Okay so we can all admit that returning to work after having a baby is the ultimate dread but for the majority of us, needs must! When I was pregnant I had in my head I would do anything to not go back to work and I’d be a full time mum, after having Nora and having time at home, as she approached 7/8 months I found myself missing work and my plans totally changed. I was however 100% positive I did not want to return to my old job for a number of reasons so I handed in my notice and life as a stay at home mum began. It just wasn’t me and this isn’t something I feel guilty about or am afraid to admit because it’s just not for everyone. I missed having a bit independence and adult conversation, so the job hunt began! Being a stay at home mum was short lived and after two weeks I started a new job. I think the most important thing about returning to work is returning to the right one. I mean your world has changed completely! It may not be you anymore, it may be far away from home, it might be too much for you, take your time and make the right decision. For me, returning to work in my new job made things 100% easier. I have great work colleagues and they made the full thing a lot easier! I haven’t looked back once. Also making sure you have the right form of childcare, something that you are comfortable with and meets all your needs. We are fortunate enough that Jamie’s mum has Nora whilst I’m at work, it probably would have been a lot harder for me if she was in a nursery. We are so lucky she is there and loves spending time with Nora.
I thought I’d put together other mums experiences of going back, I have split your responses into two parts. Lets start off with some funny ones…..
“Getting a toddler ready for his childminder while getting myself ready for work can be a mission in the mornings. Timing is crucial and runs tight which is why one morning I was impressed that I was on the motor way and half way to work in record time… That was until I looked in the rear view mirror and noticed Oscar was still in his car seat – I’d completely forgotten to drop him off.” @theedinburghmum
“When I went back to work I found myself rocking like I was pregnant / pushing a pram. I still do it now.” @mynameisflorence
“Still referring to yourself as ‘mum’. Mummy’s off for her tea break now! If only that worked at home.” @nclecampbell
“Maternity leave isn’t really real life, its a strange bubble of nappies/weaning/milk/not sleeping/coffee/new mum friends and trying to navigate this gigantic change that has occurred in your life. When you go back to work you are starting your new life as a family – this is the way it will be. And when you’re not doing every nappy change, every feed and every clean up – you genuinely appreciate them so much more! Not the actual tasks, but the cute little face that creates the chaos in your home – and that you are doing this whole work thing for.” @cramcommunication
“Although I work from home, when my little guy isn’t around whether that be with family or at his childminder so I can get some work done I am always amazed at how silent silence is… sometimes i have a mad panic of OMG what is he up to?! Also the pure joy that is eating a meal alone without toddler hands trying to nab a piece of everything – bliss.” @megporterr
“I’d say my return to work has been really positive. I really love hanging out with my son (most of the time), but he’s not a huge fan of me having ‘me time’! I read a book on my commute, enjoy a cup of tea in peace, don’t have to hide when I eat biscuits and can go for a pee in blissful solitude! Having a baby made me realise that work isn’t THAT important at the end of the day, so even when it gets busy and stressful, it’s not too hard to stop getting completely caught up in it. Like, I pushed a person out of my vagina, this really isn’t that hard.” @katiemorwenna
“If you tell Bill in accounts that you need another few days to get back to him – its unlikely he will go bright red, start screaming and attempt to fling himself on the floor/climb up your leg and get his bogeys all over your new trousers. With this in mind – enjoy the simple pleasure of logical negotiations and save your energy for having food flung in your face when you get home.” @cramcommunication
So if the return to work date is looming and you find yourself getting more and more emotional as the days go on, please know that the thought is actually the worst part. Soon you will happily run off to work leaving the chaos behind for a few hours. It makes you appreciate the time you and your little one do get together a lot more.
When you have your newborn baby and people tell you that time will fly by and they aren’t little for long, you will begin to roll your eyes when you hear that for the 40th time in the first week but a few months down the line you will realize just how true these words are. I always felt like we had all the time in the world and took our time together a bit for granted. If I were to give any bit of advice to new mums it would be to stop and smell the roses…
Thank you to all the mum’s who shared their experiences with me.