Everyone has some sort of advice to give about returning to work after maternity leave, so here’s mine: be good to yourself. This is tough.
I felt like this time around I was good to go. After all, three babies in 3 1/2 years. I should be a pro saying goodbye to maternity leave by now. Yet, a few days before I had to head back the anxiety rushed in.
I cried, because guess what- it’s hard leaving your babies. It’s hard waking up when the house is still quiet and it’s hard feeling uncomfortable in your own body while trying to squeeze into old clothes (and then having to go on tv of all places).
My next seemingly impossible feat is putting words together and making myself look presentable for TV.
Don’t even get me started on the logistics of coordinating pumping at work in those first weeks. My husband is a pro now after many years he has learned that if I might be on my way home- ask before getting the bottle ready. We are not wasting mama’s liquid gold!
And yet when I’m off for the day, nothing has changed. It’s back to changing diapers, preparing meals and running after the kids while trying to juggle a breastfeeding baby.
Being a mother is no doubt a full-time job in and of itself.
I have it better than most... in some ways. I’m off of work shortly after my kids have eaten breakfast,
I absolutely love that I get the whole day with them and don’t even have to think of daycare.
However, and a big however, it doesn’t come without sacrifice. Because of my 2 A.M. wake-up call and nursing a baby through my sleeping hours, I am often exhausted by three in the afternoon. My patience has worn thin and I have a lot of “deep breath” moments throughout my day.
An earlier bedtime means the hubby and I are once again ships passing in the night. I miss spending time together each night after we had tucked the kids in.
I cried the night before my first day back to work, the morning of, and when I got home. I missed my “crew”.
But I love my job and being in the studio with my friends and co-workers. Plus, it makes me value my time at home more and yet gives me the break I need. And yes, I feel a little guilty for saying that, but #truth.
Making the transition from having a baby to going back to work is difficult on all fronts: mental, emotional, physical and logistical.
Be good to yourself. This is tough.