resonate with you:

  • Can I handle the promotion I’m being offered on top of getting to grips with returning from leave?
  • Should I go back to my old job or a new one?
  • I want to be as good as I ever was at work – how can I do this?
  • People’s perceptions of me might change and…
  • I wanted to leave my old job before I got pregnant but they’ll give me PT hours so…
  • How can I convince my boss to go for my flexible working request?
  • I’ve had four years out to raise my children and I don’t know where to start in getting back to work.
  • How can I climb the career ladder on limited hours?
  • I didn’t like my old job and I wanted a career change back then – what do I do now?
  • Getting my confidence back – I just don’t think I can do this
  • I feel so guilty that I’m going back when we don’t need the money
  • I’ve found being at home with a baby very hard, how I am going to incorporate work too?

Why do organisations sponsor maternity comeback coaching?

Two words: Retention & Engagement

As the average age of first time motherhood creeps up, the amount of knowledge and experience women take with them when they go on maternity leave is on the up too. Many employers are keen, and rightly so, to get their talented women back after baby. The Office for National Statistics reports the standardised average (mean) age of mother rose to 29.4 years in 2009, compared with 29.3 years in 2008 and 28.4 years in 1999. The birth rate for women aged 40 and over increased fastest, by over six per cent from 11.5 per 1,000 women aged 40-44 in 2005, to 12.2 in 2006.

The average recruitment cost of filling a vacancy per employee is £4,333, increasing to £7,750 when organisations are also calculating the associated labour turnover costs. (Source: CIPD 2007). It makes sense to retain and engage the talent you’ve already got and not purely from a financial point of view. Think about the ease and speed with which things can happen when an established, credible team’s at work. A new colleague changes the team dynamic and interrupts the flow and speed of getting things done – which admittedly isn’t always a bad thing.

Download a copy of our Compelling Case for Maternity Comeback Coaching to pitch your request for coaching to your line manager, talent team or Equality & Diversity network.

What can The Thinking Woman’s Coach do for your organisation?

In a nutshell: The Mothers Work! Comeback Programme

  • Research and consultancy around the ‘fitness’ of your organisation for female talent retention and development
  • Surveying of maternity leavers and recent returners’ level of engagement
  • Rolling programme of events for women on maternity leave and recent returners designed to raise confidence and keep comunication open
  • The one-day “Comeback Camp” designed for maternity leavers in the months running up to their return
  • Bitesize seminars to encourage networking and buddying between maternity leavers, recent returners and senior female role models in the business
  • Bitsize workshops for line managers of women returners
  • 1:1 coaching during maternity leave
  • 1:1 coaching throughout the transition back to work (1 month prior – 9 months post)

The Mothers Work! Comeback Programme is a flexible offering which we tailor to your organisation’s needs and budget – visit The Talent Keeper Specialists website for our work with organisations such as PayPal, Veolia, Carillion and Oxfam. To talk about your needs please call the office + 44 (0)1727 856169 – or e-mail hello@talentkeepers.co.uk.

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