Going back to work after Maternity Leave

Weeks prior to my first day back at work I felt that anxious pang in my belly every time I thought about it. How can I leave my baby in the hands of anyone else? How will they know her routine that I have spent nine months putting in to place? Will they be able to soothe her when she needs it? 

All those thoughts and many more plagued my mind constantly. I know my baby inside out; therefore I know her real cry compared to her moan, I know when she needs cuddles as opposed to when she wants to be left free to play with her toys. I know when she’s tired and needs to go down for a nap. Will anyone else be able to do this, like I can?

I had the comfort in knowing that on the three days I spent at work; Heidi would be with her Aunty, Nana & Grandma. I didn’t have the additional anxiety of leaving her at a nursery with a room of people she did not know. (I do recognise the benefits of nursery for babies and getting them used to being with new people – I am just not ready for that yet.)

The weeks drew in and before I knew it, it was the day before my first day back. It was a Thursday and I made no plans for that day. I wanted Heidi & Mummy time, on our own. My intentions were to spend the whole day cuddling her, but she had other ideas. We lay on the floor, playing with her toys. We walked down to the local park for a ride on the swings, she managed to look amused for two whole minutes (she’s never been fussed by the swings!) We also spent some time just watching baby TV which I am bemused to say is her favourite thing to do!!

Before I knew it, she was tucked up in bed. I was frantically trying to plan the following day in my head. I had a notepad that I wrote down every step of her routine, even how to make the milk from the perfect prep machine. (We checked ours and thankfully – no mould!) I wrote down the times she was due her mid morning and mid afternoon snack. I wrote down how to cut up her sandwich including removal of the crusts, how small to chop up her babybel and how to NEVER give her grapes.

I wrote down exact time periods that she was due her morning and afternoon naps and the exact routine of how she likes to go to sleep in her cot {bunny comforter under her left arm, Ewan’s back right leg pressed, mobile on, and dummy in… }

I had no intentions of anything not going to plan, as long as everything was documented and written to a perfect schedule, how could it?

My mum laughed at me when I gave her the list, she told me she would use it but I knew deep down she knew Heidi’s routine as well as I did. It was more for my own piece of mind. I liked knowing that the information was there if necessary.

I got Heidi dressed and had her in her pram ready for my mum to walk her and my nephew to school. I had given her a massive squidge goodbye but I could feel myself welling up. Watching them walk down the road away from me was really tough. I wiped away my tears behind my front door. All I could think was that Heidi would be upset with me for leaving her.

When I was at work my mum sent me photos of Heidi, laughing and grinning throughout the day which massively put my mind at ease. It was lovely being able to see her while I was working and made me able to focus on my job a lot better.

I must admit, it was nice sitting at my desk, with a warm brew, having adult conversation. It was nice to know that I could switch off from being responsible, for that period while I was working, but also reassuring knowing that she was in very capable hands.

I have put together my top three tips that I have picked up on my first week back at work, which has helped make the transition a much smoother one:

  1. Outfits – plan the clothes for the following day the night before. Have them laid out ready so that you are not rushing about in the morning trying to peice outfits together for you and your baby. Also pack the spare pair of clothes in the changing bag just in case of any mishaps.
  2. Food – I found that cooking more than enough dinner for Ross and I meant that I could tub some up for the following day that Heidi could have for dinner. This way, when I don’t get home until 5pm, all I have to do is heat it up to give to her. There’s nothing worse than wracking your brains trying to think of something to cook them at 5pm. And that is the last thing you want to do after a full day at work. 
  3. Routine – Make a list of things that are included in your babies routine to give to whoever is looking after them. They may not look at it, but you will feel reassured knowing that the information is there if needed.

I have only been back for one week, but I can truthfully say that although it was hard leaving her, I am fully enjoying being back in my role at Age UK. I like having new responsibilities. But, the best part of all is seeing my little ray of sunshines beaming smile when I walk through the door of an evening. You just can’t beat it. 

 I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog post, please feel free to add any useful tips on going back to work after maternity leave.

Love Charleigh 



2 thoughts on “Going back to work after Maternity Leave

  1. I really enjoy reading your blog. Having been back at work for 2 weeks myself, I can totally empathise. The smile you get walking in the front door makes everything ok again. I sleep easy knowing that I’m working to provide a financially comfortable future for my two gorgeous children. Working mummies all need a high 5 and a well done at the end of every week!

    Liked by 1 person

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