The most important things to do when returning to work

by Elise Stevens | Futureproof Your Career Podcast

Returning from maternity leave or extended parental leave is a huge adjustment that will shift the way you view your work and yourself.

Raising kids is a full-time job that doesn’t simply stop when you go back to work – even if you have a supportive partner, a live-in nanny or a fantastic day-care centre.

In this podcast, Elise Stevens speaks with parenting mentor Abigail Ward about how to make your return to work as smooth as possible and ease the mum guilt.

Points raised in this podcast:

  • Women cannot ‘have it all’ because modern society doesn’t raise children as a community. Instead, we do it all individually. Parents do not have the support of the village.
  • COVID has proven that mothers do not have enough support. Women across the world have been expected to work from home without childcare. Many have had to leave their jobs because of it.
  • A successful transition back to work after parental leave will require you to be honest about your new reality. Do you need to reduce your hours? Do you want to get right back to work? Think about what returning to work looks like for you.
  • Having a child is a huge adjustment and your priorities may have changed since becoming a parent.
  • It is important to make it clear to your employer that while your job is still important to you, it may need to look slightly different to work with your new life.
  • Talking to other women who have recently come back from maternity leave in the organisation can help you find out the company’s culture and attitudes towards parents in the workplace.
  • Becoming a parent will help you refine new skills that are valuable in your job. Your values and priorities are clearer, you will become more productive and better at negotiating. Don’t sell yourself short.
  • It is valuable for your child to see you pursuing those passions, including if your passion is your work.
  • Setting unrealistic expectations for yourself can leave you feeling used up and uninspired.
  • You trained for years for your job, you get no training for parenthood.

About Abigail :

Parents come to Abigail Wald when they are tired of getting pushed past their breaking point, and they’re ready to rise above behavior & circumstance to create the life they want for themselves and their children – without apology. Her obsession is helping parents fill their homes with more love and less labor, so they can love (and like) their kids more than they ever thought possible – and, equally importantly, feel the same way about themselves.

Abigail’s podcasts have almost a million downloads. Tune into her latest one over at The Mother Flipping Awesome Podcast and find out why parents call her a “Badass Stealthy Sparkle Wizard” and the “Esther Perel of Parenting” and why they wait months to join her exclusive six month, tailor-made mentorship program. Need on-the-go support? Head on over to and learn how you can get it!

You can connect with Abigail on LinkedIn.