Having a baby can be the most special and wonderful thing to ever happen to you but it can also mean an interruption in your career. For that reason many women will wait to have children or choose not to have them all together. While it all boils down to a personal choice it is in fact possible to have a baby and not hurt your career you just have to know how to go about it.
There is a lot of preparation and planning that need to be done when having a baby and the same holds true for decided whether or not you can balance your job and your baby as well. While it may feel hopeless, if you are determined you can have the best of both worlds.
One way that you can have your baby and not experience any hiccup in your career is if you work for yourself. Having a home based business can mean that you will be able to have your baby and still be able to work once you do. This will represent a level of extreme commitment though as having a baby around full time is often a job in itself albeit a rewarding one. If this is the route you decide to go you do want to be sure that you will be able to successfully balance your work load with the needs of your baby and that you can keep going on little to no sleep for a while.
For many women though this is not even an option as they are employed by someone else. If this describes you all hope is not lost and there is still a way to have a baby and be able to continue on with your career once you do. As every situation is different though you will need to check on certain aspects that come with having a baby such as:
• Maternity Leave: Usually after you have worked for a company for an extended period of time you will be allotted a certain amount of maternity leave. The time will vary but usually covers you for at least two or three months after your baby is born. This gives you an opportunity to start the raising of your baby and still know that you will have a job to go back to when you are ready. If you have outstanding maternity leave benefits with the company in which you work for you may even receive part pay or all of your pay while you are on leave. If you are not sure the maternity leave policies of the company you work for be sure to find out all the details as soon as you possibly can.
• Work Environment: Another factor in having a baby without hurting your career is your work environment. Because you will likely work right up to the point that you will have your baby that means that you will be working for several months pregnant. This can represent all sorts of new challenges for you and you want to be sure that the work environment is suited for those challenges. Working while pregnant you can still be just as efficient as you were when you where not pregnant but only if your work environment will allow for this. The last thing you want to be doing while pregnant is working in an unsafe environment for you and your baby.
• Prepare Your Employer: If all signals are a go and you plan on taking on a career and a family you should take the time to prepare your employer. Not that you need anyone’s permission to have a baby, but by letting your employer know what your plans are they will be better able to prepare the business for what is ahead, which may include finding a temp to fill your position while you are on maternity leave. Discussing your plans with your employer can help the situation unfold smoothly.
• Finding Quality Child Care: Once your maternity leave is over you will be faced with the task of finding quality child care for your baby while you are working. This should be done well before you have the baby so you are not scrambling when the time comes. Many employers these days either offer assistance in finding child care or may even offer it on site. You could also be one of the few that has the type of job that will allow you to bring your baby with you to work, though these types of jobs are few and far between.
• Line up a Plan B: Once you have your baby there will be times when you may get a call from the child care facility to pick up your baby due to sniffles or some other illness. The problem may then be in the fact that you cannot leave work at that present time without putting your job at risk. This may not be a problem with your job, but then again it just may be. This may be a bit harsh, but remember you want to have your baby and not hurt your career. To avoid a potential conflict simply line up a Plan B. A Plan B is someone who can help you out with the baby should you be unable to leave work at a given moment. Your spouse will of course be your first option and then your mom, or grandma, is always a good choice too. Be sure you have a couple of Plan Bs in the bank just in case your first choice is stuck at work or doing something else as well.
No matter how you slice it, having a baby will present many new challenges and many new rewards. Thought there will certainly be a lot of work in raising a little one and continuing your climb to corporate success if you are determined and have lots of energy it can be done. Though it may be a different approach then you are used to, having a baby does not mean that you have to hurt your career and a strong-minded person can balance both.