Good News: Having Kids Does not End your Career

Unfortunately for mothers that do resume working after giving birth, it is never the same. Priorities change, work environment changes and newer family demands may set off your balance. We therefore cannot deny the fact that indeed motherhood significantly affects women’s career. 

However you do not need to quit your career because of kids. You can still reclaim your career after motherhood and overcome these challenges by resetting your career goals, get a supportive system and change your mindset.

Giving birth does not mean the end of your career. You can still keep and thrive as your career during motherhood.

Impact on Your Career after Having Babies

Does having a baby affect your career? Yes, immensely.  For working women, transitioning into motherhood has never been easy. In fact many working women are not prepared for how the transition would affect their life and career in particular.

Some of the ways giving birth will affect your work and career include;

  • Change of your priorities and goals- Your focus shifts from achieving work or career related goals and start to focus on parenting and how to do it better. The change reduced focus on your work and your career stalls.
  • Demand your attention and time- Parenting will now demand a share of your time and energy. Your baby will need you and therefore you will not have adequate time for your work or career project.
  • Poor work life balance- The demands from both work and your kids will deny you time, energy and enthusiasm for other things such as social life, and self care, leading to poor quality of time.
  • Change/delay of career progression- Because of taking breaks for maternity leave and other parenting duties, you may get passed over for promotions and other career development opportunities. You will therefore find that you are in the same position without growth over a long period of time.
  • Discrimination and disqualification- In most workplace, working moms have had their capabilities and loyalty questioned after having kids. Many are discriminated against because employer think they not do a good job because they are distracted by their kids.

Read: Effects of a Small Child Gap on your Career

Simples Tips for Reclaiming your Career after Having Babies

Motherhood is sure fulfilling and you can never imagine not having your babies. On the other side also awaits your career goals and accomplishments you once dreamt about.  You can reclaim your career by doing the following;

1. Reset your Career Priorities

There is a need to reset your career priorities if you want to recover from a career stall after having babies. If you do not you will neglect your jobs and your career aspirations will take a halt. Mothers manage their career by not giving up on them but refocusing.

You need to set new goals and objectives for your self. Choose what you want to focus on first and set goals for them. Follow the SMART criteria and set goals that are specific, that you can measure, that are realistic and achievable and also give your self a time frame to achieve them.

You goals can revolve around the following;

  • End project by a certain date
  • Acquire a new certification by a certain date
  • Aim for a certain promotion/position
  • Train/mentor new team members

2. Change your Mindset

Definitely motherhood will have you thinking of how much you can never let your baby go. However this is one of the most important thing you need to do if you career is being negatively affected after having your child. You can over all work challenges that mother face when you believe in yourself.

Every mother experiences that bliss stump especially during their maternity leave. For some women this feeling wears off and they are ready to jump back to work once the maternity leave is over. You need to prepare for refocusing your attention back to work and related workflows.

I have interacted with many women and I have realized that this effect has much to do with what the society demands of us.  To re-launch your career after having babies you need to change your mindset by doing the following;

  • Let go of all societal opinions and views of how your roles should be
  • Reinvent yourself as a career woman
  • If working makes you feel happy and fulfilled, do not put it in the bucket because you are now a mother and societal expectations of you has changed
  • Put away that guilt and think of how you will be more beneficial to your family by being a happier and fulfilled self.

Read: How to Successfully Come from a Career Break

3. Change your Workplace/Job

Sometimes it’s not about motherhood at all that affects your career after having babies but the discrimination for being a mother. The motherhood penalty can affect your career growth and development negatively. You may find yourself not focused enough to achieve any progress.

Motherhood penalty is a situation where the motherhood status is used by the employer to devalue and limit the progress of working moms. Some of the things you may face include;

  • Being denied progressive job opportunities such as pay rises and promotions on claims that you are no longer be as committed.
  • Being left out of important decisions and meetings and being reduced to normal staff after mothering a baby.
  • Limited exposure to career related events and opportunities

Unfortunately many mothers are never prepared of such a work environment once they return from maternity leave. If this is how your workplace works, you need to find a new job so that you can get a clean start.

I suggest you start looking for a more family friendly employer who will treat everyone equally without discrimination. Such an environment will give the rights resources and opportunities to everyone to grow professionally. It allows you to be a mother and also give your necessary support to succeed equally in your career.

4. Ask for Support from Employer

Talk to your manager or supervisor for any resources or support that you need to refocus your career after giving birth. Sensitive and supportive employers understand their employer’s needs. They create an environment that accepts all diversity of employees, including mothers.

Therefore do not give up on your career yet after getting kids. Mothers can still make great employees of well support. Ask for whatever it is that you need to grow your career once again. Once you get focus on utilize the support to your career advantage.

5. Invest in yourself

Your career does not end when you give birth. You can still reclaim your career by investing in yourself. Be keen on improving and learning.  Focus on what will propel your further careerwise.

A great way of being valuable to your employer or your profession is by improving your skills and knowledge. There are new skills, strategies, approaches and knowledge put out every day.  

By investing in yourself you will be more confident about your worth and taking that leap of switching your employers. Even better, learning, improving and investing in yourself will give you the right mold to venture into self-employment. It is also important in re-inventing yourself after losing track in your career after having babies.

6. Find a Supportive System

You need to surround yourself with people who love and care for you. They will give you the kind of support that you need. Their support will prove to be valuable when you are overwhelmed.

Their support will take less pressure and demands on you so that you can work on your career goals. For instance you family and friends will come in handy to help you with childcare. Such help is necessary to ensure that motherhood does not kill your career.

Read: How to Overcome Mom-Shaming

Read Here on How to Effectively Balance Career and Family

7. Change your Career

In addition to changing your employer , you may find it necessary to change your profession or career. The fact is that some jobs are too unfriendly to moms and you may not succeed in progressing your career while bringing up your child. Others are too male dominated which ends up creating a toxic work environment for you.

As such you may decide that you want to relaunch your career in a different profession or field. Research into and find the most family friendly professions and employers. Then get necessary training on the same so that you can resume your career immediately.

Alternatively you can take a career step back. It means going back to a lower profession either in same or different line of profession. The step back in career means you are doing less work load and less time. The new flexibility will allow you to care for your baby while setting up a new career path to pursue with less pressure and demands.

8. Create Efficient Routines

You need to change how you plan your day now since kids change everything. You need to create sustainable daily routines that captures your new life duties. You need to consider a work life balance and what it entails. Ensure that you carve out time and energy into your daily routine for work, family, social and self needs.

Some of the things you can do include

  • Practice effective time management. You will not get anything done career wise if your day is filled with unrealistic work goals, time wasters, and no plans among other bad habits.
  • Another way of reclaiming your career back after having babies is by being deliberate about how you will spend your time to realize what you want. 
  • Pick a planner and include all activities for family and for personal career development/work. Also put slots for personal time that is equally important to keeping you well and healthy.  Include everything in your to-do list or checklist to track what you have achieved and what you have not.
  • Get rid of time wasters such as phone time and excessive internet when you are working.
  • Also delegate excess work to your team members as a way to help you get work life balance and reclaim your career back.
  • Also include workshops, boot camps, online course, certifications and targeted training among others within your work niche.

You will realize that when you are well planned and purposeful, you are more productive and efficient. You will achieve so much in less time and you will find that you have enough time on your hands to work on progressing your career.

Read Here About Effective Time Management Tips for Moms Working Night Shift

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