Oh my gosh! Time has flown so quickly! I started my maternity leave when I was about 38 weeks pregnant. Today (Tues) I’m getting ready for my return to work. At the moment, I’m lying on the couch writing the intro to this post. Yesterday I had my last ever, afternoon nap! As naps during office hours will be frowned upon, I’ve had to give myself a period of adjustment. Just so we are clear…I’m not trying to get out of my job! I just liked the title lol 🤣
Thoughts and feelings on going back to work
I’m not going to lie, I’m feeling a bit anxious and rather nervous about going back. I know my last post was about changing my mindset, but being off for so long did knock me a bit. I did a couple of keep in touch days (KIT days) in November. They were really useful, wish I did a few more though. I just have this horrible feeling that I’ve forgotten how to do my job🙈.
I work in publishing and my job is quite detail orientated. A simple mistake can have massive impact. Being out of the loop for so long is a bit scary for me. My approach to my first day is to basically take my time. I can only do what i can do at the end of the day.
I’m not even back at work and I’m thinking about progression and how I’m already behind. I’m so thankful for my son. I know what I went through before he was conceived. Unfortunately, I feel that when you take a full year off for maternity, you are a few steps behind career wise. This can vary from profession to profession I know. Being out of the office, you are out of sight out of mind. You literally have to hit the ground running so those around you, remember your capabilities and what you can really do. All of this to be considered for opportunities!
The one thing that is putting my mind at ease, is the fact I’m not going back to work full time straight away. Let’s see what tomorrow holds…
Entering the concrete jungle
I had the worst night sleep because I was so anxious. When I finally fell asleep, my little person thought it would be cool to wake up and cry throughout most of the night! Thing is, he has been sleeping through the night for a while now. Last night, that wasn’t the case. Maybe he caught on to my back to work vibe!
Armed with plenty of water and paracetamol (knew I would have a tired headache at some point), I made my way to the tube station. I was dreading the tube journey but it wasn’t too bad! Finally reached my destination. It was time…to walk to the office. I went in and greeted everyone, then it was business as usual. Well kind of! I worked myself into a right worry🙈. It’s understandable though right? My life has revolved around raising my son, looking after the home and CBeebies! The only time I sniffed a computer is when I was blogging. I haven’t used Adobe products in over a year! If you don’t use it, you lose it 😉
First things first…email. I kid you not, I had over 22,000 emails in my inbox. I made a decision to keep everything from November 2018 onwards. Everything else got deleted! It took ages. I had a back to work meeting with my manager and the rest of the team. I must say my mind was put to rest when they said I could take my time with easing myself back into things. It also helps that im returning when the department is not super busy.
It was a blessing in disguise, but a lot of my IT stuff hasn’t been sorted. As a result, I couldn’t do too much. Its probably just as well! Come afternoon, the headache came and wouldn’t shift. If my first day was anything to go by, I don’t think I have anything to worry about!
Tomorrow is the true test, nursery run on the way to work!
Home, nursery,work bushtucker trial
This was smooth and a group effort. Shout out to my daughter who got the baby ready while I sorted myself out. The nursery is conveniently located on the way to the station. Hezzy is really enjoying nursery. When he was settling last week, he didn’t even cry. Nursery has been a Godsend this week. Hezzy has all of his meals at nursery, so he just has something light when he gets home. We hang out and play for an hour before daddy gets him ready for bed.
I really had nothing to worry about! As I said, it’s understandable if you are a bit anxious. Once I started doing things, things started to make sense again. Each day is an opportunity for progress.
Trousseau’s Top Tips…back to work after maternity
- Use your keep in touch days (KIT days), use them. I used 2 of mine and that was also extra money in the bank when I went to zero pay. They are a great way to touch base with your colleagues and re-familiarise yourself with your role. They can be used any time before you return from maternity.
- Settling period at nursery is something you should definitely take advantage of, if at all possible. I believe all nurseries offer this but I’m not 100% sure. Ask your potential nursery choices if this is something they offer. We were not charged for the settling period either. Hezzy settled over 3 days, each day was longer than the other. On the first day, he was there for an hour and we stayed with him. For the next 2 days, I dropped him off and picked him up when it was time.
- Take your time! Everyone understands that you have been off for a while. They are going to be patient with you. Make sure you take all the time you need to adjust. Don’t try to do too much too soon and burn yourself out!
This post was a bit longer than I wanted it to be, but I had lots to say! If you returned to work after maternity or a long period of time, how did you feel? Let me know in the comments.
Until next time,