Establish clear boundaries between work and home life
Introverted women need to set realistic expectations for themselves when transitioning back into the workplace after maternity leave. This includes setting boundaries between their personal and professional lives to make sure they are not overwhelmed or overworked.
To establish clear boundaries between work and home life, introverted women should set limits around the times they’re available to be contacted by their employer. This could include setting a cutoff time for responding to emails or requests outside of working hours, signing out of work chatrooms, or designating certain “off-limits” hours for professional tasks. Additionally, creating physical barriers such as having a separate workspace in the home can help reinforce personal and professional lives.
If you set precedents of being available all the time,, that is when the lines become blurred, taking work home and being available for work when you are with your family
It is important for introverts to recognize when they are nearing their limit and take the necessary steps to prioritise self-care practices like meditation or exercise which can help them stay energised and focused.
Set a clear work schedule in your diary, and use out-of-office messages to support your times in and out of work. You can also make sure you block out time at the end of your day to make sure no meetings/events overlap. All of this is especially important if you are returning to work part-time.
Develop a support network
It is important for returning introverts to seek out a supportive network of co-workers, friends, family members, or mentors who can provide encouragement and advice in times of need.
Developing a support network is essential for transitioning back into the workplace after maternity leave. Introverts should identify individuals who can provide emotional and practical support during this time of transition, such as listening to worries and providing insight on strategies for success.
Additionally, the network should include people from both outside and inside the workplace; members in managerial positions at work can be integral resources for guidance on navigating career advancement.
It is also valuable to seek out personal contacts outside of work, such as family members or close friends, who can provide comfort in difficult times and help with childcare-related concerns. Maintaining an open dialogue with these contacts will allow returning introverts to build lasting relationships they can rely on in the future.
Becoming a parent can change who ‘your people’ are. Parent groups outside of work can be really useful to find others in the same situation as you. You will also find similar people who use the same nursery or childminder.
Parents at work can be a brilliant resource that you might not have tapped into while you were without children. They have been through it all and can give you great support and tips on how to navigate your own company politics and bureaucracy.
Not everyone will become a lifelong friend, but you might find one or two people who are your kind of person, that you can be with and will give you what you need.
Take time to recharge
Introverts require regular periods of rest and reflection in order to stay energised and focused on the tasks at hand. Taking even small breaks throughout the day to focus on self-care can help prevent burnout and ensure long-term success.
Taking time to recharge is critical for introverts throughout the transition back into the workplace after maternity leave. Introverts should create a routine that incorporates breaks from work-related tasks in order to give their bodies and minds some much-needed rest.
This could include scheduling regular yoga classes, taking walks outdoors, or even just using headphones to listen to calming music during lunch breaks. Additionally, it is beneficial to take at least one day off each week away from the screens and technology that can become overwhelming if used too often.
Making sure to get enough sleep at night cannot be overlooked; inadequate sleep has been linked to poorer decision-making, slower reaction times, and an increased risk of exhaustion, so it is important for introverts to make sure they get enough restful sleep as part of their self-care routine.
All of these tips are brilliant, if you have lots of support, your child is sleeping and your boss is empathic to your needs - BUT….
Building back your confidence is key to success, as asking for the right flexible working agreements and not being afraid to make the ask. Saying no to meetings that stretch into important time with your little one and not feeling guilty that you can’t split yourself in 100 different ways are all things you will need to work on for success as a returning mother.
If you want to return to work with confidence, perhaps you need support with crafting the right flexible working request, want support in how to set positive precedents for yourself, or even just need support from a mum who found her voice after she had a baby (that’s me) - book a free call here
If you need some tips on how to make friends as an introvert - click here