Around six months into her maternity leave she decided to take the leap and start a blog. Like parenting, she doesn't claim to be an expert. Shethinks of herself as a novice blogger! She is a master of typographical errors who's sometimes linguistically challenged and she worries that her only avid reader is her mother in law. But she's doing something which makes her happy and after all life’s too short.
Returning to work. Like any parenting milestone it’s a chance for expert procreators to offer you their words of wisdom. At the time you’ll want whack them with the nappy bag [all mothers know that could do some serious damage] and run for the hills while proudly brandishing your SAHM’s rule flag! But once reality hits and D-day arrives you’ll realise that everything they said was true.
Although it’s different for everyone, I’m sure we can all agree that it’s a painful time. Plagued with anxiety your Mom guilt grows profusely. A million things run through your mind and it’s unsurprising. You’ve spent the best part of a year (obviously this differs from mommy to mommy so I’m speaking on a personal level) in each others company. You know you child inside out. Yet you’re preparing to leave them with your chosen caregiver and spend the majority of your time at a place – that lets face it – you’d rather not be! It’s understandable why the whole transition is so stressful.
But fear not Mothers of young sproglings! Four weeks have passed since I deserted my small thing and hand on heart, it hasn’t been as bad as I initially thought . If your return to work is quickly approaching, here’s a few things to remember:
- Give it a few weeks and you’ll feel like you never left
In the weeks approaching the inevitable day, prepare to hear this ‘comforting’ phrase over and over again. It may seem like your life is a million miles away from where you once were but old habits die hard. Your old routine may not fit in with your new life but you’ll quickly adapt.
- Don’t be afraid to cry
If you return to work without breaking-down at least once people will obviously think you’re heartless. Leaving the toilets with smudged mascara, carrying an unacceptable amount of loo roll is a rite of passage for any new mum.
- Make sure you treat yourself
Use returning to work as an excuse to refresh your wardrobe. Last time you frequented the office you weighed fifteenth stone [again speaking from personal experience] and largely resembled Fat Bastard from Austin Powers! Now is the perfect time to grab yourself some new clobber and head back to work looking chuffin fantastic.
- Having time to catch up with old friends
While the time I spent on maternity leave was undoubtedly the best year of my life, there was something missing – the adult conversation. Working in a busy office it’s something which you take for granted. A massive bonus for me is that I’m fortunate enough to work with two of my closest friends. It’s fantastic to spend my lunch catching up on the recent gossip.
- More money is always a plus
If like me you worked full time before having a baby maternity leave can be tough. You try to save but inevitably you live to your means. A reduction in your salary can put a strain on your relationship. Returning to work gives you more freedom as a family. Instead of living month to month you’ll have more disposable income. It isn’t the only reason to go back but an injection into your bank account sure as hell makes shit a little easier!
For me suppressing my initial fears came easily. Will he still love me? Surely he’ll forget me? He’ll clearly love his Nanny more? Anxieties easily put to bed with a kiss when I return home. But this isn’t to say the transition hasn’t been tough. There are days when we feel so far apart that my bones ache but as the weeks pass those day are becoming less frequent.
Returning to work may feel like the worst thing in the world. While the time you spend apart may be difficult it makes you cherish the time you spend together every bit more.