Work 1. noun. activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a result.
2. verb. be engaged in physical or mental activity in order to achieve a result.
As I wash and dry the dishes and try to tidy up a little, there are a few extra things I am preparing before going upstairs to bed. It is the night before I return to work. This phrase “return to work” sounds misleading because for the past 13 months even though I am not in a corporate environment or in an office, I have been working my butt off with a different type of reward – love.
With the date slowly creeping up on me over the past few weeks I have been feeling nervous, sad, excited, guilty and anxious. Motherhood, including all the sleeplessness nights and crying it brings, has been one of the most wonderful and fulfilling experiences and leaving Baby D makes feel sad that I’ll miss out on the little things he’ll learn while I’m not there. I’ll miss morning and afternoon cuddles, and seeing him wake up with a huge grin on his face. I’ll miss messy breakfast time and getting annoyed that there’s food all over the floor and in my hair. I’ll miss the excited expression he has when we go for a walk to see the ducks and how he eats the bread but pretends he’s throwing it to feed them. I’ll miss watching him during his daytime naps wondering what he’s dreaming about.
Having said all that, I also feel extremely blessed. I have a loving family helping to take care of Baby D and a job share arrangement which means I won’t be away from him for a whole week. I have a lot of friends who have returned to work - some full time, some part time and some work full time at home bringing up our future prime ministers, doctors, artists, athletes and entrepreneurs! Everyone’s situation is different and we try to do what is best and what we can for our families and somehow I have seen it all work out in the end. The first few weeks or months may be a little tricky but I guess that’s just the transition phase.
Here are some tips I thought I’d try out as I transition into back in to work:
1) Wherever I am, I will be all there – be present in whatever I am doing
2) Don’t be afraid to ask for help
3) Remember the reason I am returning to work – my motivation, my goals
4) Have a plan but also be flexible
5) Be realistic – is there such a thing as perfect work/life balance? We’ll soon find out.
6) Drink lots of water and breathe
7) Everything is going to ok
How did you transition back into the workforce after mat leave? Leave your tips in the comments below.
It seemed like just yesterday we found out we were going to be a family of three! It seemed just like yesterday that I was waddling around with a big, round belly.
It seemed like just yesterday we met our beautiful little baby – half me and half hubby. Taking him home and getting to know him over the past year has been the best gift we could have ever received.