Whether you returning from 6 months, 12 months or an even longer period after a career break, things have changed. You might think before you go back it’s the changes at work you have to get your head around. Most mums I’ve talked to say the biggest changes have been, them. Everyone talks about bub and your emotions in returning to work. There’s no doubt bub will be your biggest thought but, no one really talks about how having a baby changes the way you think about the world. It can change how you prioritise your life, your career, aspirations. Here are 5 things you might not have been told about returning to work after you’ve had a baby:
1. You won’t suffer fools gladly
You might have been off for 6mths, you might have been off for a year or more, but if you are returning to the workplace your lack of sleep will make your tolerance levels at an all time low. Your confidence might have taken a bit of a hit, but you won’t be backwards in coming forwards when it comes to banal comments from those colleagues who waste your time and drag you down. One lash from your silver tongue will whip them into shape. You’ll be wondering why you hadn’t considered having children earlier in your career!
2. You might wee when you laugh?
So on the outside you look pretty much the same as you were when you left work but on the inside there has been a lot going on. Unless you keep on top of those pelvic floor exercises in the coffee queue, one hilarious comment by your colleague about the Bachelor might have you sailing down the yellow river. Ok, and yes, I acknowledge coffee is a diuretic and physiotherapists who specialise in the downstairs department (technical term) may suggest to leave off the coffee, but it’s all about survival in the early days!
3. You’ll be asleep by 9:30pm on a week night and 10:00pm on a weekend
You may have been a night owl and enjoyed a few mid week wines and Friday night drinkies, but when you first go back to work the intensity of your new routine is overwhelming. A shandy has the ability to nod you off half way through the season finale of Offspring.
4. You will probably enjoy a night-time call up
I know what you are thinking, “god, I’m working isn’t that enough!”. We are actually talking about the baby kind. The other thing you may not believe is that in the middle of the night when bub calls you, you may actually look forward to the wakeup call. Ok, not every night and maybe not 5 times a night but maybe occasionally and maybe not the mums who have bubs with reflux. When they are babies, it might be they get a good breastfeed when you know they are having difficulty taking milk from their bottles in the day and when they are toddlers, they are a pleasure to be around with not a dot of challenging behaviour. They are as polite and cuddly as the kids in the ads. With bub being in childcare it may be that night time is your uninterrupted quality time, try to jump in the zen garden and enjoy it.
5. You’ve changed
No matter what kind of birth, baby, or experience you have had, becoming a mum changes you. It might be a physical change or psychological changes or the subtle changes. Subtle changes that could lead to you to do things you have never done before like seeking a carbon-neutral, organic lifestyle change or just saving some money. Just be kind to yourself, acknowledge you now have the ability to see the world slightly differently and that giving birth, adopting or however you choose to become a mum makes you change sometimes in little ways, sometimes in ways you have never imagined.