Updated: Jul 8, 2021
Let's talk about work baby!
After one year of maternity leave I am back to work. I will never forget the date i started.. 06/07/2021
I had this date in mind for a long time and yet i still managed to get the shock of my life when the date came.
Call it blissful ignorance, but it wasn't until 7pm the night before (River's bedtime) that i realised my families life would change forever.
Returning to work after maternity leave comes with many feelings including worry, anxiety and excitement; AKA a cocktail of emotions.
I am going to write about my experience and hopefully make whoever reads this in the same position realise that all thoughts and feeling are valid. There is also no one way of feeling, remember that!
Let's take it back to before i left for the glamourised maternity leave.
I had a baby growing in my tummy, i was glowing and I was excited to not have 140 emails and calls awaiting me before 10am.
However, being the super independent woman i was, i was also excited by the idea of cooking all natural baked snacks before i left my 10 month year old with the nursery, rushing to a full day of meetings but got home in time for bath time. LOL.
Pregnancy was a glorious time, it felt like time off work but with the bonus of preparing my body, mind and house for the arrival of my daughter.
The 9th of August, my daughter came into this world along with the realisation that nothing else would come before her. My ideals of being the highest paid business woman that writes meaningful scripts and gets business awards on the side included.
I am sure the parents who read this will relate that i very soon realised that maternity was not a break or holiday or anything else people assume and feel it is, other than hard.fucking.work.
So, why am i debating being a S.A.H.M?
I love being a mum. I love being there to witness every-single-moment of my little girls life. I love being there when she figures out the pencil or the spoon is the other way round. I love being there when she stands up one her own the first time. I love being there when she shouts mama, dada and Ghost (which is all day long). I love being there when she makes the 'mmmmm' sound when she eats. I love watching her nap of a day when the street seems so quiet. I love strolling through the woods knowing I may only see one other person there. I love being there when she bumps her head and realises she is strong enough to rub it better and cope when it happens again. I love being there when she plays with her hair whilst eating her biscuit. I love being there when she holds her sippy cup for the first time. I love the freedom of taking her to explore new things on a whim. I love watching her face light up when i give in to the afternoon cuddle in bed. I love knowing every night I will be there for bath time, story time and bed time. I love it all.
This is not to say those who work don't love those things too, but i came from a family that were pretty fast paced and full of worries and troubles that those little things weren't celebrated or noted. I want to be there.
So i sound pretty certain, right?
Well, I was until i went for a coffee in town alone with my sister.
That surge of adrenaline to go to the toilet alone was on parr with the adrenaline i used to feel when walking into a cream classics event.
It was that independence back!
I was able to go for a pee when i want. I had my card, vaseline and face mask in my bag and THAT WAS IT!
Something so simple made me debate my decision. My decision to stay at home with my daughter and continue the 1on1 learning i tried to implement from the beginning. The research i done on the benefits of not putting your baby into nursery until 2. The plans to be able to jump up and take River to a class followed by a coffee for myself.
Why? why why why did i debate this? I was so happy and excited for this time in my life.
This leads me back to the night before i went back to work and I had one thought..
Am i going to love work so much i forget how much i desperately wanted to stay at home with my daughter for longer than expected?
I was so scared.
How do i tell my partner 'hey, i know we had these plans but I actually want to work 5 days a week now, jump to London for meetings and have our cocktail bar tours in every city on the shortest of notice, that cool? OH, and we will have to pay £400 for nursery bills a week :)'
First day back and I am fulfilling that fantasy of being a working mum. I wake up, I cook mine and Rivers breakfast downing my coffee like it is a Pornstar Martini (which would have been appreciated to calm the back to work nerved), I run a bubble bath for River after getting her bag of spare clothes, bottles, food and nappies ready. I jump a shower. I get River ready and then pop a little make up on myself. My first day was a zoom call, you gotta look cute!
River gets picked up by her nanny and gramps and i sit myself at my desk.
Woah - that is a bad bitch feeling.
10 minutes into my first day i am on the phone to IT for one hour.
A comment is passed that i took a 'year long holiday' so I should be ready to go. No dissing this person as before I had a baby, I would have thought that too.
I never got a back to work call and my first day back was a 6 hour call, followed by 10-6 days.
I overheard another member of the team being spoke to in a tone that I would not accept River being spoke to by her 1st year teacher or a fellow baby in the ball pit.
My entire role had changed. I went from being the sole executive of one site, a site i loved and cared about, a site i ran social medias for and built relationships with the guests and businesses around our area.
I came back to being what I can only describe as a receptionist for 800 sites. A change i was not made aware of. I figured this out during my first few hours back.
On my lunch i was stressed, sad and defeated.
It was at this moment i realised what I needed and wanted to do.
I went back to the moment River was born and i really did realise what was important..
My daughter, my life with my daughter and making sure my daughter sees the happiest and most present version of myself.
What is next?
That is my goal.
Google's description of a stay at home mum is "As a stay at home mom, you'll be home to send your children to school and ready with after-school snacks the moment they walk through the door. Because you're not burnt out from a day in the office, you'll have more time and energy to help them with their schoolwork."
I assure you, it's much more than this.
I will be leaving a 9-5 for a.. well a 24 hour job with no guaranteed breaks, no benefits, no bonuses and no pay.
I weighed up the importance of my independence, the extra money and my ego being stroked at every meeting and presentation i killed.
I decided on realising I have actually found a bigger independence, a bigger reason to be alive and an opportunity to watch my daughter grow and be a part of her mental growth.
I will be seeing out my last few weeks/months needed at my current role, and I can then kick start my new full FULL time role of my new job.
Debating what to do?
All i can say is weigh it all up.
Don't leave a single part out.
You will know what is best for you, your baby and your family.
Do NOT let anyone shame you about going back to work, staying at home or doing a bit of both.
I have found what I believe, truly, what I am on this planet for.
I love my mama title, i love doing my blog and vlogging, and I love deciding what I want to do and not letting what society believes I should do get in my way of deciding.
I am sure being a S.A.H.M will bring a LOT of content, so keep subscribing and dropping your stories, questions and comments.
Speak very soon.
You can call me, Mama x