It’s OK to not be OK when you return to Work after Maternity Leave

I wrote a post about how my maternity leave will be coming to an end soon. I am sad. It’s been a lovely year and the bubble is about to burst.

For some going back to work after maternity leave is a relief, a break and it is well received. This post may not be for you but for me it wasn’t like that.

I know I wasn’t OK when I went back to work after the gremlin. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I thought I was. I wanted to be but I wasn’t.

I went back guns blazing, determined to be strong and “OK”. I wanted it to be like I was never away. I wanted to seem tough and not like I was missing the gremlin. I don’t really know what I was trying to prove to be honest. I don’t like to fail. I don’t like to look weak. Who does?

The gremlin went to nursery without too much trouble. She was a little upset when we picked her up but I didn’t have that tug; hearing from hubby that she had sobbed when he left or had to be prised out of his arms. That bit was OK.

I went off to work and the first 2 weeks were fine. I think there’s always that novelty of being back. Adult company. No kids. It feels good.

Then the insomnia hit me like a bolt. It was horrible and lasted a good 6-8 weeks. I was a wreck. The gremlin was sleeping so we had no issues there. Surviving on less than 4 hours sleep a night was torture. I knew I was anxious at night. I was hot, racing heart rate, a crazily busy mind and I felt sick. I cried a lot; at home, even at work. I felt I could barely speak to my acting manager at the time first time we met up, my chest was so tight. I could barely blog, exercise or scrapbook; all the things that made me happy.

I sorted myself out. Meditating, relaxing and finally settling into our new routine. I got there. It just took a bit of time.

Why I seemed to think it wasn’t OK to struggle, I don’t know.

Going back is such a big change for the whole family, for you especially. Confidence is knocked and it takes time to get back into the swing of things. Then there is the guilt. I didn’t want to admit, yes I did feel guilty for leaving the gremlin 3 days a week. I didn’t want to be one of those soppy Mums that could have probably quit their job for a while to have their children, as they missed them. I felt awful for thinking that of other Mothers too.

Second time around I’m going in with a completely different mindset. I’m not going in trying to be perfect and have it all. I’m not putting that pressure on myself. I can’t do it all and it doesn’t matter if I don’t feel like myself; maybe a little lost as I find the working Mum balance again.

It’s OK to not be OK for little while.

It’s OK to feel like you have lost the plot and can’t remember what to do at work.

It’s OK to need to build your confidence back up.

It’s OK to feel guilty and miss your child, it it totally normal.

It’s OK to miss being at home, being lazy and being in your maternity bubble.

Time passes, your new routine emerges and all will be OK.

The main thing is you let yourself feel what you want to feel, don’t beat yourself up for not feeling the best. It gets better. Normality does resume and you will get there.

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1 Comment

  1. September 1, 2017 / 7:51 pm

    It’s absolutely ok to be not be ok. I totally get you, even sometimes now I wish I had been able to extend my mat leave just that bit longer 🙁 Big hugs lovely. x
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