10 Positive Effects of Returning to Work after Maternity Leave

To help you deal with the inevitable Mammy Guilt!

To help you deal with the inevitable Mammy Guilt!
Are you heading back to work soon after having a baby? Did that maternity leave just fly by and do you feel that they are not ready to be away from you yet? Are you in a quandary of emotions, tearful one minute, frozen in fear the next? Have you even doubted your ability to do the job, convinced that you can no longer balance a book, use a touch screen till or conjugate a verb?
It is normal. You may not believe me, but there -it is.
I have been back to work after two maternity leaves in two years. I will admit I experienced different emotions each time, so I cannot tell you how you will feel exactly (no one can do that!), but I think I can safely outline the BENEFITS of getting those work heels out again once more.
I hope they ease the fear a little. 
  • Coffee Breaks. Unlike home, you are officially entitled to hot drink breaks in your workplace! You are allowed have the drink, finish it and have a snack without having to wipe a colleague’s nose, hold the cup sky-high to avoid burning an infant and you might even get to enjoy it while it is hot. Holy Grail!!
  • Peaceful Toilet Trips. Going back to work should mean that you can pee alone and in peace. You can take as long as you need. You might even close your eyes for a minute! No one should be standing outside demanding that you let them in or that may indeed be a lawsuit! Just don’t nod off completely and fall off the toilet. (Remember Ally Mc Beal had those weird unisex toilets, but not all work places are that ‘modern’ (insane!) yet. I really am not into the idea of unisex toilets!)
  • Self-Esteem. It is amazing how a little job satisfaction can make you feel so much better about yourself. You might be one of those lucky Mothers who feel like they are doing a super job at home and don’t need outside employment satisfaction. I salute you! Unfortunately, I am not one of these Mams. I feel like I do a satisfactory job at home, I definitely try my best, but somedays I feel like a massive failure. Home life with baby is tough and there is no report, appraisal or graph result to show your progress. I know a happy, healthy smiling child is the best reward but I hope you know what I mean. A short term nod to show that you are good at something. If you are like me, teething or colic or indeed 'silent' reflux all go to make you feel like the worst Mammy in the world. It is nice to know when you are doing good. I like working and knowing I have done a good job. It makes me a better me. It might work for you too.
  • Clothing. I am the sort of person who wears sweats and hoodies all day at home. Piling on the pounds doesn’t help, and all the wobbly bits are under jersey wrap. I find that having to look smart casual or even formal means that I take more pride in myself and I like that. I must put on the make-up and don’t just leave it off. This is a good thing. Dressing well definitely means feeling better. You can look forward to co-ordination and colour.
  • Routine. I was so worried about messing up the babies’ routines by leaving. In fact, you get a more consistency in your routine and it helps all manner of things. I like knowing where I am meant to be and what could happen. A teeny bit of predictability suits some people.
  • The Welcome Home Smiles. Nothing I say will assuage the guilt that back to work brings. I was in a daze after baby one. I can just say that they will be fine with whoever is minding them, even if you think they can’t live without you! I cried the first time I picked up my little girl (when I got to the car) because her clothes all smelled like another house. Howl!! I now know the truth. It is so good for them to spend time with others. Every time you pick them up is gorgeous. You never came home to such delight before. The different smell I now associate with my knowledge that she is safe with her minder.
  • Grown Up Talk. Peppa and Iggle Piggle being your only conversationalists can be dreadfully one sided! Talking to adults, even if you don’t even like them or disagree with them, is good for you. Discussing the news. The latest viral clip online. Who said what last in the staff room to who and why? I have noticed that all the parents of young children I work with, male and female, really cherish our breaks, lots of belly laughs, teasing and extra cups of tea. In fact, the grown up talk is probably more childish than with the children, but it is so important to engage in it.
  • Getting Your Priories in Order. Don’t know about you, but when I am at home, I eat chocolate Hobnobs at nine am, like I am entitled to and this is normal. Little snacks occur all day long. There is never a full sit down meal, just lots of bits on the go and what do you know, calories ingested whilst walking do count. Going to work means you might have to eat the prepared healthy lunch. You can only eat so many treats in front of colleagues without feeling like a savage. You might just get your eating priorities in order! Unless you are someone who is good at that already, hats off to you. I am not. I need the limitations of lunch breaks.
  • Love of the Job. I know this will not relate to a lot of people. We are lucky to have employment that is in a field we have a passion for. My husband literally works in fields he has passion for!! If there is something about your job that you love, you will find yourself falling in love with it again. I love most of my own job and have found that passion is back and reinvigorated.
  • Weekends. That Friday feeling returns! The week is suddenly ‘a thing’ and you can look forwards to and plan lovely events! Get your Crunchie out.
I know there are so many scary elements about the return to work. I just really want to help show the benefits. Many of us need to return to work so we have to face it. If you choose to be at home, I applaud that too.
Either way, look at this as how to be positive about any time we have to spend away from our precious little ones.
Good luck to all! You are doing great Mammies! 
Writen by Orla, who is in her thirties (much to her disbelief), married to a handsome farmer and they have two beautiful little girls. She blogs at www.fancypaperblog.wordpress.comwhere you can visit to read her other musings!

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