Becoming a first-time mom when you have a successful career can be a big adjustment. You have worked so hard to get where you are at on the ladder, and now life has a different “path” for you – motherhood. Whether this was a planned event or not, there are certain things that need to be arranged in order to make accommodations for your new arrival.
Whether you are a high-level executive or a shift worker there are certain discussions that need to take place with your employer and human resource department:
Maternity leave – know what your company will offer under the Family and Medical Leave Act
Medical Benefits – will your medical benefits continue while on maternity leave or if you even have company benefits? Or will you need to start making adjustments to pay for your own health insurance?
Need More Maternity Time – what will you do if you need more time, will the company extend your leave and for how long?
Be honest – with your employer so if you decide you want to come back you have a good departing relationship and there should be no issues before you leave. Maybe draw a “good faith” contract with your employer stating upon your return, they agree to offer you your same job/salary when you return. Some companies may need to fill your job in the interim (it’s job security).
Contractual Obligations – know what contractual obligations you are under if you signed a contract at the beginning of employment. Some companies could seek repayment of benefits if you do not return.
Flex Time – knowing that financially and just for your own sanity you still may want to return to work, but maybe part-time or on a mutually agreed upon basis. I would talk to your employer before leaving and again it’s always nice to have something it writing to fall back on if needed. Clearly layout your plan and what it will take on both ends to get the work done. For example: telecommuting office setup at home, internet coverage, phone costs, etc. How many hours you will work and identify those hours. You need to make sure with a new baby that you are not being interrupted during naptime or feeding times. Maybe look to have a Nanny or family member helping you during the “work times” so it will show your commitment to the company and your job.
In the meantime up until your maternity take care of yourself and enjoy being a first-time mom!