I am a 37-year-old first time mum who has just returned to part-time work after being on maternity leave. I’m struggling with this change and feel like things are falling down around me.
I don’t seem to be able to manage my family and household like I use to and my husband can’t understand why. I feel guilty that I’m not at home with my baby, and that I’m not effective at work either. The fact I’m not performing at both work and home is making me feel like a total failure. What can I do?
Most mums returning to work face this same conundrum – the “best” way to juggle the balance between work and home.
The biological imperative to be with our children is strong. It has to be so that we can muster up the energy to tend to our little darlings 24-hours a day for those first few weeks. This also means that the urge to be with them when we return to work is ever-present. Do not fear, just because the feeling of missing your baby is there, it does not necessarily mean you are doing the wrong thing.
For example, just because you feel like eating a whole block of chocolate doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do for your body! I am not trying to make light of the fact that you are missing your child. What I do want to highlight is that most mothers miss their babies sometimes.
As a way forward, focus on being present 100% wherever you are. If you are at work, then be at work. Focus on work calls, send those emails and get the job done so that when you return home: your mobile is off, your computer is away and you can be fully present for your child, your family and most importantly yourself.
It is still important to talk about how you are feeling. It is imperative that you acknowledge what is going on for you and this may mean acknowledging that you are missing your baby. Sit for a couple of minutes and let yourself just feel it and then choose to get on with it.
This is a learnt skill, so it does help to discuss how you are feeling with a professional who can assist in the normalisation process. It is definitely possible, common and ok.
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