Back to work after maternity leave: How am I supposed to feel?
To all the working moms out there a great round of applause. Obviously for being mothers (the toughest and more demanding job in the world!), secondly for being courageous by going back to work. Probably some of you went back by necessity; others might have done it for pure will. Independently of the reasons or time away, going back to work after becoming a mom presents its own challenges.
During this particular time at home with our babies, we are living in our own bubble. A life surely full of routines, though utterly different from the ones we had at work. Life outside maternity walls goes on without showing any sign of slowing down or waiting for us to catch-up. And honestly, we have our hands full anyway.
On that first day back at the office, it is as these two worlds collide and suddenly you see yourself right in the middle of it, unsure of what comes next. You might feel like floating in the beginning trying to make sense of everything and everyone around you. Your body and your mind trying to grasp this new reality, while you do all your efforts to fit it again. “What did I miss?”, “What changed in my absence?”, “How will I quickly get back on track?”, “To whom do I need to prove myself?”. Just a fragment of what could be that train of thoughts of yours.
It may take some time to readjust; you might even question yourself if going back were the right decision – to work in general or to that distinct job or role. What really matters is staying true to yourself, listen to your thoughts, to what your body and mind are telling you. Most likely, it means accepting your new Self. Acknowledging that the person who left has grown in different ways and has led to the person you are today. Your new Self needs space to readapt to the change of scenery and see how it fits into your renewed identity. Whatever happens next is up to you!