When I finished for maternity leave back in February 2016 (wow – that sounds a long time ago, doesn’t it?!), I was ready for a break. Baby Q wasn’t due until 15th March but I was so stressed at work dealing with the aftermath of Storm Desmond that I hadn’t prepared anything for our impending arrival. After an episode of midnight sobbing on my husbands shoulder, we agreed that we could manage with an extra few weeks with no pay during my leave period and I should finish earlier than originally planned. I always intended to return to work in January 2017 – and now the time is here.
Today, I’m returning to work after maternity leave. There’s a lot going through my head and I’m feeling a number of different things… Apprehensive, anxious, guilty and almost excited – I know, messed up, right?! I’ve always worked in one way or another, and taking any amount of extended leave has felt pretty weird. During my first maternity leave after O’s birth, I didn’t know how to spend my time and so ended up drifting off into a world of loneliness and postnatal depression – which actually led to this blog being started. During my maternity leave after Q’s birth, I’ve had this blog and some freelance work to carry on with – so I’ve had a lovely time working a little from home whilst enjoying my new baby and growing family.
Over the last couple of months, Q has been gradually settling in at the same nursery that O attended. It’s not far away from my office and we still know most of the staff since O’s nursery days. I thought I’d be upset about leaving Q for a few hours, but in all honesty I’m not. I do feel a bit of mum guilt now it’s becoming a very regular thing – three full days a week is pretty intense compared to half a day, twice a week that it has been. I’m telling myself he’ll be fine and I’m sure he’ll get up to all sorts of mischief whilst he’s there.
I’m feeling anxious about my return as things have changed quite a lot at work over the last 10 months. Managers have been swapped about and changed, we’re in a brand new office (with no radio – sob!) and I’m returning for the last three months of the financial year – which could be a good or bad thing, I’m not quite sure! I’m also hoping to maintain breastfeeding whilst working – but that’s a whole other post.
However, I am looking forward to a hot cup of tea and some normal conversation with my colleagues! Please think of me during this first week whilst I’m trying to remember my passwords, find my way around a new office and settle back in to the role I played pre-Q… I’ll make sure I post my first hot brew on Instagram – just for you!
How did you feel returning to work after maternity leave?