I recently spoke to New Mum Fun, Joanne Allen, about her imminent return to work and how she was feeling about leaving her little one. Joanne was kind enough to document her feelings journal style for us. I hope you enjoy her honest and open account of returning to work. Given I only have three days left now till I return this definitely resonated with me.
How did you feel? Comment below or DM me to let me know your experience.
11th July 2018
It is now less than a week before my maternity leave ends, where has the past year gone?! So much has changed since I left work yet it still feels like only a few weeks ago that I signed out for the last time excited for the adventure ahead! I thought a year was going to feel like such a long time to be off and everyone kept assuring me once the year was up I would be eager to get back to work, but I can honestly say I am devastated at the thought! While there are days I am ready to tear my hair out at home with a cranky, teething baby there is no where I would rather be. I have loved watching my son grow and develop, he seems to learn something new every day and it has been amazing to be there to witness each new milestone he reaches.
The idea of missing something big like his first steps while I’m at work terrifies me!
I work as a community pharmacist and while I enjoy my job it has always just been a means to pay the bills for me. My ambition in life was always to create my own little family and now that I have realised that dream I don’t have much enthusiasm to go back to my day job!
16th July 2018
The dreaded day has arrived. There is no need to set an alarm clock in our house as my son seems to think half five is a perfectly reasonable hour to get up every day! As I get ready for work I give myself a pep talk….I have been very lucky to have had a full year off to spend with my baby, while I know others that have only managed a few months maternity leave. Also my mum offered to do the childminding in my house everyday which makes life a lot easier as I can just head out to work without worrying about getting a baby organised and out too, this is a definite bonus as I’m not a morning person! Despite my list of positives I still feel a bit weepy when it is time to leave. My son obviously doesn’t understand that mummy has to go to work and looks a bit bewildered as I kiss him goodbye and drive off, he knows this isn’t normal procedure!
Later that day
It’s only as I was driving to work it hit me that I was so worried about leaving my son that it barely crossed my mind to worry about starting work again and the possibility that I might have forgotten everything after a year of baby talk! This thought managed to distract me the rest of the drive and by the time I got to work Mum had sent a message to say my son had already gone down for his morning nap so clearly he wasn’t pining for me anyway!
The rest of the morning flew in and by lunchtime it felt like I had never been away! I checked in with Mum again and all seemed to be going smoothly at home, so that was a relief, although slightly insulting that no one seemed to be missing me! Unfortunately the rest of the day didn’t go so fast, a half five start in the morning doesn’t really lend itself to a nine hour day on your feet! It was great to see six o’clock and to get home for some cuddles and play time before starting the bedtime routine and getting organised for the next day for the madness to start all over again!
27th July 2018
I’ve survived two weeks back at work, it must be nearly time for a holiday! In all honesty it has been a lot easier than I anticipated, it didn’t take me long to get back into the swing of things at work and having family help out with childcare has been a massive help! If giving the choice I would still prefer to be a stay at home Mum, but I can see the benefits of going back to work. I definitely appreciate the time I have with my son more, even when he is tired and cross it doesn’t faze me, whereas when I was at home 24/7 and he was having a bad day I would begin to feel my patience wear thin by bedtime! It is also good for him to get used to spending time with others and not being totally dependent on me.
I’m not going to lie juggling work, looking after a baby and trying to keep on top of housework is exhausting! It doesn’t help that my son’s sleep habits still leave a lot to be desired and apparently daytime naps are frowned upon in the work place!
If anyone is reading this and worrying about going back to work my advice to you is don’t stress about it, you are doing the right thing and the thought of it is definitely worse than reality!
Read more from Joanne here on her blog: www.newmumfun.com