A new mother returns to work

new mother

My maternity leave has come to an end. I am returning to work after one and a half years of absence. After having spent a whole year with my son building a new reality together.

I return to work after a year of personal exploration of who I am now, how I feel, why I feel this way and what life I intend to live. 

This has been a period where I witnessed my body transforming, my psychology fluctuating and my mentality changing. 

Twelve months of daily observations of a new human growing while altering my life as I knew it. Twelve months of striving to build a new reality that supports and accommodates both the baby’s and mom’s needs. 

One year of learning to love someone from scratch, despite a brittle emotional state and sense of disorientation. The kind of love that can only grow more throughout life and never diminish.

A year where you constantly build new routines, respond to novel needs and step out of your comfort zone. 

This incredible year has been full of unique experiences, magical moments, quality time and fun days. It has also been a year of frustration, internal screaming, sleepless nights, exhaust, full days and patience testing. This is parenthood, isn’t it?

Need for space

I am a big advocate of personal space and me time, even for a mother, even in a family. My job provides me with a space where I can be an enthusiastic teacher, a colleague, a professional and a learner. I can be all the above and spend time away from my child while remaining a loving mother.

Regardless of the incomparable, indescribable and immense love I nurture for my son, I need time away from him. He needs time away from me. It is healthy and sane for both of us.

Working environment and colleagues

I am excited to return to work as I am fortunate enough to work in an environment with lovely colleagues with whom I have fun, laugh a lot, and enjoy interacting. 

My job provides me with plenty of opportunities to learn, grow professionally, offer and contribute. 

Although some days at work are more demanding and challenging than others, I find peace of mind knowing that I return to a good team and environment. 

Smooth transition

In addition, my return to work part-time makes the transition from a staying-at-home mom to being back in the classroom smoother. 

A part-time schedule offers me the perfect opportunity to gradually learn to combine parenthood with my other attributes and skills without feeling overwhelmed.

Sources of fulfilment 

I regard my return to work neither as “betraying” my son nor neglecting my other passions. 

On the contrary, I am excited to return to a job I love and appreciate while acknowledging that I am more than my day job. My job is one of many sources of satisfaction in my life.

I enjoy my work because it’s not the sole thing in my life that fulfils me. Therefore, I do not have high expectations from it to make me utterly happy. I feel ready to be let down by it occasionally.

Instead, I take immense pleasure in spending quality time with my son, husband and dog. 

I also find it extremely rewarding writing this blog, reading books, exercising and maintaining my self-care routine. Socialising with good friends, seeing my family, and travelling is yet another great source of fulfilment and contentment in my life.

This condition helps me reduce the stress stemming from over-focusing on one thing, so I can truly enjoy doing this job, even in trying times.

I have been striving to create different sources of happiness, fulfilment and satisfaction in my life instead of putting all the weight on a sole one. This strategy helps me keep my expectations low and my standards high while allowing me to savour each task I undertake.

Planning enhances enjoyment

My wall and online calendar show me what my day, week and month look like. They depict my daily and weekly routines, where every task has its place and time.

Planning prepares me psychologically for my day. I find comfort in knowing what awaits ahead. This helps me focus on one thing at a time without feeling overwhelmed and lost among countless tasks. 

As a matter of fact, well-thought scheduling helps me enjoy the particular activity I engage with each time, be it work, blogging, exercising, meeting friends or household chores. 

I return to work after one and a half years of training myself intensively to live an intentional life. A life with purpose. A life without remorse and guilts for being simultaneously a mother and woman with needs and wants. 

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