The highs & lows of returning to work after maternity leave

Just over 4 months ago I embarked on my next journey into motherhood….the return to work. After being lucky enough to have 12 months maternity leave and squeezing every last bit from my holiday entitlement, my time was up and the reality of going back to work was real. 

With questions whirling….Do I remember what to do anymore? What if people don’t give me the time to remember? What have I missed? Will my son continue to cry at every nursery drop off? My anxiety levels were high to say the least. 

For the past 12 months (the best, hardest and quickest might I add) I had spent everyday caring for my son, watching him grow and develop into this small human, so heading back into work was a daunting prospect. Having a year away from work for anyone is a challenge but I was returning with a whole new perspective, a different routine, and new priorities.  

My role was the same so surely I could just pick up from where I left off, right? But a lot can happen in 12 months, especially in our industry, new clients, new projects, new team members, new office in my case! It was like starting a new job, but with higher expectations and pressure.  

Top this all off with lack of sleep, baby brain (just ask Behrooz on how many password resets I have needed) and my ‘no working late’ hours (no one needs that extra late nursery pick up fee) it all adds up to a juggling act that leaves you feeling like you have left the circus behind. 

But why write about it 4 months into my return? The truth is I don’t think I had the brain space for it until now and having firmly settled back into my ‘not so new role’ I wanted to share it, get it off my chest, use this for therapy (all of the above). 

So what have I learnt..don’t have a baby? Too late for that. Don’t go back to work? I’m not sure that I could cope with that.  But it’s about perspective, getting the right balance not just for you but your family. I worked hard to define my career but also to become a parent, and why can’t you be good at both and be able to flourish as a working parent. 

Tall has made the transition an easy one. With a supportive team around me, the ability to use my KIT (keeping in touch) days and flexible working hours has helped me settle into my new reality. It’s not easy, some days I feel like I am bossing it, others not so much. But, it feels good to be back, doing what I love…Now I just have a few more hats to wear each day.