Wednesday 18 May 2016

5 THINGS: That have been easier since returning to work

Returning to work for anyone who has been on either maternity or shared parental leave can be a really daunting step. I've documented a lot on here about how worried I was about returning to work and therefore having to leave Isabella. I've now been back at work for over a month and it has honestly not been anywhere near as bad as I had built it up to be in my head. I'd worked myself up, spent so many nights laying awake worrying and not listening to other parents telling me it's not as bad in reality. So I thought I'd share five things that have been much easier than I thought they would be since returning to work, in the hope it will help anyone who is currently struggling with the thought of returning to work.

1) Leaving Isabella at nursery - I had created this horrible scene in my head of Isabella screaming as I leave her at nursery and me driving away with tears rolling down my face. When we handed in Isabella's nursery registration forms I cried, but after that I didn't cry again. During the settling in sessions I watched Isabella enjoy playing with all the exciting new toys at nursery, begin to interact with other babies and enjoy the tasty food served up to her. Don't get me wrong, she does sometimes cry when we leave her at nursery and even when I pick her up there can be tears. It's not all been plain sailing with smiles and cuddles. But on the whole she has been enjoying nursery and I'm assured the tears stop within minutes. As someone who has worked in nurseries I know that most of the time children stop crying very quickly after their parent has left the room. They know how to work our emotions! 
2) How quickly we established a new routine - Returning back to work has meant we've needed to change up our daily and weekly routine in a big way. I only work three days a week, but that is 100% more than I've worked since having Isabella, so change was inevitable. I was nervous about how we'd establish this new routine, how we'd all adapt to a busier family life and reduced time together at home. I'm pleased to say that a new routine has been established and perfected within days, you just have to don't you? It's like anything with parenting, flexibility is key. My husband works from home some days and in London others, so that does mean we don't have the same routine every single day. He always drops Isabella off at nursery, I always pick her up and then either we'll both put her to bed or I'll do it by myself. Our morning routine even allows for us both to have a hot cup of tea before work! It's all about being organised, prepared and planning ahead. 

3) Treasuring my days off more than I imagined I would - I hoped that working three days a week would mean I'd treasure my days off with Isabella more than when I spent every single day with her and I wasn't wrong. Those days off are so precious, so I always want to make the most of them. Whether it be meeting friends, trips to the farm/park/soft play, lots of playing at home and then enjoying home cooked meals together as a family. If you're returning to work full time your weekends will be those extra special days for bonding, creating memories and lots of fun! 

4) Focusing on the positives about Isabella going to nursery and my return to work - When faced with a potentially difficult life change, like returning to work, it can be easy to focus on the negatives of the situation. After spending weeks concentrating on all of the negatives about my return to work I decided I needed to snap out of it. I had to return to work, Isabella had to go to nursery...there was no point thinking negatively about it. There are so many positives - the social interaction Isabella gets at nursery, all of the experiences she'll get at nursery that I simply can't provide her at home, I get some adult conversation and something else to talk about other than Isabella, I get to challenge my brain, enjoy a hot cup of tea and picking Isabella up at the end of the day turns a bad day at work right around. No day can end on a bad note when we spend the evening with Isabella.

5) Loving my job again! - I loved my job before going on maternity leave, though it did become quite difficult being heavily pregnant. It was so lovely returning to work and falling back in love with it all over again. My job is very rewarding, fast paced and the days fly by, which helps when I'm missing Isabella. 

If you returned to work after maternity leave was it easier than you thought it would be?

Feel free to leave a comment :)

Helen x


  1. This was so lovely to read the positives about returning to work and how nursery has worked and can actually enhance your time together when you aren't working. This will be a great comfort for many parents who are returning to work :-) #bloggerclubuk

  2. I did find returning to work easier than I thought. I dreaded it initially but it's been a good thing. Forgot how nice it is to get the brain ticking and be with collegues etc. Altho I love being with my daughter, it's been s positive step. She also loves being with her nanna ;)

  3. This was lovely to read. There may be redundancies at Steve's work soon so the various options are on my mind - sometimes I think it would be nice to return to work part-time; sometimes I really don't want to; I suspect there are pros and cons, whatever choice a family makes. I'm glad it's mostly working out for you.

  4. My mummy found returning to work not as daunting as she made it up to believe in her head. Sometimes is best just to throw yourself back into a new routine and see what happens. It sounds like you've been pleasantly surprised :) #BloggerClubUK

  5. Such a lovely post! I can totally relate! Although I have just given up working for good, and sometimes feel I would love to go back, if just part time! I love the fact that you looked so positively at it and that you enjoy your work! #bloggerclubuk

  6. I really enjoyed how much more I appreciated the time I had with my son when I went back to work. It meant my energy was so much more concentrated and I think we both enjoy each others time more #brilliantblogposts

  7. For someone who never intended to go back to work, but is now considering it, this is great to read. A lot of your reservations about returning to work mirror my own, and to read that things were not as bad as you imagined is very reassuring.
    Great post :)

    #BloggerClub UK

  8. Yay! I'm so glad going back to work has been such a positive experience for you & Isabella! It's really wonderful she is enjoying nursery & that you are loving work again. Thanks so much for linking up with #bloggerclubuk x

  9. I'm glad it's working out well and not been as bad as you thought. I think if you have a job you enjoy, it is nice to be able to keep that as well as having some time with your children. Glad Isabella is enjoying nursery. #BloggerClubUK

  10. I'm very lucky as I work from home so kept Little B with me in the early days and now he goes to nursery in the mornings. It's challenging working when he's with me but we're making it work! #thelist

  11. I'm very lucky as I work from home so kept Little B with me in the early days and now he goes to nursery in the mornings. It's challenging working when he's with me but we're making it work! #thelist

  12. Aw it is fabulous to read a post full of positives in this situation. I am so glad it has worked out for you. Thanks for linking up to #TheList x


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