There are so many of us out there who have experienced the stress of the thought of returning to work after being off on maternity leave.
I think we build it up in our heads more than we should but it is that unknown isn’t it of things that have changed while you were away .
I’ve returned to work twice now after having my bubs, once at 9 months and the other at 7 months. First time around it was all about the daycare spot I could get and it came available a bit earlier than I planned but as you probably know the spot is like ‘gold’ so you can’t pass it up and you take it with a smile and work the rest out. I was so tired as my daughter Isabelle at the time was still not sleeping through and I went back to my full-time job for 4 days for the first 6 months. Oh, my gosh is sleep deprivation horrible. Who would have ever thought that would make life feel like it was in slow motion….I can see why in war time this was a form of torture….cruel for anyone not to get enough sleep.
I have to say a huge thankyou when I look back to the unsung heroes at Tresillian. Helped my hubby and I to walk through the ‘controlled crying’ exercise to help Issy settle to sleep through (past 3 hours!!) and I think the experience was harder on us than Issy at the time but miracle….it worked and she stretched her sleep out….no more tooth picks to keep my eyes open at work….and so I stopped falling asleep on the train and missing my stop! The things we do!
The second time I returned to work at 7 months was, ironically, to cover someone else’s maternity leave spot as a career opportunity. Again 4 days a week but amazingly my little boy Lachie was the opposite of Issy and slept from 7am to 7pm! They are all so different, aren’t they? They do say though that babies can sense if the parents are more relaxed so maybe this had something to do with it? Or it could just be a boy thing as he does like his sleep!
It’s really not easy returning to work and I struggled picking up my projects that someone else had been working on and they had not quite gone the direction or made the progress I had hoped for. It’s a hard one as only women encounter this situation after maternity leave and it’s hard to explain the attachment we often have to our work and I like to think its passion we put into our work, a bit like our babies and we want to see them grow. Once you get past the frustration, life back a work comes back to you way too fast! It’s so funny, when you are out of the workplace for a while it is stressful with the unknown of what has moved on, but the reality is when you get back some of the faces may have changed but work really hasn’t changed that much.
So my advice, for what its worth, for anyone returning to work from maternity leave is give yourself a break. Be vulnerable and talk about it as there are lots of us out there who will understand and maybe have some tips or helpful advice. I would love to hear your stories and tips for anyone going through this as it is truly ‘gold’ and will be so key to helping our community to grow and for us truly to help each other out.
In the spirit of helping me to grow this community to support all working women, please share this with your like minded friends and family and lets all help each other!