5 Ways to Return to Work After Maternity Leave

Like most new moms, you probably have mixed feelings about returning to work: You need or want to. Or do you? Yes. No. Maybe. Partly. What? How? Aghhh! So confusing.

To help you sort it out, here are five major return-to-work options for new moms. You can mix and match them to suit your needs, or use different ones at different times. But first, know your options. They are:

1. Gradual Return to Work
You can ease back into your full-time job over a period of several weeks after your baby’s arrival, whether you’re eligible for FMLA or not.

Two sections of Max Your Maternity Leave focus on the transition phase of returning to work, and provide the details and how-to for this option.

2. Flexible Return to Work
Lots of new moms prefer this option which combines flexibility with full-time hours (through telecommuting or a compressed workweek) or reduced hours (part-time or job sharing arrangement).

Solution: Propose a flexible work arrangement as part of your maternity leave plan. Specific language to use when proposing this option is found in Max Your Maternity Leave.

Learn how other new moms got management approval of a flexible work arrangement using a Work Options Proposal Package.

3. Work FROM Home
Also known as telecommuting or telework, this option would fall into the Flexible Return to Work category above. But you may want to ease back into work by performing some of your duties from home before stepping into the office regularly.

Solution: Propose a part-time telecommuting arrangement, making it clear you are, in fact, returning to work, but part-time, from home. For specific language to use when proposing this option, see Scenario 3 found in the Max Your Maternity Leave guide.

4. Stay at Home
Before or after your return to work, you may decide that this is the best option for you and your family right now. Consider the long-term career and financial impact of this decision before taking the leap. Consider proposing a flexible work arrangement as an in-between step to see if that delivers the work and family fit you need. Do an online search for “stay at home calculators” to gauge if it’s an affordable option for you.

5. Work AT Home
Stay-at-home moms often morph into work-at-home moms (WAHM) to earn supplemental income and to keep their skills fresh. WAHMs earn money from home without a traditional job. There are many roads to go with this option but many of them are filled with potholes (i.e., scams) and dead ends, so proceed with caution.

If leaving your job and full-time income for a home business is too risky for you, start by blending flexible part-time work and a home business. As your business builds over time, you may reach the point of being able to leave your “regular” job. This is the strategy I used when starting WorkOptions.com.

If you conclude you have to look for a new employer in order to have job flexibility, I recommend the premium job listing service for professionals, FlexJobs.com (affiliate link).

Take Your Pick
With these five options to choose from, consider and choose the best return-to-work road for you and your family. If you have questions, please email me.

All your children shall be taught by the LORD, And great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:13 (NKJV)