Bridge the Gap: How to Make the Most of Your Maternity Leave/Career Break
Motherhood is an absolutely precious and heavenly feeling which cannot be compared to anything else! The moment you hold your baby’s hands, you instantly know that you would do anything for them! Being a mother will give you tons of moments to cherish for your entire life. Kids grow up so fast. You don’t want to miss out on your child growing up at all, so you decide to take maternity leave or, in some cases, a “career break” for two or three years or more. You might hear some people calling it a “career suicide” or “professional disaster.” But it doesn’t have to be like that! Here are some tips to help you enjoy the time with your baby to the fullest (without any guilt of leaving your job) and help you stay up to date if you are planning to make a comeback!
1. Stay positive!
The foremost thing is to stay positive and focus solely on your child for at least 6-8 weeks. Now, I understand that the shift from a working woman to stay-at-home mom can be massive! But those fantastic moments with your little one will make it all worth it. The starting months of taking care of your baby can be tricky and challenging. You will feel frustrated and lonely (especially if you are a people person). Go out every day, take walks, make new mom friends, watch movies and TV shows (when your baby is fast asleep). Don’t stress yourself too much, and enjoy this new profound feeling of motherhood!
2. Learn new skills!
When you think that your baby is not so little anymore and you have some extra time in your hands, try to learn completely new skills in something that interests you or upskill yourself in your domain expertise! Technology is amazing these days; you don’t have to step out to learn a new course or something. Anything you want to know is available, just a click away! And you can learn it at your own pace. You buy the course, and you can study it anytime and anywhere you want! Learning something new will help you stay in touch with your field; even 15 to 30 minutes a day can prove to be beneficial.
3. Explore your hobbies!
You don’t have to lose yourself in the process of raising your child! Taking care of your baby can be a full-time job, and you might not always get time to learn new skills or take up a course. In that case, work on your hobbies and develop them! Take your hobbies to the next level. For example,- If you like doing yoga, make videos during your yoga sessions and post them on your social media. Those likes and comments can motivate you! If you like writing, start up a blog. Writing even one blog in a week can be inspiring! If you like gardening, start doing that! If you like cooking, start a cooking channel on YouTube! (Post one video in one or two months). It’s all up to you, ladies. Draw, paint, write, decorate! (There is so much you can do at home!)
4. Don’t forget the technical jargon!
Stay informed and up to date with the latest trends in your field! A lot can change in very little time. So make sure you know what’s happening out there! So when you go back, you’re not clueless about the new things. Also, make sure that you don’t completely forget the terms and technical jargon about your work because that can be a real challenge for you!
5. Stay technologically updated!
When you go back out there, the first thing employers look for is, “are you aware of the latest technology.” You need to stay updated with the technology trends because technology is the essential skill you must have! Having an active presence on social media can help. Social media is a great platform to explore new stuff!
6. Utilize your skills!
I understand that taking care of a baby, household chores, taking care of your family will leave you no time for yourself. But, remember that we don’t have to lose ourselves. If you have any entrepreneur friends, offer help to them! Even if it’s not your area of expertise, an entrepreneur can always use a pair of hands (Same is the case with NGOs). You can work from home or help through social media (Technology has made it easy)So, help. You can take up projects as per your convenience through freelancing! I know all this sounds really hard as you already have many responsibilities, but doing some work will help you stay relevant and practice your skills. Overall, helping you grow professionally! Whatever you can give at this point, do that! Having a baby doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice everything you worked for. You can still go back out there even if you have taken a very long break. Just keep yourself completely updated and hold the relevant information about your domain!