It was January 2021 and I’d been off work on maternity leave since before the pandemic.
Returning to work was something I wanted to do, since I loved my job and the team I worked with, but due to lockdown I hadn’t had much time away from my son (my first child), he hadn’t been looked after by anyone outside the family and settling in at nursery hadn’t gone well.
The lead up to my return was an anxious time. We agreed we wouldn’t put our son in the nursery he was due to attend, I returned to work 3 days a week, 1 from home and 2 in the hospital, however the team and I couldn’t agree on a plan that made myself and my family feel comfortable, so sadly after a short time I resigned.
I worried about how my son would respond to me being gone for the entire day all of a sudden, that he might think I had left him. I worried that I wouldn’t get back in time to see my son before bedtime.
One of my biggest challenges was that my line manager left during my maternity leave and I had developed anxiety during maternity leave, which would have been a challenge enough in itself but adding a new manager to the mix was another unanticipated challenge.
Potentially a more gentle approach to settling in at nursery, we were allowed to stay once for 20 mins and then had to leave, it felt a bit much since we hadn’t left him with new people before. More support relating to managing anxiety of becoming a new Mum, lockdown, and the transition back to work.
Prepare, but also be prepared for things to be or feel different to what you anticipate. If you’re really set on an idea ie. returning to your job because it’s your passion, then absolutely do it, make it happen, but plan, review and adjust the plan and plan some more. Always do what feels good for you and your family.
Thank you so much Lyns!