#73 How to Support Mothers Who Lead Teams in the Workplace with Geraldine Gallagher

The 360 Leadhership Podcast, Episode 73, 17 May 2023 by Lucy Gernon

Finding it hard to balance motherhood and your career?

For women in senior leadership roles, both going back to work after maternity leave and balancing motherhood can be particularly challenging due to the increased pressure and responsibilities that come with leadership positions.

Women like you often have to juggle not only your own work demands but also manage a team or department, which requires a lot of time and energy. You may also face expectations from colleagues, clients, and stakeholders to be available around the clock, making it harder to find a balance between work and family life.

Can you relate?

The transition back to work after taking time off for maternity leave can be very difficult as mothers adjust to new routines and responsibilities while also caring for a newborn or young child on top of everything else!

And if you’re a leader who doesn’t have children, it can be hard to relate to the women on your team who do, and how you can best support them and the rest of your team also.

5 practical tips to set yourself up for success when returning to work after maternity leave

Reach out to colleagues: It’s important to reconnect with colleagues when returning to work after maternity leave. Arrange a virtual coffee or catch-up to stay up to speed with what’s happening in the company. This is especially crucial in the virtual world where remote work has become more common. Building relationships with colleagues will help you feel more integrated and less isolated in your role.

Refresh your industry knowledge: The business world changes quickly, and it’s important to stay current. Listen to podcasts, attend webinars, or take training courses to refresh your industry knowledge. This will help you feel more confident in your abilities and help you stay ahead of the curve.

Prioritise self-care:
Returning to work after maternity leave can be stressful, and it’s important to prioritise self-care. Do a dry run of your commute and childcare arrangements, but after that, take some me-time to do something nice for yourself. This could be something as simple as taking a long bath, going for a walk, or reading a book. Taking care of yourself will help you feel more energised and ready to take on the day.

Be realistic:
Mom guilt can be a challenge for working mothers. It’s important to be realistic about what you can and can’t do. Ask yourself where the guilt is coming from and look at the big picture of what working provides you. It’s okay to prioritise your career and to understand that being a working mother is a balancing act.

Recognise that guilt is a choice
: It’s natural to feel guilty about leaving your child to go to work, but it’s important to recognise that guilt is a choice. Check-in with yourself and try to reframe your thoughts. Instead of feeling guilty, try to focus on the positive aspects of working, such as providing for your family or being a role model for your children. Changing your mindset can help alleviate feelings of guilt and help you feel more confident in your decision to work.

Want to learn more?

Tune into Episode 73 of the Powerhouse Revolution Podcast with Geraldine Gallagher, a transition coach who works with employers to retain and develop female talent, specialising in helping women return to work after maternity leave and navigate the juggle of motherhood and leadership.

As a former change management consultant with 16 years of experience in various industries and geographical locations and having had a dual career since qualifying as an executive coach in 2009, Geraldine understands the challenges of transitioning back to work after having a child.

During our conversation, we chat about the common fears and worries women face during this transition and offer practical tips for setting them up for success in the workplace while maintaining a happy life outside of it (Yes, it is possible!)

Here’s the episode at a glance:

[04:25] The hidden key to reigniting a woman’s professional identity

[08:45] The ultimate solution to conquering doubt and negative narratives

[14:15] Master the art of breaking free from Mom Guilt with this foolproof strategy

[20:43] How you can shift your mindset to support pregnant employees as a leader

Do you need strategies to balance the demands of leadership and life? DM me the word BALANCE now to learn how I can support you through my mastermind group for women in senior leadership.

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