In this piece, by Mary Lou Costa, Jessica shared four practical tips to help reduce the anxiety about returning to work after a period off:
SEE YOUR FAMILY AS A TEAM
It isn’t all up to you. If you have a partner, open a conversation about changing domestic arrangements with, “When we’re both working, how do you see us sharing the domestic load?” No partner? Think about who else would be happy to support you and remember relationships deepen when we’re big enough to ask for or accept help.
GET A GRIP ON GUILT
You’ll have thought carefully about the work choices you’ve made so cling to that bigger, positive picture when the inevitable guilt creeps up. Accept that a certain amount is inevitable – especially if you’re highly self-critical – and that it’s likely to reduce over time.
PREPARE FOR A SMOOTH RETURN
Set a date and stick to it, and use accrued holiday for a phased return. Start preparing four weeks ahead and use a paper week-to-view diary as a place to write to-do lists rather than relying on memory. Be kind to yourself because this is a huge life event you’re going through.
DO WHAT IT TAKES TO THRIVE
Forget what other families are doing: work out what rest and play you need in those first months and do it. When at work focus on work and when at home focus on family, fun and self-care (and spend as much as you can afford on things that preserve your precious time).