I've noticed the new faces. Babies on trial days in baby M's nursery room. I've seen you too. The mummies of the new babies. I've seen your moist eyes and strained faces, fighting back tears as you leave your little love for their first hours with the strangers that will care for the most precious thing in your life. I've seen the conflict and guilt written on your brows, as you leave your whole world in a room with young women you've never even had a conversation with. I've seen you, really seen you and I know exactly how you feel because I felt it too. And I still feel it. Just not with the same intensity.
It seems that mummies returning to work go along with school terms, and that as we're coming to Easter a whole new group of women will end their maternity leave and face the world of work as completely new people. For the nurseries that will care for their children, it's just part of their cycle, the process of their vocation, but I wanted to say to those mummies, that I see you, and I know how you feel.
I'm not going to lie, those first days are pretty horrific. Your beautiful baby will be in your every thought, but those days will come and go quickly. More quickly than you imagine they can at the moment. I remember the build up to that first day. Weeks, no, months of thinking about it and dreading it. The first day, when it comes, will feel apocalyptic, all your focus on getting to the end of it. Getting home to your little one. But then, at the end of that long awaited day, the sinking feeling, when you realise you have to do it again and again, will feel too much to bear. But you will do it. You're strong, you will get through it. And you'll be ok
That first week will be a revelation. You will know that you are a completely different person to the pregnant woman that left all those months earlier, but people won't notice. It will feel like everything should be different; you are, after all. But it won't be. Things will be so familiar, you will find yourself slotting back in, and slowly your baby will be your every second thought, then every third thought, until you're functioning as you were before (with a crazy new level of efficiency that only multi-tasking mamas have!). You will settle into this new normal with more ease than you can imagine at the moment.
The days will come and they will go, some days will be tough. When baby is ill, when your friends that are still on maternity meet up without you, you will feel a sense of loss, but most days will just come and go. Your beautiful little one will greet you at the end of each day with excitement and wet kisses and your weekends will become sacrosanct quality time for building your family and making memories. You will find your new normal, the same way all the working mummies before you have.
I understand that these words won't make it any easier, and knowing that all those women that went before you managed it, will somehow make it seem harder. But know you're not alone. All us working mummies see you and know how you feel. We promise to help and support you until your new normal is just normal. And when that time comes, you will be the one supporting other mummies returning to work.
Be strong. You got this. Mummy's back at work.
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