The Other Side of Maternity Leave: The Coworkers We Leave Behind

antenatal classes are they worth it

Do you know that us moms we LOVE talking about our maternity leave? The favourite is how it was not a holiday. Actually, it was not a holiday for our coworkers either. The other side of maternity leave is about our coworkers who had to step up at work. Society spends a lot of time focused on the individual going on maternity, her and baby, and then her return.  What we do not zone in on is the additional work our coworkers had to manage.

I had two maternity leaves, and I even have a whole section on my blog dedicated to the maternity leave so this was my internal reflection.

[bctt tweet=”Maternity Leave is not a holiday. But it is not a holiday for colleagues either. Lets be grateful” username=”cherralle_”]

I would like to challenge us all to reflect on our colleagues who had to step in at work while we were on maternity.

Related Post: 7 Things a Working Mother Wants To Tell her Boss

Here Are 4 Reasons Why Our Colleagues Who Supported Us Need a Thank You


maternity leave and coworkers


The load you had to carry

In many organisations, a company may not hire a temporary replacement for someone who goes on maternity leave. Simply put, work often gets shifted around and spread across the team. This means that those left behind have to carry an extra load during this time.

You do it with a smile

No complaints nothing, just purely supporting us who need the time to go off. Yes, we must go on maternity, but we are still grateful.

In many instances, our colleagues are impacted at work too when others are on maternity, and it is appreciated.

[bctt tweet=”we should show gratitude to our colleagues who picked up the extra load when we went on maternity leave” username=”cherralle_)”]

Related Post: 7 Reasons Why I am Pretty Certain We Are Only Having Two Kids

A warm, friendly welcome back

When I came back,  my colleagues were supportive and helpful. Helping me ease back into things and explaining patiently and slowly what is happening at work.  I forgot so many things while on maternity. Erm…how do I log on now again?  I have just been away for five months, and all they wanted to know was how I was doing and be genuinely helpful. That was selfless, and I was grateful for that.

You spoilt me

I was showered with presents for myself and the little one by my colleagues. People do not NEED to get anything for a new baby. It was done out of the goodness of their hearts and they were genuinely happy and supportive of my pregnancy.

Further Reading: Maternity Leave – 5 Practical Steps to Make Returning To Work Easier

So when you, are going on, or have returned from maternity leave:

  1. Be grateful. Do not take it for granted what our colleagues have done and are doing to support and keep things afloat. Remember in most cases they will need to carry an extra load.
  2. Be empathetic. Yes we know it’s tough going on and coming back from maternity, and you need your colleagues and boss to support you as you return to worl.  Just remember that your colleagues may also be going through tough times.
  3. Pay it forward. Know that your time will come when you need to support others going on maternity leave 🙂

[bctt tweet=”Although going on maternity is a must, I still feel grateful to my team for stepping in” username=”cherralle_”]

Related Post: Pumping Breast Milk at Work: The Law and What Moms Have To Say

Through this post, I want to share a different perspective of how our work community supports working mothers when we go off to have babies!

Share this  and tag a friend you believe supported you doing maternity!

Featured Image: istock


Author: Cherralle

Mom, wife and career loving parent. This blog focus on career and work life topics for mothers.

7 thoughts on “The Other Side of Maternity Leave: The Coworkers We Leave Behind”

  1. Honestly I never thought about it this way. I too am grateful for my team – I hadn’t articulated it in so many words but we spent DJ’s first birthday bringing cake and including them in the celebration like we did with family and friends because they too played a big role when I was pregnant and during this first year. In terms of support – thanks for this.

    1. A wonderful post. I have three children and I never thought about it that way. How is it selfish of me! I am very pleased to read this post because I got a new kind of gratitude.

  2. Yes, it is important to show gratitude to our colleagues who help us a lot when we did maternity leave. Without their help we can not pass that important period for our 👶 baby growth.

  3. It is often good to look at situations from another’s perspective. I like how you remind us that there is always another side, even if we do not think about it.

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