Returning to Work After Maternity Leave…

Returning back to work after nearly 9 months off was one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve had to do. Leaving my first baby was hard enough, but having to say goodbye Monday morning to both my girls was devastating. During my maternity leave, I lost someone very close to me and because of this, I feel like I lost months feeling incredibly down, instead of making the most of my time with Penny & Poppy. I feel like we just got into a routine that was working for us.Penny would come into our room and I scoop her up for morning cuddles. There was no clock watching or dreading the day ahead. We’d go downstairs for breakfast, pop Bing on the telly and then I’d grab a few moments just me and Poppy whilst I gave her her morning bottle. Pops would go down for another couple of hours and Penny and I would do all the messy activities we both love but are a pain to do with a baby constantly needing attention. We’d paint, make playdough, glue and bake. It was literally the best part of my day. We’d get ready and head out for our morning walk. We’d say hello to the cows on the farm behind our house and Penny would jump in puddles and collect stones. We’d then return home for hot chocolate and more Bing. Then I’d give them a bath and they’de hopefully both have an hours nap were I’d run around getting my Mrs Hinch on or blogging. That might sound monotonous to the majority of people but to me it was perfect.I’m surrounded by people who don’t understand (or care) about how hard it is to transition back into work mode and say goodbye to my babies. Emotionally and mentally it’s going to take me a long time to adjust and settle into our new routine. It’s been a week and I’ve only had a few minor breakdowns that I’ve pretty much kept to myself. It’s especially hard because I work in a creche. There’s literally no taking my mind off them or using work as a distraction. Every runny nose I wipe, shoe I tie and giggle I hear reminds me of my girls. I love my job, but it’s hard having to look after someone else’s child when all I want to do is be home with my own. As I’ve mentioned before my husband doesn’t really understand how bad my anxiety can be and how it affects my day to day life, plus none of my friends have children (apart from one but she’s still tiny) so having no one who can relate or offer support can feel lonely at times. It’s up to me to make this process as easy as possible despite how I’m feeling at the moment.

I decided to try and make my mornings as stress-free as possible by getting prepared the night before whilst my girls are asleep. This way I can still spend some time with them both as soon as I get up instead of running around like a headless chicken looking for my work lanyard that the baby’s chewing or moaning that I don’t have any clothes that fit over my post-baby belly. Laying out mine and the girl’s clothes the night before, packing my bag, setting out my makeup and making sure that my shoes are by the door all sound like things your average adult should have down by now, but when you’ve got a two-year-old NOTHING IS EVER WHERE IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE. My toothbrush will be down the toilet, there will be plastic frogs shoved into my pockets and the contents of my purse will have disappeared, guaranteed. Never underestimate how annoying a toddler can be. They are the best… and absolute worst.

The 20-minute walk to work is literally the only time I have to myself. I need two things to start my day off perfectly and get into the right headspace for work, that’s coffee and music. Music has the amazing ability to change my mood. I’ve got my morning playlist down. My husband and I share an Amazon music account so I make sure that none of his soppy singer/songwriter ballads are anywhere to be seen. Instead, I need Rhianna, Post Malone, Little Mix and The Greatest Showman (not ‘A Million Dreams’ as my fragile state cannot handle this yet) blasting in my ears. Also, I need coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. My job is very physically demanding and without coffee, I’m totally useless to both my kids and co-workers. I was actually sent a personalised coffee flask from the lovely team over at Oh So Cherished to help me prepare for my return to work. How thoughtful is that?!The insulated bottle from Corkcircle is engraved in beautiful script and it’s triple insulated so keeps my coffee hot for up to 12 hours! It’s a must-have for any caffeine addicted mum. Plus, I can obviously stick cold drinks in it for when we visit the park at the weekends too. The bottle is stainless steels, has a top big enough to pop in ice cubes, easy-grip sides and a non-slip bottom to prevent little hands from toppling it over. It’s also fab if you’re wanting to cut down on plastic. Oh So Cherished also sent over a beautiful memory box when Poppy was born, it really is such a wonderful online store and there are affordable gifts available for literally every occasion.

As I mentioned, I don’t have any ‘mum’ friends so if you got any tips or advice for returning to work after a long absence drop them below in the comments box…