So I’ve done 4 weeks back in work and so far, so good!!
I blogged about how I felt before going back to work, and it’s gone pretty much as I’d hoped it to…. I settled back in fine albeit being a bit dazed for the first few days. I’m enjoying work. Baby W is doing great at the childminders and if I’m honest I don’t miss him when I’m work as I don’t give myself a chance to…. I do get excited when I’m on my way to pick him up though!
When I was at home with him alone all day, he’d tend to get grouchy by mid-afternoon but then as soon as daddy walked in he’d be happy and all smiles…. well now, I get that treatment when I pick him up from the childminders! 🙂
It’s been a new level of tiring being back at work. On a good day, we’re up at 6, we all leave the house at 7 (daddy drops him off), I work from 7.30-4, pick him up at 4.30 then it’s play, food, play… then at 6 we (daddy usually does this bit) start bath, bottle, bed.
The hardest thing has probably been getting into such a strict regime. It’s a bit groundhog day… I see the same people in the car park when I park up, the same people arrive at the office when I do etc etc. I definitely took for granted the freedom I had on maternity leave – being able to do anything we wanted and go wherever we fancied every day!
The other hard part has also been that I notice less of his gradual developments – I notice his new tricks so much more now that I’m not with him every day. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but I can imagine it will get harder to leave him the more fun stuff he does!
I also think it will get harder as time goes on – novelty will wear off, and I go up to 4 days in March which I think will be a shock to the system! Luckily I carry over lots of leave which I need to start using up!
Some tips I’ve learned from going back to work:
- Using my ‘keeping in touch’ days really helped – it didn’t feel like such a shock to the system going back!
- Ditto ‘settling in sessions’ with the childminder – building up from an hour to a full day in the months leading up to my return really helped me and baby W!
- I know not everyone has this option – but if you can, choose the hours that suit you. By doing an early shift, I miss the worst of the traffic and I get to spend a couple of hours with baby W before he goes to bed (and nearly an hour first thing in the morning!)
- Be strong, think positive and get on with it! Around the 6 month mark I started having the wobbles about going back to work but through chatting to other working mums I realised I needed to ‘man up’ and just get on with it! It would be easy to dwell on being away from baby but I think it could drive you crazy if you let it!
- Be realistic. I recently blogged about the skills you pick up on maternity leave – one of them being ‘multitasking’ – but none of us working mums are superwoman! I’m now stricter than ever with my hours – and in doing so it means I can’t attend every meeting or get involved in everything I’d like to. I can’t waste time on too much chit-chat or long lunches. It’s not a bad thing – I think I’m now at my most efficient!
I hope this is useful, I’d love you to share if it is! If you’ve already made the return to work, how did your experience compare with mine? I’d love to hear from you! Thanks x