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My partner and I are currently both on parental leave. It's been wonderful (and crazy, hectic, we exist in a constant state of exhaustion) to be at home with our little one! But as the months approach, the anticipation of returning to work has been on the rise, and so has my anxiety.
I don't know what to expect upon return - will I be caught up to date on everything I've missed? Will all my responsibilities still be there for me to take over again? Or what if all the work I've done in my role has been undone, and I need to re-learn everything? I'd love some insight into this - as a new parent, it's definitely been on my mind, and any words of advice would be very appreciated.
Top comments (3)
First of all, congratulations! :)
I'm afraid there won't (can't?) Be a good answer to your question, because it really all depends on your company, and somewhat on where you live.
I'm in Germany and took parental leave for a month. When I returned, I was welcomed back as if nothing happened. A month isn't really a long to to be gone, though.
I know developers who stayed away for a year and resumed their work with a little transitional phase to learn all the changes on the product of the past year.
I also know developers who got into legal battles because their companies fired them when they announced their parental leave. In Germany you have the right to return to a comparable position after parental leave. You also have an absolute right to take parental leave.
Do you have trusted coworkers with children that you can ask about this? Maybe a workers council? Legal advice? Depending on the company, you should take those options before talking to HR or your management.
Hope you get it sorted out. If you do, how about an article on how it went? Parent-deiven development is something we should talk about more often :)
I've taken a month of parental leave at 2 different companies in the UK and my experience upon my actual return was pretty much the same. The odd few ask about the baby, the ones with children give advice or at least words of encouragement because we've all been through exhaustion and panic of are we doing it right, but in terms of the role and the job itself its just like you've never been away.
One of the companies the manager waited until the yearly appraisals and then told me I'd only scored so well because of circumstance (referring to the fact I had the forethought to prepare handover and training materials ready for my leave) and I'd never do that well again. I took him not knowing me well enough by that point to know I just like to be prepared and pass knowledge on as an indicator it was time to leave the company (along with other reasons)
I remember watching the Olympics at 4:30am because of little one. The worry about going back to work having been so tired, I must have felt like you did... I can't remember it looking back now, I can remember alot of it but returning to work must not have been significant, you should be treated gently I'm sure and anyone will A be happy for you, B understand your 😴 and C that it does get better (unless your child turns out to be autistic like mine, then you just get used to being awake 4 years later) 🦉