Back to the office – returning to work after maternity leave.

So, last night I didn’t win the lottery which means after 13 months off work on maternity leave it’s time for me to return to my office job.

As well as the teaching, writing and the other creative bits of work I do, I have a corporate job to pay the bills.

I’m very lucky to get the time off I’ve had but the time has come to return, and its scary as hell.

Firstly, I can’t remember how to do my job….

Seriously, I haven’t thought about it for over a year and pre Jasmine I would fly through the work, train others and answer any technical queries people had. Now the only technical queries I can relate to are the life and times of Peppa Pig.

I’ve been so busy keeping a baby alive that any skills or knowledge I previously had have yet to be remembered, I’m sure they’re festering somewhere in my brain behind the sleep, weaning, nappies, breastfeeding, leaps, teething, colic and other baby stuff.

In fact team members who I previously trained would now be training me.

Anxiety overload.

Whilst I’m lucky to work with the nicest bunch of people, I’m a year behind on the banter, a lot of jokes go over my head and I have the feeling of looking in from the outside, like everyone is talking about a party I didn’t attend.

Oh and to add to the general feeling of panic I’m also worrying about Jasmine, will she be ok? Will she think I’ve abandoned her? Probably not, no.

On the plus side I get to drink tea without panicking where I put it down, get to pee when I need to! I get to have conversations with adults (well, mostly) and get to not worry about Jasmine for a few hours (except all I do is worry!)

I also get to engage my brain and be someone other than Jasmines mummy.

We are lucky as Dave will take over looking after Jasmine when he finishes work and I go to work! Part of me wants to pass her over to him shouting ‘TAG YOU’RE IT!!’ whilst running and skipping with excitement at my new sense of freedom, the other half of me wants to check every two minutes she’s ok….I’m pretty sure that feeling will pass.

I’m completely gutted that my new hours will mean I miss out on her baby groups and swimming lessons, although Daddy will still be taking her, it feels horrible that I won’t see her there, unless I book in some holiday on my first week back….too soon?

Realistically, it is going to be tough, the minor issue that Jasmine still wakes every hour and I’m up 80% of the night with her, then looking after her all morning, working all afternoon, doing the dinner, bath, bedtime routine and writing in the evenings. I’m tired just writing it down, I’ll then be teaching at weekends too.

So if you see someone at your work back after their maternity leave – be kind. It isn’t a year of sitting around in pyjamas watching ‘This Morning’ (although I’d be lying if I said that hasn’t happened at all this year) but for most of the time, it’s a lot more stressful that you could imagine. A huge challenge physically and mentally but I know it’s the right thing for my mind, my bank balance and my family now.

Wish me luck!

12 thoughts on “Back to the office – returning to work after maternity leave.”

  1. Oooh that’s going to be hard on all counts.
    Although you’ll find you’ll soon settle back in and it’ll be like those holidays of old where by the next day it will seem as if you never left for 13 months.
    At least you have the comfort of knowing Jasmine is being looked after by Daddy and not a stranger.
    Good luck xx

  2. It will be scary stepping back into the office for the first time, it is amazing how quickly you get back into the swing of things though. It will feel like you have always been there.

  3. I remember that horrible feeling of dread – I had 6 months off with my first and then returned to office work on Monday’s and Tuesdays. It all came flooding back the moment I walked in and luckily my Mum was able to help look after my daughter. Poor Mum ended up doing that for 10 years and with 3 kids – lol.

  4. Eek good luck! I never went back to work after I had my daughter, I was pregnant 6 months later and then a 12 month gap between my fourth and fifth. It must be so hard, I hope it goes well. xx

  5. I’m sure it will go OK (and all the knowledge will come flooding back) just remember to have a rest/proper break at lunchtime – especially if Jasmine isn’t sleeping in longer spurts. I’m sure you’ll all feel much happier as Daddy is looking after her

  6. Aww, bless your heart. I’m sure she’ll be absolutely fine, but it’s normal to feel like this. I was meant to go back to work after having my second but I just sat on the floor one night and sobbed about how much I missed out on with our first until Nathan suggested I quit and try blogging full-time instead. And, as good as it is, we now have a 5 year old with separation anxiety because he was with mummy 24/7 for over 4 years. It definitely makes me wonder if I made the right decision. Anyway, wishing you the very best of luck with the return to work, and be sure to let us know how it goes 🙂

    Louise x

  7. Oh it must be super hard to get back into it when you’ve been out of it for a while. I bet your fall back into it much easier than you think you will though, like riding a bike!

  8. Awww I can imagine it is such an anxious time for you. I really hope it goes really well and you enjoy being back out at work! I am kind of envious of anyone that has a real job nowadays, it’s been so long since I’ve been in the real world with a real job that I fear I’ll never be able to integrate back into society!

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