Few changes in life are as significant as welcoming a new child into your family. For all working parents, learning to navigate work and family responsibilities is both intricate and fulfilling. Here are 4 tips for a smoother transition back to work. If you are a lactating parent, find additional tips here.
Be kind to yourself
This is rule No. 1. Your whole life has changed, and finding your “new normal” as a working parent will take time -- and some trial and error. Be kind and gentle with yourself through this journey.
Mindfulness practices can help you find space for peace, presence and acceptance.
Get familiar with the policies
Start at the source. Understanding the policies is the first step in crafting a plan for parental leave and your return to work. Below are links to the policies provided by the federal government and Indiana University. For questions about how these policies might affect you, contact your departmental HR representative or AskHR.
- Indiana University Paid Parental and Paid Family Leave policies: The university offers six weeks of paid parental leave for eligible staff positions. Twelve weeks of paid family leave is available for academic appointees.
- Family and Medical Leave Act at Indiana University: FMLA is a federal law that gives eligible employees unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage.
Communicate with your supervisor
Get and stay on the same page. As early as you feel comfortable, communicate with your supervisor about the timeline of your upcoming life event. It might be a good idea to discuss these topics: leave and return dates, projects to be covered, how you will inform your supervisor once the baby has arrived, and set expectations for communications during your leave.
Explore Child Care Options in Your Community
One of the top-priorities for working parents is finding quality care for their children. Quality child care is in high demand in many Indiana communities. It is never too soon to begin exploring child care options in your local area. Start today and get ahead.