I've been back at work for almost 2 months now and I remember that first morning drive in like it was yesterday. I didn't feel sad I had left my baby, he was with my mum and I knew he was well looked after. But I still cried, I cried because I was going back to work, because my maternity leave was over and my bubble was broken.
I had started becoming more and more anxious about going back to work two months before. I didn't do any KIT days, firstly because I had no childcare to do them, and secondly, I just didn't feel like it.
Don't get me wrong, I love my job, I wouldn't give up the career I have made for love nor money. Yet this dread washed over me. I work as a nurse and things are always changing in the workplace, policies change, routines change, and staff change. Going back after a 13 month break is hard. Getting myself out of the house, dressed and ready is hard on a normal day, but making sure that I'm ready as well as making sure my child has everything ready as well.
So here are my top 4 tips for going to work:
Whether it be getting your bag ready the night before, or making sure you've laid out your clothes, being prepared is always number one! I always make sure I make my lunch, iron my uniform and pack Oliver's bag the night before. I also lay out his clothes so when Stu gets him ready in the morning he looks acceptable (because we all know men never dress them in coordinated items!).
Remember it is good for you
It's good to have that time where you are just you, not mummy. You have a chance to utilise your knowledge and skills, to show yourself you can do it! It's also good to show your child that just because you are a mother you don't have to give up who you were before, what you have worked hard to become!
It's good for your child too
Being left with someone other than you and learning to spend time away from you is always going to be good. If they are with a childminder or in a nursery, they are also learning to socialise with other children, be it older or younger. It's all helping their development.
Don't get worked up
This is one piece of advice I wish I had taken. I got myself so worked up on my first day back, and actually it was fine. Ten times better than I thought it would be. Just take it easy on those first few days back, don't put too much on your plate, don't be afraid to say no and don't be afraid to ask. Nobody is expecting you to be at the top of your game on your first week back!
So there are my top 4 tips for going back to work after maternity leave. Do you have any advice for mums going back?