Originally published in Ruby Magazine, Spring 2015 edition.
Before I went back to work I wrote for Ruby about all the many emotions and thoughts I had about starting again.
I’ve been on maternity leave for three and a half months now. Well a bit over 4 if you include the weeks prior to Evies birth I was off before the enormous wait to finally have my very overdue bub! I had no real plans about heading back to work, but somehow I find myself right now in the position where I am going back to work next week, before my official paid maternity leave from the government is even over.
The job is amazing – It’s everything I’ve been working towards. With no Uni background I’ve always been very much of the opinion that it’s not the be all and end all, and you can absolutely crush it in life without it. There are obvious exceptions like Doctors, Lawyers and the positions where it’s impossible without long, arduous study. But for something like my new position as a Marketing Coordinator, I think life experience, ambition and hard work can get you through.
But now I am leaving my baby, who’s not even four months old yet and I lay wake at night having almost panic attacks and wanting to go and wake her so I can sniff her little head and cuddle her little chubby neck and watch her huge smile from ear to ear every time she sees me. Of course there are pros and cons about going back to work, and there are people who don’t have the choice but to go back – On my partners wage we would ‘get by’, but money would be tight and there would be no saving. No fun, no life, and certainly no holidays back to his mother country of England!
So here I am, on the verge of going back and barely anyone knows. I am a social media queen (hence my new job), and everything from Evies regular vomits, my naughty adorable hoard of pets and my boyfriends beautiful bearded face goes onto Instagram and Facebook. But not a whisper of my new job has been mentioned. I don’t know if its because I fear judgement? No one from my mothers group has gone back to work yet as much as I am going to be (3 full days a week). I don’t know if it’s because if I put it out there it becomes real? Given that I start in six days time, there isn’t hiding it much anymore and I suppose I’ll have to bite the bullet and announce it. Not because everything needs to be online (ok, but I do enjoy the good ol’ social media overshare), but maybe because once I’ve done it it’ll become more real and I’ll get more excited. Or nervous.
Going back to work would never happen without my Mum and sister. I would never want Evie in childcare, especially at this age, and it just wouldn’t be financially feasible either. So yesterday I took my sister to my mothers group, made her drive my mummy wagon, make a bottle one handed and change a formula poo – And she nailed it! Of course she did, she’s my go to lady for Evie care, but it doesn’t make it any easier to walk out that front door on Monday and leave her. She’s too young to care or notice, I know.
So, I’m certainly not the first mum to go back to work with a small baby and most definitely the last. I didn’t expect to be going back this early, but with the fantastic career opportunity I guess I’ll just appreciate the 4 days off at home that I do have with her! And also the lunchtime FaceTimes, photos on my desk, phone, locket around my neck and the snippet of hair I’ll keep in my wallet. Ok i’m definitely kidding about that last part.