Many new mums are returning to work earlier than ever but are they totally ready? Becoming a mum takes its toll both physically and mentally. With so many dramatic changes occurring employers who recognise these changes, and offer support to returning employees, can significantly help the transition back to work benefiting both employer and employee in the long run.
I am a women’s health and fitness coach and specialise in pelvic floor and core strength. Mums hire me to help them get back control of their bodies; however, I see my job as bigger than this. I aim to empower women to be the captains of their ship and invest in themselves so they can be the best Mum, partner, colleague, boss, sister and friend they can be. Having children is a huge time in a woman’s life and mums most certainly need to be cared for, nurtured and supported.
On returning to work, new mums have a lot to juggle. They typically take on responsibility for childcare, shopping, washing, cooking cleaning, caring for sick children or parents, buying presents and thank you cards, the social calendar, holidays etc not to mention the feelings of guilt they may have around leaving their baby in childcare. Meanwhile they put themselves at the bottom of the list when it comes to ‘me’ time. With all of this responsibility it’s essential that women cut themselves some slack and put themselves front and centre – if only for a few minutes a day so that they don’t crumble.
If Mum goes down, her ship is sunk, and her family and her work goes down too which is why such a large part of my work involves coaching Mums to invest in themselves, feed themselves properly, move and find time to be active and have quiet time just for them.
Employers are in a wonderful position in which to encourage women to take care of themselves. Many mums will not want to be labelled as such and want to be seen as equal so often will arrive at work and crack on as they know that they have limited time available and don’t want to let people down. As a boss or an employer there are many things that can be done to look after the Mums in the workplace and offering this support and recognition can have a very positive effect on motivation and productivity. Here are just a few ideas:
●Before work or lunchtime fitness classes – restorative fitness such as yoga, Pilates or pelvic floor classes.
●Fresh Fruit available in meetings
●Quiet Room/space – for mindfulness / meditation
●Sugar / Caffeine free drinks – e.g. fresh lemons and mint, herbal teas
●Counselling / Mentor service to help women with the transition back to work – buddy them up with another Mum.
●Wellbeing workshops at work on topics such as nutrition, stress management and posture awareness
As a Mum of two boys – I am more passionate than ever about getting women to invest in themselves. It is 100% not selfish and there should be no guilt attached to nurturing our bodies and minds. I’d go so far as to say it is our duty to do so, so that we can be the best we can be and enable those around us to be the same. Employers have an opportunity to help women to do this and a little support will go a long way.
Baz Moffat- Women’s Health and Fitness Coach