Returning to work - Nicola's Blog on returning to MIH from Maternity Leave
Keep calm and carry on, these are the words that I often repeat to myself, whether for work or my personal life and especially now with the current world crisis, this simple sentence spur’s me on.
An easy transition
Whilst pregnant I was receiving a lot of the same comment “two under two, wow that will be hard work” I could only remind myself that I’m not the first and it must be easier than twins, but to then decide to return to work even I started to wonder if I was making the right choice. Thankfully with the support, flexibility and encouragement from MIH, the decision to come back to work after 6 months on maternity leave and also adjusting my role to now a working mother of two has luckily been an easy transition.
The last two weeks of my maternity was the hardest, knowing that I wouldn’t be dedicating all of my time to my children and the likelihood of missing certain milestones was something that I had to personally come to terms with. However, I also knew that I was ready to return, my outlook was a little different but I was looking forward to dusting the cobwebs off and tackling day to day block management items.
Supported by Sarah
I joined MIH 10 months after giving birth to my first daughter, I had previously worked with Sarah and found comfort in knowing that I could trust Sarah as an employer and that she had faith and trusted me as an employee. So, when I went on maternity leave last July, I had already decided I would be returning to my role as Property Manager within 6 months and that I would be supported by MIH and in particular Sarah.
Whilst on maternity leave, MIH provided keeping in touch days and also social team events which I benefited from, particularly as the MIH Team had grown and during my time on leave we had added four new members to our office. It’s a little daunting that in a space of 6 months there had been lots of changes including more office space, additional team members and new buildings, it definitely felt like full speed ahead. At times I felt unconfident, but I knew I needed to find my confidence, know my worth and adapt to keep up.
Getting back on the saddle
Coming back has been like riding a bike with stabilisers. Baby brain has felt like a thing, feeling a little rusty, of course I have had tough days, running on stress and lack of sleep but I’m fortunate enough to have a great network in all aspects of my life. There’re no truer words than it takes a village to raise a child and that’s what I have relied on.
It has been comforting to receive a warm welcome back from colleagues, contractors, residents and clients, and with that support I’m sure in no time I will be in full swing and riding the hypothetical bike without any hands on the handle bars.
It has made a difference coming back into a solid, strong team, especially as we normally spend more time with each other than our own loved ones. I thrive on being sociable, this was the reason I was looking forward to coming back the most. Each team member is like part of a puzzle and there is an energy in the office that I don’t experience at home.
I’ve worked in enough places to know that having a strong team is so important and will have an impact on the company.
And whilst the days are long and I can’t wait to get back to mummy duties, I look forward to the days I’m in the office, the noisy conversations, different personalities bouncing around, and problem solving with a little customer service thrown in, I sit behind my screen, take a sip of my tea (no sugar, strong), smile and think Welcome Back.