You may have noticed that I am interested in maternity coaching, one of the main reasons for this is that I have been fortunate enough to have benefited from some maternity coaching since returning to work and preparing to go off again. I have also supported people going through the process as both a coach and a mentor.
There have been a number of things that I have learnt in going through this process and I wanted to touch on them today and I wanted to ask you a couple of questions and give you an exercise which might be useful at each stage, no matter where you are in this journey.
1. Finishing work
Question 1: What challenges are you facing in the time you have left?
Question 2: How are you preparing others for your leave?
Exercise: Write your ‘leaving’ speech. Think about what you want to have achieved and how you want to feel when you walk out of the door on your last day.
2. Preparing to come back
Question 1: What does returning to work look like for you? (e.g. full/part/flexi time)
Question 2: What are you most looking forward to?
Exercise: SWOT analysis. Evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This can also be done before leaving work so you don’t forget it all!
3. First few weeks back
Question 1: What has changed for you since returning to work?
Question 2: On a scale of 1-10 how do you rate your work life balance? How could you take it up one notch?
Exercise: Wheel of life.
4. The future
Question 1: What have you learned about yourself during this transition?
Question 2: What are you most proud of since returning to work?
Exercise: Strengths timeline. Consider the last x months – what have been your highs/lows and what have you learnt that will shape your future?
*Needless to say this is just a snapshot and I would highly recommend finding a coach or mentor who specialises in maternity (or paternity) coaching as they will be able to give you the time and space to work through your own situation.