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Episode 006: Helping Moms Thrive After Birth + When Returning to Work with Elaine McGhee

Episode 006: Helping Moms Thrive After Birth + When Returning to Work with Elaine McGhee

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Elaine is a Working Mom Support Coach on a mission de-stress maternity leave and propel a nation of thriving working mothers. From her own emotionally traumatic return-to-work with her first daughter she founded ThriveMomma where she now coaches new moms back to work. She consults with corporations on paternity leave planning and work-life integration policies that help them retain working parents. Check out her motherhood musings on her blog and at FairyGodBoss.






Transition to Motherhood:

As Elaine reflects on her transition into motherhood, she describes herself as naive, as I think many of us can relate. Becoming a mother and and then a working mom, led to a major shift in her life that she did not anticipate. As a mother, her priorities in life had changed and going back to work while caring for a small infant was an emotional experience. Elaine felt compelled to start ThriveMama in her second maternity leave and to start a community and a conversation about how to support moms, particularly with their transitions back to the workplace.

“I felt like I was called to be of service and to really focus on this little window of helping moms go back to work.” ([03:05])


Episode Summary:


Elaine created the 3B’s of going back to work-

  • Your baby – preparing for and acquiring childcare
  • Your boss – talking to your boss about having space to pump or to breastfeed, and what you need before you go out on maternity leave to make sure that he/she is prepared or sensitive to the new need that you’re going to have.
  • Your brain –  how do you deal with feelings of being overwhelmed or scared about this new phase of your life.


Elaine recommends openly discussing with your boss your transition plan in getting back to work. Set expectations with your boss before you go on maternity. Take a look at your budget, talk to a partner, discuss the number of days you can go to work per week, or if you could negotiate flexible time or part-time maybe in the first year of baby’s life.


With all the pressure that women have these days, it’s so easy for moms to fall into the trap of doing everything just to meet everyone’s expectations and needs. According to Elaine, the balance is about choosing your time, being intentional with your time, and defining what makes sense for your family. According to her:

“Being intentional with your time is balance.” ([23:08])

That would certainly mean that you set boundaries with your work and set boundaries on your family time. Elaine gives emphasis about learning how to say “No.” Balance for her is being intentional with your time and defining your priorities.

Referenced in the Show:



Time Management for Busy Moms – Essentials toolkit found at

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