Returning to work after maternity leave

Parenting / 19 November, 2018 / Clemmie Telford

28 Thoughts You’ve Had About Work Since Having a Baby

I recently returned to work,  as a creative in an ad agency, after taking 10 months maternity leave for my second son. I’m fortunate enough to love what I do, but balancing it with being a Mamma is tricky. Even more so with two kids. It’s been about two months and after more-than-a-few fraught moments, I’d say I’m ‘just about’  back in the swing of it.

  1. Wow. That day when you walk out the office to go on Mat Leave – it’s great isn’t it? Though you have more of a ‘waddle in your step’ than a ‘skip’
  2. The joy of the first Sunday of Mat Leave = no Sunday Fear.
  3. 4 days into Mat Leave. You start to schedule naps into your daily routine.
  4. 14 days into Mat Leave. Still no freakin baby. And if one more person says ‘eat pineapple’ or ‘enjoy the sleep’ you might scream
  5. Then the newbaby blur.
  6. 9 weeks post having bubba. A little voice whispers: ‘maybe work is the easier option after all?’
  7. 12 weeks after. Take baby into the office. Error. An awkward collision of worlds; baby starts crying and you run for the hills.
  8. 5-6 months postpartum – flirt with other ideas of alternative careers/become a full time mum.
  9. 8-9 months. Mat Leave bites. You are skint. It dawns on you that the reason you went to work was for the money!
  10. The Countdown of Doom. Even though you have 6 weeks of Mat Leave left you talk and act like it’s no time at all.  6 weeks! 6 weeks was the length of the entire school holidays and that was AGES.
  11. Last week of mat leave. You mourn everything. Last time on the swing. Last coffee. Last ‘ignoring the baby while you try and do an ocado order’.
  12. Then suddenly you are back.
  13. That once horrendous commute feels like a luxury. Just you, on your own, with nothing to do but ‘sit’ for half an hour – it’s the stuff dreams.
  14. Then into the office; turns out the people you work with are actually ok. And being able to have a cup of tea uninterrupted immense.
  15. Although your life has changed A LOT, you somehow find yourself in a meeting talking about exactly the same thing as before you left.
  16. Is it bad you don’t actually miss your kid any where near as much as you thought?!
  17. Soon it’s Home Time. The clothes that you put on that morning are still clean. First time that has happened in about 10 months.
  18. The Parent Scurry. That half-run you do to try and get back from the station to your little one a bit quicker.
  19. After a few weeks, and the occasional pang of ‘I can’t actually believe Mat Leave is over’ you start thinking this working lark is ok you know?!
  20. You and your other half actually have something to talk about over dinner. Which is nice.
  21. But don’t get too comfortable; you are destined for The Illness. Baby gets ill. Then you get ill. Then Baby gets ill again. And all hell breaks loose.
  22. Don’t panic this is a bump not a detour. You WILL get back on track
  23. Your first full pay-check – woo hoo! (for about 2 secs, until the reality of how much needs to go on childcare hits …).
  24. Now you are doing ‘The Juggle’. It’s tough and emotional being a Working Mum.
  25. Approximately once a week I feel as if I am doing both jobs badly.
  26. Take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. There are 1000’s of ladies out there wrestling Sunday Night Fear & Maternal Guilt.
  27. And remember why you are doing it: To be a role-model?  to enable your kids to have nice things? To get out of the house. All good reasons.
  28. PLUS, nothing is forever, if it ain’t working then don’t be afraid to say. But at the same point,  I have to constantly remind myself not to be too reactive. There’s no rush Mamma, things will work themselves out in the end…. one day.. I blooming hope so anyway!


By Clemmie Telford

Clemmie Telford can be found on ‘far too much’ social media, including:
Instagram: @peckham_mamma
Twitter: @peckham_mamma

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