Returning to work after your maternity leave is such a daunting process .It’s also something very personal and I appreciate everyone’s circumstances and thoughts are different on working Mum’s.
This is the end of my second maternity leave, i’m due back in a few days after an amazing 11 months off.
Although the thought of returning to work is difficult,I cant emphasise enough how much more relaxed I am this time round. So I thought I would share what I have learnt , hopefully helping anyone else out there worrying about returning.
Don’t get me wrong , it’s not going to be easy to leave my boys in the morning.. It’s never easy. But its not as bad as I had previously built it up to be ( and believe me … i’ve unnecessarily reduced my self to tears many a time over it)
The thing is, I do love my job & I always have ( i’m an estate agent). I love meeting people, seeing houses & interiors and helping people. On top of that I am very thankful I have made some really close friends in my work too… They are a great bunch.
However, even all of this doesnt make it easy leaving my baby at a time where your bond has never been stronger. They cry for you, crawl to you, smile to you & they want ONLY you.
After I had Bertie ( First born) I took a full year maternity.. It was wonderful. However, I wasted a lot of my maternity constantly worrying and fretting.
Yes, worrying, crying, tossing, turning.. All because of because of what lay ahead….Returning to work and leaving him!! The thought haunted me from the moment he was born… I just didn’t know how I was going to do it.
Instead of enjoying every precious moment of my maternity leave I would not spend one single day without fretting about what lay ahead.. It totally consumed me and that special first year together.
Without a doubt, the first few weeks back at work are tough and emotional. But here are some things I learnt after my first return that are making it much easier this time round :
- It gets easier:That first week back is the toughest, but as time goes on and you get into a routine it will get so much easier and dare I say it I found that I enjoyed my job again. All that time off it was easy to forget the colleague friendships, office banter and buzz of a house sale.. It didn’t change and I hadn’t changed either.
- They have fun : Whether its a day nursery, child minder or family, your little one will be in the best of hands: Ask for photos, they really helped me. Knowing they are just fine in another person’s care allows you to keep your eye on the prize at work and not worry as much about how they’re doing without you. Our day nursery has a little App where they upload a few pics of the day and little notes if they have been outside etc. I found these helped me so so much being able to feel part of his day although I wasn’t there. On the days he was with family I got little what’s -app pictures & updates.. It always put a smile on my face and eased my mind.
- Expect to feel a little out of place in the beginning: You have been off for quite some time, staff change, rolls change, the dynamics change and sometimes people change too. You probably cant even remember your password ( I don’t!! ) . It will feel a bit overwhelming that somewhere you have been working for years has become very unfamiliar and unsettling. Don’t panic you won’t feel this disconnected forever . It will take a few weeks to catch up .. emails alone!! You don’t have to prove anything on your first week back. Go easy on yourself.
- Have confidence. This was one of the biggest hurdles I found. I was extremely confident in my job pre-baby! A year of maternity and I was a nervous wreck!! Just remember , you are the same person, you aren’t going to set the world on fire in your first week.. But you haven’t lost all your qualifications and skills just because you have had a baby. You did this well before and you can do it again. Don’t panic, take a deep breath and don’t try and run before you can walk.
- Finally .. and I learnt this the hard way – Don’t try on your pre baby work suits the night before….. They probably /most likely won’t fit and this won’t do that low confidence issue much good. Pre baby I had some seriously stunning fitted Hobbs suits ( size 8)… Im an 10 now and those suits weren’t even close to zipping up and never will be again. Every single one went to charity.. Post-baby my whole shape had changed, not just my size. This is totally normal, don’t beat yourself up about it. Expect to need new suits/ clothes. If you can ( and I appreciate at the end of mat leave its tight) try and buy yourself a few new pieces to wear .. It will also do wonders for your confidence on your first day back.
The lovely team at Boden ( You guys know how obsessed I am ) have helped aid my first week back to work, and im so thankful. I’ll be strutting in that office door on Thursday ! Wish me luck!
Navy Hampshire Trousers here
Melissa Ruffle Neck Top here
Renne shoulder bag here
Kaia dress here