My one year maternity leave is coming to an end and I am headed back to work next week. I am getting anxious and nervous. It’s not because I don’t want to go back. I love my job and I am excited about being able to interact with adults again. I am suffering from separation anxiety and wonder how it’ll affect my relationship with my daughter.
The person I was before I gave birth and the person I am today have two completely different personalities – I have changed. I was very career-focused before heading on maternity leave and said to my boss ‘don’t you worry I’ll be back in just 3 months.’ I had no idea that my journey through motherhood would leave me begging for more time spent with my daughter. I wasn’t very maternal but since giving birth, I have a new-found appreciation for mothers and babies. To say that I’m no longer career driven isn’t quite right, however, I will say that I’m more settled… happy… content.
Unfortunately due to illness, both our parents won’t be able to look after our daughter so Madeleine will be in childcare whilst I’m at work. I would’ve liked for them to look after her for a day but childcare has its perks too (you can read my post about childcare here).
I never thought I’d have such a difficult time heading back to work. The first day I went in for a casual once off shift, I kept pacing back and forth and my husband ended up kicking me out of the house so I wouldn’t be late. I was breastfeeding at the time and my main concern was whether she’d take the bottle. My concern now is whether or not she’ll eat at childcare and if she’ll understand where I’m headed after I drop her off. My biggest fear is her thinking I’ve just left her and won’t come back and whether this leaves lasting scars on her emotions.
I know it’ll get easier with time. A close friend once said to me: “you’ll always feel guilty if you don’t spend every waking minute with them.” On the other hand time spent away from her makes me appreciate the time I do have with her even more.
My emotions are all over the place at the moment. I’m not quite sure how to handle them. It’s new to me and confuses me. For all the working mums out there, how did you cope with heading back to work after maternity leave?