Sunday, 29 March 2015

What might happen on your first day back at work after maternity leave

Our very own 'last supper' this week

Arlo and I made a trip across the water to Southampton this week for lunch with my brilliant sister and equally brilliant nephew. It was kind of a 'last supper' because next week she goes back to work after maternity leave and we're going to work opposite days which means mid-week meet-ups will be a thing of the past. I don't think she's exactly looking forward to returning to work at the moment, and it's got me thinking about when I went back and left little Arlo for a full day with the childminder for the first time. It felt pretty scary. Scary and unknown. So I've been thinking about what I wish someone had told me when I was in the same boat, 18 months ago. Just so I had half a clue of what it might go like. So here goes:

What might happen on your first day back at work after maternity leave:

You might have a little cry when you drop him off for the first day. And it's totally cool to have a little cry when you drop him off for the first day. And any other day after that too, if you feel like it.

He might feel a little nervous when you drop him off. But there's a whole new world of toys to play with and friends to make that will distract him in no time.

You might have a little stomach lurch when you walk through the office doors and wonder whether you're actually able to function as anything other than a mum these days and whether you've completely forgotten how to do your job.

You might forget some things. Things like; your computer password, how your colleagues like their tea, how to have a conversation with an adult that doesn't focus on sleeping patterns and nappy contents. But lots of things come flooding back really quickly.

You might look round the office and wander what the F you're doing here when you could be at home cuddling on the sofa, reading Dear Zoo for the fiftieth time of the day and loving it as much as you did the first time round.

You might forget where you are for a moment and say something like "silly mummy!" loudly when you accidentally close the file you're working on, instead of something more office appropriate like "oh god what a terrible dick I am" (that might be specific to my office only).

You might find the day goes a lot quicker than you thought it would.

You might remind yourself how shit hot you are at your job and feel quite satisfied at the end of the day.

You might end up enjoying yourself (a little bit). And he might too.

But whatever does happen on your first day back, there are some things I can almost guarantee: 

You will finish the day.

You will see him afterwards and he will give you the best smile you've ever seen.

He will be OK. And you will too.


  1. Yep. I believe that I did ALL of these things! This post will really help someone who needs it. Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo x

    1. Thanks Vic - some of these I still do now, 18 months on! xx

  2. This made me a little teary as I only have a few weeks left before going back to work :( As much as I try to convince myself it'll be fine, and drinking hot tea will get me through it, I'm still panicking that I'll have absolutely no idea how to do anything other than nappy changes and building towers with blocks.
    Love the name Arlo, by the way ... my friend's little boy is an Arlo and I hadn't come across another one.
    Alana x

    1. Ahhh - GOOD LUCK for the return back. I promise the anticipation is worse than actually doing it! I can remember feeling pretty anxious in the run up but that just meant that the reality felt like a breeze in comparison. Hope it goes really smooth for you :) xx
      Ps. I'd never heard of the name Arlo when my mum originally suggested it, but we loved it and went with it. Now I hear about other little Arlo's quite a lot - they're cropping up all over the place!