Changing Priorities After Having a Baby
Many women find that their priorities change after having a baby.
Women who have been very career focused and plan to return to their position straight after statutory maternity leave (or sooner) can, for example, feel very different after having their baby to how they thought they would.
It is important to be honest with yourself about how you are feeling every step along the way of your pregnancy and maternity leave. Research shows that women who bottle up their feelings and feel guilty or concerned about their emotions are more likely to suffer from postnatal depression. There is a great deal of help available but the first step is to ask for it.
If you do not feel sad or confused about your postnatal emotions, but are simply aware that your priorities have changed, you need to decide how to implement the changes you want to make.
CareerIf you had planned to go back to work after taking maternity leave but have changed your mind, you need to take some time to work out the best way to proceed. You will first need to talk to your partner to discuss the financial implications of not returning to work, although the cost of childcare can be a contributing factor to your feelings. Many women feel that they do not want to earn money just to pay someone else to look after their child, although this depends on the availability and costs of childcare in your area.
If you had been very focused on your career, you may be surprised by how your feelings have changed since having your baby. It is common to feel less driven or less concerned about your professional development as you are more focused on your personal life. Some women also feel as though their workplace is not suited to allowing them the type of family life they desire, with issues such as long hours and commuting distance seeming less appealing than ever before.