If you have read my blog before you'll maybe be aware that I have gone back to work following the end of my maternity leave. I would bet that's a fraught experience for any mother, whether she was dying to get back into the adult world or not, whether she's taken the minimum maternity leave or been a SAHM for years, and whether she returns full time or for just a few hours a week. But I then added the nerves associated with starting an entire new career in a new field in a new organisation. To say I was a little bit anxious is like saying that Nuts magazine is a little bit sexist.
Panic took up every last scrap of space in my mind in the run up to kick off - sorting out a childcare strategy, being able to get out of the house on time, managing to get dinner on the table, preventing our home from becoming derelict from a lack of housework, squeezing in some exercise/couple/me time and finding time to sleep... I couldn't even let myself wallow in my heartbreak at the thought of having to leave my baby, because my mind was so full of the logistics of it all. I was certain I had bitten off more than I could chew and was getting more and more scared.
But thankfully, it hasn't been that bad.
My new job is a vast improvement from my old one, and I'm enjoying it. I am working full time, as needs must, but instead of getting hung up on wishing I could be at home more I have decided to just accept that this is how life is, and unless I win the lottery it ain't gonna be changing!
Making peace with the fact that that this is how it has to be has actually done a lot to ease my transition back into work, and isn't a mindset I only apply to my hours. This got me thinking whether there are any words of advice I could pass on to other mums on the verge of returning to work...or indeed, any mum who has already returned and is feeling a bit overwhelmed. I'm definitely not claiming to be an expert, but these are things that are getting me through:
To Do Lists
|This came up on my FB feed earlier, how relevant!|
Firsts only count if you're there to see them
And at the end of the day, what always gets me through is the thought of coming home to my boys. I may be tired when I turn up to collect the kids, but that all melts away when I see Half Pint grinning at me or Mini Milk power-crawling towards me for a cuddle. Those moments remind me why I'm doing this, and are also my reward.
If anyone else out there has any working mum survival tips, I would love to hear them - drop me a comment and help me keep my head above water in this new stage of my life!