Are you worried what will happen to your job or career when you're on maternity leave?
You already have the stress of having a baby but the added stress about work in general can get you overwhelmed.
Nobody wishes to return to chaos after they have a baby. Chop down on the stress of going back to work by being prepared.
What are some things you can do to prepare?
Oh, and while simultaneously impress your boss BECAUSE you're prepared?
*Delay the time you'll leave
The length of your maternity leave can determine the amount of stress you return to. If you are willing and able-bodied it's a good idea to work as long as possible. Naturally, everyone is not willing and able.
* Have someone replace you ---for a while, (oh and train them too!)
If you are the manager, you have a lot more stress to manage, so that means having someone responsible enough to be "acting manager" while you're away. It is important that you leave an accountable and capable person in charge of things in your absence. Start training that person to handle the aspects of your job.
* Write down what can go wrong
When you do this, you can have a "cheat sheet" where if something goes around there is a solution to it. Think of it like the "FAQ" to your job. Things such as the password to certain programs or the contact information of key people. Be sure to have this information for the person taking over your duties.
Plus, nothing is more annoying than getting “How do I…” phone calls when you are on maternity leave. If your job is too much for one person to handle in a short period, split the responsibilities between two employees.
Now, what if you can't just handle being without work?
Here is a "middle solution":
Work part time-- until you are actually ready to have the baby. Maybe a few coworkers are more than willing to accommodate your sensitive needs such as if there is any lifting, someone can do them. While some women are eager to take their maternity leave, others are not. If that sounds like you, working part time is something to be mindful of.
Once you show to your supervisor that you were prepared and willing to do what it takes to keep everything running smoothly then you're job will be intact.
BONUS: You can always send pictures of your newborn baby to your boss to bring out their sensitive emotional side (there less likely to fire you or replace you when you actually do come back doing this)