Mothers on maternity leave suffer a major crash in confidence when their babies are 11 months old, according to new research.
At this stage, many feel they can no longer cut it in the world of work while others feel isolated and turn to social media for company.
The study of 2,000 women found that two-thirds admitted feeling drained of self belief when it came to the idea of returning to work after time away starting a family.
Jane Scott Paul, Chief Executive of AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians), which carried out the study, said: "It's only natural that as our families grow our daily routines and priorities change but this doesn't necessarily mean that one's career should be negatively affected or sacrificed.
"Employers are missing out on the skills, expertise and knowledge that these women can bring to businesses across the economy.
"With Nick Clegg announcing the need for shared parenting responsibilities, it's evident that most women take sole responsibility for raising their families ultimately giving up work.
"While some mums may make this choice, we need to ensure those who want to return to the workforce can do so with confidence.
"Many employers invest time and resources into training women, only to lose their expertise when they choose, for one reason or another, not to return to the workforce.
"It's high time that women not only feel confident when returning to work, but appreciated and highly valued.
"By offering attractive and flexible work packages, these women can be encouraged back into work bringing their skills, knowledge and experience with them."
Nearly half of the mothers who were currently working felt their new job was a little beneath them and failing to develop them at all professionally.
Additionally, one quarter was envious of friends and former colleagues they've seen climb the career ladder while they have been unable to progress professionally.
However, 57 per cent say they no longer have the confidence or feel capable enough to re-join the industry and take up the same level of responsibility as before they had children.
The average mother felt her confidence slip noticeably approximately 11 months after being away from the working world leading to doubts about their own professional capability.
Lack of flexibility was cited as a big block to getting back on the ladder, while forty per cent felt they were nowhere near as sharp as they used to be.
And four in ten felt they were losing confidence both socially and professionally by having to stick to a routine that often isolates them.
The study also revealed one in four mothers rely on social networking sites for company interspersed by the odd coffee morning or visit from a friend or relative.
In fact, 45 per cent sometimes go whole weekdays without ever talking to another adult.
More on Parentdish:Building your confidence for the return to work