The Back to Work Mum
Many new mums are returning to work earlier than ever but are they totally ready? Becoming a mum takes its toll both physically and mentally. There are many dramatic changes occurring in the workplace. Employers who recognise these changes and offer support to returning employees, can significantly help the transition back to work. This will of course benefit both employer and employee in the long run.
I am a women’s health and fitness coach and specialise in pelvic floor and core strength. Mums hire me to help them get back control of their bodies. But my job is much more than this. I aim to empower women to be the captains of their ship and invest in themselves so they can be the best Mum, partner, colleague, boss, sister and friend they can be. Having children is a huge time in a woman’s life and mums most certainly need to be cared for, nurtured and supported.
The responsibilities mum’s typically take on
On returning to work, new mums have a lot to juggle. They typically take on responsibility for childcare, shopping, washing, cooking, cleaning, caring for sick children or parents, buying presents and thank you cards, the social calendar, holidays etc. Not to mention the feelings of guilt they may have around leaving their baby in childcare! Meanwhile they put themselves at the bottom of the list when it comes to ‘me’ time. With all of this responsibility it’s essential that women cut themselves some slack and put themselves front and centre – if only for a few minutes a day so that they don’t crumble.
How employers can help
When mum’s return back to work, employers are in a wonderful position in which to encourage them to take care of themselves. Many mums will not want to be labelled as such and want to be seen as equal. They will typically often will arrive at work and crack on as they know that they have limited time available and don’t want to let people down. As a boss or an employer there are many things that can be done to look after the Mums in the workplace. Offering this support and recognition can have a very positive effect on motivation and productivity.
Here are a few ideas:
- Before work or lunchtime fitness classes – restorative fitness such as yoga, Pilates or pelvic floor classes.
- Fresh Fruit available in meetings
- Walking Meetings
- Quiet Room/space – for mindfulness / meditation
- Workplace Massage
- Sugar / Caffeine free drinks – e.g. fresh lemons and mint, herbal teas
- Counselling / Mentor service to help women with the transition back to work – buddy them up with another Mum.
- Wellbeing workshops at work on topics such as nutrition, stress management and posture awareness.
As a Mum of two boys – I am more passionate than ever about getting women to invest in themselves. It is 100% not selfish and there should be no guilt attached to nurturing our bodies and minds. I’d go so far as to say it is our duty to do so. We can be the best we can be and enable those around us to be the same. Employers have an opportunity to help the back to work mum do this. A little support can go a long way.
Baz Moffat- Women’s Health and Fitness Coach