I recently returned from my first-ever maternity leave. I must admit, I was extremely excited to have 12 weeks off and check out from work. Little did I know having a baby was going to be even more work, and as someone who plans for everything and hates not knowing what to expect, this was extremely stressful for me. I was much more comfortable having calendar reminders constantly popup and 10 million to-do lists to check off.
Which leads me to the first thing I learned:
1. We don’t all work the same way and that’s ok.
As I started prepping for leave, I found myself wanting to tell those filling in for me exactly how to do a project. I put together extensive to-do lists and detailed outlines of all projects and found myself making notes of items they probably already knew or could easily figure out. They also work as account managers or in similar positions and have clients too, so they probably know a thing or two. And while they might not have checked off the to-do lists I created, they still got the projects done and done well. And heck, I even learned a thing or two from how they did things.
2. It’s OK to take time off and check out. Your coworkers will cover you.
When I was back from maternity leave, I turned on my computer and opened my inbox for the first time in 12 weeks. Yes, I truly was able to stay logged out for 12 weeks! It was a goal I set early on when I started planning for leave, and I’m proud to say I accomplished it. By doing this, I learned projects keep moving, to-dos get done, and clients are still happy even when you’re not the one at the helm.
At Flint Group, we pride ourselves on being a team, and our teamwork truly shined during this time. My coworkers reminded me we really are “all in for your success,” regardless of if that’s “all in” for a client, coworker or Flint Group.
3. I found a new appreciation for my job.
The first few weeks of my leave, I felt like a fish out of water. I had no idea what I was doing. I am a millennial after all, and I recently read we are the least experienced generation to have babies. Unlike generations before us, we mostly grew up in smaller families and didn’t have siblings to help care for, so we have no previous experience to pull from. I love my baby, but there were many times I found myself thinking I’d take a stressful day at work over this right now. Toward the end of my leave, I really started to settle into my new role as a mom and had mixed feelings about going back to work. I know I am not meant to be a stay-at-home parent and still really craved adult conversations and looked forward to helping clients solve problems.
I also know I’m lucky enough to work for a company that values “go where you are needed most,” and I know if my child has an appointment or gets sick, I can check out for a few hours or a few days without feeling guilty. My coworkers will have my back, and my clients will still succeed.
Do you want to work for a company you can feel proud to return to? Check out what Flint Group has to offer.