Confidence.

It takes a real beating from the second that test shows positive doesn’t it? What if I’m not a good mom? Will I be able to handle labor?…. the list of “what if”s and “will I”s are endless.

Your parents raised you to believe in yourself. Your teachers sung your praises and abilities in school. Your friends tell you you’re strong. Your partner tells you you’re beautiful. Your boss has rewarded you with promotions and raises over the years….. and yet for many of us,  all that confidence and self-belief seems to crumble once a baby enters the picture, particularly when it comes to returning to work.

Is time out going to hurt my career?

Will I be able to do my job when I go back?

Will my boss view me in the same way?

Will I cope?

Marie Hunter, a working North County mom of two (3 and 5) and friend of Babies in Bloom, shares her experience.

CASE STUDY: A Working Moms Thoughts

“It’s immediately hard because you are at a phase in your life where you just don’t recognize yourself right now. You are desperately seeking something familiar but can’t find it anywhere. NOTHING that has happened in your life is now comparable to this moment, so sometimes it’s good to hear from other Moms who have been through it and come out the other side.

I learned that the worst thing you can do is try and prove you are exactly the same person you were before the baby. I did and it was exhausting. Not to mention completely unsuccessful.  Because you are not exactly the same person. And never will be again. That’s not a bad thing – it’s a NEW thing. Embrace the change, don’t fight it like I first did. You WILL find your new rhythm, I promise you.

I remember my first few weeks back at the office after my first. Not only was I experiencing separation anxiety, I felt completely out of the loop, was sleep deprived and still a victim of baby brain (ohhhh, the fog struggle is real, even months…WAIT, years on). It was an overwhelming cocktail – I can’t even imagine the added pressure for those moms milk pumping at work. I’ve so much respect for those ladies.

The first few days I cried. At my desk. In the bathroom. And that’s ok. It’s normal. Let it out. I was lucky, I had good people around me, and speaking from someone who has done this twice now, I can assure you, this doesn’t last.

Sure, you might be a little rusty here and there. Don’t beat yourself up about it. There are plenty of people that feel rusty and forget their work email password after a week’s vacation, let alone what you’ve been through over the past few months. Give yourself permission to gently transition back into the role – and simply start with enjoying the adult conversations, the uninterrupted lunches and the piping hot coffees.”

Her three top tips to any mom returning to the workplace after a baby would be:

  1. It’s a new you right? So, get some new clothes. Walk into the office feeling good about yourself. It might sound shallow but it was an important part of my mind set. After months of yoga paints, it really helped me get back into professional mode.
  2. Start your child in their day-care a few days, even weeks earlier, if you can. This will get you used to being away from your baby during the day. It can be a hard adjustment at first, so try and stagger the emotional punches – don’t try and make everything happen in one day. First get baby and you settled into a new routine, then tackle the job.
  3. Start saying NO at work. Don’t feel like you have anything to prove when you go back or you will take on more than you can handle. You have drop offs and pickups to make now, you have tea time, bath time, story time AND bedtime to deal with when you get home. You don’t want to be taking additional work home with you if you can help it. I did for a long time and I felt like I was always rushing my evening time with the kids so I could get back to work. You will hate yourself for it. Focus on better task prioritization and better still, delegation, instead of trying to do it all – this is also a sure way to impress your boss!

Thanks for sharing, Marie!

At Babies in Bloom, we know that moms make fantastic workers because they ARE moms, not in spite of being a mom. For starters, we are already used to calmly dealing with lots of crap (literally, ha ha!). We’re multi-tasking queens. And we are so respectful of timeframes that we’re super productive, because we all want is to leave on time and get home for those snuggles.

To any Mom out there planning her return to work, good luck! We believe in you – the glorious new you!