Becoming a parent is a huge transition and affects both parents after the baby arrives but actually carrying and giving birth to a child is a life changing experience that only women go through. All of that combined with taking a break from work and potentially returning can sometimes feel like an insurmountable task. A woman’s personal identity changes but motherhood can also impact adversely (and sometimes permanently) on their professional identity too.
Most employers understand the challenges of this and many try to support mothers (and fathers) as they go through this transition. However, we still hear of too many women deciding to leave work after having a child or feeling ‘let down’ by their employer when their requests for flexible/part-time working are denied. Employers want their employees to do the best job possible whilst at work and often feel they are doing all they can.
Why does it still not work consistently? Birdsoup thinks there’s a real lack of honesty and pragmatism around the entire transition and our maternity coaching progamme is designed to get the best outcome for both sides.
At Birdsoup we have a pragmatic approach to helping both employers and mothers manage the maternity transition. We understand the needs and tolerance levels of businesses with regard to flexibility vs productivity. We also know how difficult it feels for new mothers to ask for what they want in a realistic and reasonable way.
Why Birdsoup maternity coaching?
Our maternity coaches will work with both parties to develop a dialogue around the logistics of maternity leave and return to work. The coaching programme divides into two stages:
In these sessions, our coaches focus on helping the mother to deal with any situations she may encounter whilst she is preparing to leave. These could include: maternity cover and how to be involved in the recruitment, feeling excluded as maternity leave approaches, practical issues around leaving work and being at home. They also help the mothers scenario plan their ideal return and if they require any changes to their working hours or circumstances, encourage a dialogue with their line manager/HR to gauge what is and isn’t possible BEFORE they leave.
Return to work
Once the employee returns to work they face a different range of potential anxieties. At this stage our coaches will help them identify any logistical/practical solutions to isues such as childcare, work/life balance and managing the expectations of their co workers, partners and care providers.
We also work with women to help them re engage with work and focus on help with goal setting and boundary setting, career planning where appropriate and a re evaluation of their skills and strengths. Our maternity coaching programme leads to higher retention and engagement from the get go. We receive many referrals from women we have coached who have found the programme essential for them to get the most out of their jobs and their families.