A common fear for parents when they return to work is that they may be sidelined for promotion or somewhat marginalised because they work. Your fears might be real or perceived; the only way to find out is to ask. Yes, ask.
The reality is if you don’t have confidence in your own capability, you can’t expect others to. If you don’t have an idea of your career direction you can’t expect others to create it for you.
In other words, no one can give you confidence or develop your career for you, you need to nurture and develop it yourself (leaning on others for input and support when required). It’s about harnessing your strengths and drawing on your experiences so you can put your best foot forward whether it’s about negotiating a pay rise, the next promotion, or flexible work arrangements. If you undersell yourself and your capability, you not only do yourself a disservice, you effectively permit other people to stereotype you or discriminate against you. Your level of job satisfaction is likely to take a nose drive.
Be proactive and review your career plan, discuss options with your manager, partner and other relevant people to support your continued learning and development. If you are focused on the next career promotion, be upfront, so your manager knows your intentions and aspirations rather than leaving them to guess or assume.