Usually, as a coach, it is not necessary to have a shared experience with your client because our role is not to provide advice and guidance. Instead, we are a thinking partner, supporting, encouraging and challenging our client as they work through the topic they have brought to the coaching session. However, it is different when the coaching is focused on the maternity transition. A recent interaction with a maternity coaching client highlighted the importance that our shared experience held for them.
When it comes to maternity coaching it is often important for the coachee to be able to explore what to expect and work through the different emotions, thoughts and feeling they experience at different stages of the transition out of work and then back to work after maternity leave. Based on our experience, it is absolutely essential for a maternity coach to have experience of the maternity transition and the reality of returning to work with a small child and adjusting to being a working parent.
As maternity coaches who are also mothers, we can bring a level of empathy and understanding to our coaching, and this can mean that an element of mentoring comes into our work with clients. Many clients wish to hear what other women have done in their situation, and they greatly value the perspective we bring. This can be quite practical in nature such as managing your time, thinking about your career, or asking for help from family and friends, through to the more emotional topics such as dealing with guilt or exhaustion.
In this video we touch on our experience coaching women through maternity, having experienced it ourselves.
If you’d like more information about out maternity return coaching programmes, please get in touch.
My colleague Sarah Turner and I have been busy creating content highlighting the importance of organisations providing support for working parents. As part of this, we created this video series exploring the entire journey of maternity leave, from before the leave starts, through to preparing to return and then the first few months back at work. If you or your organisation would like to understand more about how to support your employees as they take parental leave, please get in touch.
This blog post is a collaboration between Maternity Coaches Laura Duggal and Sarah Turner. They are working together, sharing their experiences and bringing the best of their joint advice and knowledge to you.