9 months ago, today, I was wrapping up my office work to start off a new journey of becoming a mum second time round. Excitement for the new arrival and looking forward to both, quality and quantity time I could spend with the family when I would be home full time.
These nine months of my maternity leave have flown by quicker than I had thought. It has not just been an emotional ride but a transformation too. I did all I could – travel, play with my kids, be out and about, spend most of my time with close friends and family.
Well as they say “Time Flies” … it sure did, and I am just 10 days away from returning back to work. I thought it would be easy second time round as I was experienced but to be honest I still have the same feelings and mixed emotions of excitement, worry, guilt and anxiety.
It is so easy to get used to a comfortable routine of being at home with your family and returning to work means coming out of this comfort zone- early mornings, drop-offs and pick-ups and no afternoon naps ;).
I am a great supporter to sending kids to nurseries because of the exposure they get and their all-round development (from the experience with my older one) but still this feeling of guilt arises when I see my 8-month-old cry when I drop him off to the nursery.
Change is constant in any organisation and going back to work after 9 months also makes me anxious of how things will be when I return and if I will be able to fit in again.
It is a personal choice whether to and when to return to work after having a baby. Motherhood is tough, and I respect all stay at home mums but the same time, I am not the kind of person who can stay at home and I love my job so returning to work made perfect sense for me. Amidst all the above emotions there is also excitement to go back to work, to be in the company of adults, to put my brain to work and to work through my career goals.
Getting hold of my emotions and planning well is key for me as I look forward to returning to work in 10 days.
It seems that I am better planned this time than I was when I returned to work after my first one 😉
- Childcare- This was the first thing on my mind. I made sure that the nursery was booked in advance and we had some settling in time before I return to work. Luckily, my elder one went to the same nursery, so I knew all the staff and was familiar with the setting and it certainly helped with the confidence I have in the nursery. Also, I started the nursery two weeks in advance, so I was around in case he needed me while he was still getting used to the new people and the new setting.
- Getting used to my ‘New’ Routine- These ten days will give me some time to practice my new routine of early morning drop offs and evening pick-ups of not just one but two kids before I return to work.
- Settling into work and the new routine takes time so adding some flexibility (if you can) helps too. I opted for working from home once a week for the first few months to help me settle into the new routine.
- You can be anxious about returning to work and all the changes that may have happened at your workplace whole you were away. I stayed in touch with my work whenever it was convenient and also attended some team events. ‘Keep in Touch’ days are an excellent tool to stay in touch with work and your colleagues and helps in having a smooth transition back into your work schedule.
- Settling things at home- Over these few days, I will utilise the time to get my office wardrobe ready and to make some plans re- meals and stock the house with essentials that I may need over the week.
‘Smile’ & ‘Confidence’ is what I plan to wear when I return to work 🙂 so, I am currently working on gaining control of my emotions and getting ready for the new challenge.