I have also always considered returning to work after maternity leave as a “mother’s triathlon”, my short hand for a personal/professional/social triathlon of sorts. In my mind, it is akin to an unannounced or secret race, where you are trying to prove yourself professionally, personally, and socially on two EXTREMELY challenging and often unpredictable fronts – your home life and your professional life. Maybe Working Mom’s Fight Club is overkill but you get my point? It is scary, exhilarating, TIRING, REWARDING, etc. all at the same time.
After my first child, I can comfortably say that despite the challenges of my mother’s triathlon, I completed the race. It wasn’t always a graceful journey, but I learned a lot along the way about myself and I am better for it. After I had my second daughter, I was presented with a great opportunity to transition to a new job after maternity leave. I am the newest member of ALI CLE’s content production team. Prior to this, I was the Vice President of Programming at HB Litigation Conferences, another CLE provider. I had worked with the same team there for several years so the departure felt almost like that first solo drive you take, with your new license.
I consider this next phase of life, starting a new job AFTER a maternity leave, like learning the most dangerous of the extreme sports, base jumping. New Professional Environment + New Baby at Home = Potential Disaster of Epic Proportions.
Base jumping, as defined by Wikipedia, is an activity where participants jump from fixed objects and use a parachute to break their fall. “BASE” is an acronym that stands for four categories of fixed objects from which one can jump: buildings, antennas, spans (bridges), and earth (cliffs). I’ve researched this for this post and base jumping is right up there as one the most dangerous sports in the world, although it is listed as number 3 on this list of extreme sports. After a month of base jumping, I am now doing what any respectable typical Type A person would do. I’m putting together a to-do list or game plan to master my new sport.
My list, a combined work/home checklist, is rather long and I’ll share it over my next few posts. However, here are links to some resources that others in a similar situation may find helpful. Now that I have reviewed these articles, I’m quite happy with my long list since some of these lists seemed to be missing something and none of them specifically addressed a new job, after maternity leave. My forthcoming list is a true hybrid list! If you have useful resources, please comment and share them.
Starting a new job links:
Returning from maternity links: