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It seems like forever since my last blog post. I have been wondering what to write about but have come up with something that I think is quite timely.

I returned to work this week after a year of leave following the birth of our son in Dec 14. It was meant to be the previous week, but surprise surprise, he was unwell from having his orientation at his childcare facility. So of course, on the evening before my first day back at work I was busily emailing my new boss who I had met only once before, to apply for Carer’s leave. Top impression to make on my not-even-first-day-back… It turns out that my boss was on leave until this week and my application was approved in her absence, but we had the chance to have a good chat this week. It brought up a lot of stuff for me, and I think it is a great time to talk about what employers, colleagues, friends and family members could expect when a SAHM and soon to be working Mum returns to work after having a baby, whether she's a breastfeeding Mum, or bottle feeding or even mixed feeding Mum. Now this could apply to whether you’re returning to full time work with a 6 week old, or whether your little one is off to Kinder for the first time and it’s the first chance you’ve had to/or wanted to work since their birth. So here we go.

Things you could expect from a Mother when returning to work following the birth of a child:

  1. She may be teary for no apparent reason
  2. She may be exhilarated that she has some of her old identity back
  3. She may have to run to the bathroom every five minutes because things might not work as they did before
  4. She could sit and drink 5 coffees and not let it bother her one little bit
  5. She might not be able to work on her first day because her child is sick from being at care
  6. She might want to work really long hours because it is the first time in a long time that she has felt human again
  7. She might sit at her desk saying nothing at all, just enjoying the peacefulness she has in her head, without the constant requests for food
  8. She might stand at the registers silently, worrying every microsecond whether her child has settled easily for their sleep without a breastfeed from their Mum
  9. She might have an angry outburst because of the overwhelming guilt she feels for leaving her baby
  10. She might talk about her child all day long because it is the first time they have been apart for more than two hours in the child’s life
  11. She might not talk about them at all, because it is nice to have a conversation that doesn’t involve milk, biscuits or watermelon
  12. She might ask you whether you want your sandwich cut into big triangles or small triangles
  13. She might be wondering whether someone else will see her child take her first steps
  14. She might be thrilled at the opportunities he will have by being exposed to others
  15. She may eat far more than you’ve seen a woman eat before, because for the first time in a long time, she can have the whole muffin to herself
  16. She might draft some excellent briefs for the boss because she’s passionate about her job and is excited to sink her teeth into something
  17. She may write some gobbledygook because she’s been up half the night with a teething baby
  18. She might get offended when you ask why she chose to come back to work and why her child is in care
  19. She might tell you it’s none of your business why she’s at work at not at home
  20. She might feel guilty for putting in Carer’s leave on the first day back at work
  21. She may think about leaving her career because her priorities have changed
  22. She may think that returning to work has provided her with the break she needed to be able to give her all to her kids when they’re together
  23. She might appear to be listening, when she’s really not because of the sheer exhaustion she’s been dealing with
  24. She might be taking in every word you say, craving to learn again

The transition back to work for every Mum is different, whether it is six weeks or six years after her baby is born. My advice for those around them is to expect the unexpected. She may experience all of this in one day, or not at all. She might be absolutely fine, or she might be yearning to hold her little one in her arms for that little while longer before all of a sudden, they grow up and have moved out of home xx

January 26, 2016 by Kelly Walter

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