You’ve been through those first months of endless feeding, nappy changing and sleepless nights and you’re ready to go back to work. At this point, you might be thinking “now what?”
Returning to work after maternity leave isn’t usually a complicated process, but it can help to have a maternity leave checklist. This way you know everything is ready to go and you’re calm as you possibly can be (given the circumstances) going into work on your first day back.
Liz Short, who works in Mamamia’s People and Culture team, says many potential sources stress are usually sorted out before a mum-to-be embarks on maternity leave.
"You would agree, before you go, on a return date because it's important for you, but also your employer to know what to do to back-fill your role," she says.
However, if you want to change that date, there is some flexibility.
"You do have under the law, the right to request an extension to the initial 12 months if you would like to."
Fair Work Australia's guidelines state that you need to give at least four weeks notice if you wish to extend your maternity leave, but Liz recommends letting your employer know as early as possible.
She adds that if you're returning to work in a different role (ie: full-time to part-time), your desire for altered working hours should also have been discussed before you leave and the details confirmed at least two to three months out.
Once you're happy with your return to work date - and your role - you can focus on the things that you need to make returning from maternity leave run as smoothly as possible.