Returning to work after having a baby is often the last thing on most mothers minds! Growing a little human is hard. Birthing a little human is hard. Learning to live with your new little human is hard. However leaving your little human with someone else while you head into the office without them can be miserable.
I have returned to work not once but twice now. I stupidly thought it would be easier the second time around as I knew what to expect. Funnily enough, it wasn’t any easier. There is a sense of dread that comes with returning to work. However once you are back in the swing of things, it’s easy to see that returning to work after maternity leave is not all doom and gloom.
Upsides to going back to work
There are actually plenty of upsides to returning to work that include:
- The return of adult conversations, finally someone that can gossip about the last night’s episode of the bachelor.
- Distraction, no time to worry about the piles of laundry when you need to get that mock design sent to marketing in the next half an hour.
- The added income can help with the bills and also help you rationalise buying the 10th matching onesie and headband for your daughter.
- Separation makes the heart grow fonder. It’s much easier to change that third poop explosion at 2am if you haven’t spent all day changing them.
- You have a reason to shave your legs and complete other self-care rituals. When raising babies, we can sometimes put ourselves last. Self-care rituals can fall to the wayside, which isn’t good for your mental health.
- A bit of ‘Me time’ which can help in reclaiming your old self. It’s easy to lose a part of who you once were before you have children, but slipping back into that work role can rekindle that spark.
Tips for returning to work
There is never a good time to return to work let’s face it, the longer we leave it, the harder it can be. Here are a few tips for returning to work when you would much rather stay home:
- Have a sound support system, ask for help from friends and family.
- Be organised early, have childminding set up long before you return to work, so you are not sitting at your desk worrying about how they are coping.
- Take a few days before to treat yourself before returning to work, take some time to relax, get a massage, a Mani and Pedi or get your hair done.
- Buy yourself some new fancy work clothes that make you feel like a badass.
- Speak to your employer about flexible working arrangements, these days autonomy is critical. Many workplaces are offering more flexible working hours and locations, try and use this to your advantage.
- Give yourself a time frame, set a goal of six months. If you arrive at the end of that time frame and are not coping with being away from your children then perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate but at least give it a go.
- Find a support group, speak to your local mums and bubs group. Jump on Facebook, find mothers in the same situation and lean on them for support. Listen to their words of wisdom.
Have an open mind, returning to work after having a baby is not going to feel the same as it did before having children, but it is often a necessity and is not the end of the world. Inspire your children to work hard for what they want in life by merely leading by example.