The support available to new parents has dramatically increased in the last few years and we at DayOne Baby are proud to be a leader in providing education and information to promote competence and confidence. Easily accessible parenting information allows parents to make informed decisions and transition smoothly into their new role.
But with all of this support, one major problem that still exists for parents is the emotional and logistical transition back to work. Fortunately, employers are now more cognizant of the challenges of returning to work after parental leave and are making steady improvements to facilitate a smooth transition.
Most all companies have gained a sincere appreciation for the difficulty working moms have in making this significant life adjustment and we salute them for this. Although having a baby is a joyful time it is also a major life event and employer support for new moms and dads is an important and worthwhile employee benefit that needs employer attention.
We have a large network of human resource executives and most are making changes daily to try to support new moms and dads returning to work. We see these professionals as really stepping up to this significant human capital challenge and there is a general desire for dialogue on ways to provide meaningful support. These are very important developments and we encourage you to engage your human resource leadership in helping you make a successful transition back to work.
We think a discussion with HR about return to work support and your needs is just plain sensible. Keep in mind, like a nurse or physician they have had a lot of experience where the can provide support to you and your family. Also, by having such a dialogue you can let your HR management know directly of your needs and may have an idea or two that may help them further enhance their return to work programs.
No topic should be off limits. Ideas to cover, include but are not limited to:
- How do I go about pumping and storing breast milk for my baby?
- What resources do you have for helping me with day care decisions?
- Does the Company have a new parent support group or classes on practical return to work issues moms face?
- What type of flexibility do I have when I have child care issues that may require me to leave work or make phone calls that aren’t work related?
- I need to pick my child up from school and deliver him (her) to day care. Can we adjust my work schedule so I can do this?
- If my child is ill can I use my accumulated sick days so I can be with him or her? How do we handle things like the times I need to take my baby in for a check-up?
This is just a partial list of ideas you might cover. Try and anticipate your needs and bring them up early in the process so you can plan a smooth return to work. Also, don’t be shy about making reasonable requests that will make your return to work a less stressful time for you. Again any special requests should be brought up early so your employer can have time to figure out the best ways they can help.
Lastly, remember your audience. An HR manager that has faced return to work issues themselves is likely to be much quicker understanding your needs than someone who has not faced these issues. That’s not to say the outcome will be different, it may just take a little more explaining. As always, when in doubt over communicate your needs, you are likely to be quite happy with the help you might be able to tap at work.