Family Support : How to get them to become your biggest champions
Yesterday we spoke about how family support is so important in your returnship journey. Today we will talk about how you can go about ensuring you have your family’s resounding support.
From our experiences with 1000s of women, and witnessing and helping them on their journeys, here are some ways you can help get your family on your side:
Identify and make your needs known
The trick to helping your family see your perspective is no trick at all, it is to let them know what you want. Most families care for each other, so let your family know what drives you, what your plans are, and start from there. If not everyone in your family, definitely let the ones who are likely to be sympathetic to your cause know, because they will be powerful allies.
Get buy-in from key stakeholders
Your husband, your parents, your in-laws, and last but not the least, your child or children, are mostly the most important stakeholders in your decision to return to work. Each has their role. Your husband can be your biggest ally, and help smoothen the way in case anybody else has concerns. He is also likely to be the person who can pick up your responsibilities when you need to put in additional hours at work, so it’s important he understands and respects your decision to return. Your parents and in-laws, apart from providing emotional support, will be useful back-ups for looking after your child when you have to be at work or when your primary childcare support system fails. And finally, your child or children need to mentally accept and prepare for the transition, so think about breaking your decision to them carefully.
Create a transition plan
For most households, women returning to work means that from being the sole one running the household and taking care of the children, they need to start delegating some of their responsibilities. You need to create your unique system - maybe your husband gets your child ready in the morning or he picks him or her up from classes in the evening or a cook helps in the kitchen instead of you doing it all yourself - in mutual agreement with your stakeholders. Most importantly, your childcare arrangement will change, for many of you, a daycare, a nanny, or a grandparent will enter the picture. You need to give yourself and everyone, including your child, mental bandwidth and time to understand and internalise the new way things will be
Give yourself time to implement the plan
Especially as far as childcare infrastructure goes, your best strategy is to try it and iron out all the kinks before you start work. You may like a potential nanny when you first spoke with her, or may have heard great things about that after-school daycare, but there are a million things that can go wrong, not the least of which is that your child might not take to this change in his or her life too well. You will be well served to give all of yourself the time to adjust, before you add on the stress of your working schedule.
Set the right expectations
This is the secret sauce for successful returnship, make sure you set expectations properly, with all stakeholders, including your new employer. Going to be away for 4-5 hours a day, let the family know and make it clear as gently as possible that in that time you are not to be disturbed unless something extraordinary happens. If you are working full-time from an office, let them know what your schedule is likely to be. Similarly, let your employers know what time is off-limits for you, it could be that you want to leave by 6 pm every evening to spend some time with your kid before they hit bed-time, it could be that you do not like to work weekends at all unless it is extremely unavoidable. Make it known at the right time to them, so people know how to work with you.
Feed back the positivity
Your family is likely making a huge change as part of your journey. Acknowledge their contribution, let them know what it means to you, celebrate your work successes with them. Our cultural conditioning makes us feel good when we do a good thing for others and when we feel needed, so give that warm self-appreciative moment of glory to your family.
Extra tip: Create a conducive environment: Along with all of the above, if you are working from home, make sure you have your own space. A desk, a chair, and a mug to have chai or coffee in, at the very least. These will give you a sense of discipline and control, and help signal to your family that you are at work.
Hope you found these useful. Please let us know if you have any more that have worked successfully for you. Family can be huge stress-busters and your biggest champions in your returnship journey. All the best!
We at FlexiBees have placed such talented career returners like you across a variety of functions & skill-sets like Marketing, Digital Marketing, Public Relations, Investment Banking, Inside Sales, Business Development, Technology, Content Writing, Graphic Design, etc. We are committed to creating meaningful options for you. Go to https://jobseeker.flexibees.com/ and register with us, so we can reach out to you when we get any requirements that match your skills.