What Is It Really Like To Go Back To Work After Maternity Leave?
As you may know, if you read my blog regularly, I am a first-time mom who has been on maternity leave for the past year.
Lucky for me, I live in an amazing country which allows for moms or dads to go on parental leave for up to two years.
Different variables and conditions apply when making your choice. We decided on the one-year maternity leave option.
Therefore I am heading back to work in about three and a half weeks. YIKES!
I have never been a working mom so this is all very new to me. As you also may know, I suffer from anxiety. I am already becoming extremely anxious when I think about returning to work and the guilt I will feel when leaving my little one.
Lots of mixed emotions.
It feels like finally, I am getting the hang of mommyhood, yet about to leave it all behind to head back to work.
Not worried about having to get up early – had enough practice over the year.
Neither am I worried about whether he will be safe and happy. We have that covered.
Dressing up in nice clothes and heels? – hardly imaginable but not wearing jogging pants or smelling like baby milk would be a nice change.
The feeling of leaving my little precious boy whom I have been with every single moment of every day since he entered this world is heart-wrenching. I am hoping that these feelings will subside as I ease back into work mode.
I wonder how other mothers do when returning to work after only a month or two. A friend of mine who lives in North Carolina went back to work after 8 weeks. Unimaginable for me.
Questions, Questions, Questions
Is it easier when you have been at home for a short amount of time? Or is it a better option to ease into work after maternity leave when you know your child is walking, talking, and has a good feeding routine going?
Will the guilt fade after a while, or do you end up managing it better? I feel I will be missing out on so much. These questions have been buzzing through my head all day long for the past week.
Hopefully, his independent and adaptable nature will help smooth the transition.
Yes, this may sound contradictory to everything I have just said.
Again – lots of mixed emotions. My thoughts and feelings are here, there, everywhere! However, my return to work after maternity leave brings me to a new job at the same place of work. So I will be learning and doing different things, but luckily I won’t have to go through the process of getting to know new colleagues, learning names, and figuring out where things are.
Excitement because I am returning to work, in a new role that will offer plenty of opportunities to learn about an area of the institution I had not previously worked with or in.
Challenges are fantastic as they keep me motivated to do better and be better. Somewhere inside me, I crave the sense of self-worth I get from working. The thrill of solving work-related problems, getting the job done.
Not being classified as “just a mom” but as a well-rounded person.
I hope not to be judged for wanting to go to back to work when I don’t have to. Loving my job doesn’t make me less of a mom right?
Don’t get me wrong – I would give up anything and everything for my son – so are these feelings right or wrong?
One thing I am happy about is that I return to work mid-week my first week back. It will be a one-half day and two full days of work as opposed to a full week. Less of a shock for me.
The separation will be harder for me than for him. I can only hope I am not an absolute wreck.
I will need to do a follow-up on this post to let you know how it all worked out as I am sure it will.
Here is a quote I came across which I love:
Please Help Me Out…
I am usually here to share experiences, give advice and suggestions to you but this time I need you to help me.
This blog is a work in progress, and so am I. This is one of those rare posts that is more about me than you.
What did you do to ease back into work after maternity leave? Did you find it very difficult or easier than what you originally thought?
Are you on maternity leave now? trying to make the decision on returning to work or being a stay-at-home mom? If any of you stay-at-home dads are reading this – please chime in!
Go ahead and pin this post for later.
Share with me your experiences, advice, tips and suggestions in the comments section below. I would love to hear your ideas. I need them.