The End of Maternity Leave – Mixed Emotions

So that’s it, my maternity leave is over and I’m not sure how I feel.

the end of maternity leave mixed emotions

Maternity leave hasn’t been the wonderful relaxing time I thought it was going to be. I have loved not being at work, but I’ve also had in the back of my mind that it’s not forever and so have been trying to make the most of the time I have had. The last few months I feel like it has been a constant rush of School and Pre-School drop off’s and pick ups and trying to fit in keeping on top of the house, looking after a pretty demanding baby and trying to do things with her and the boys. Even though I have had no work I hardly ever get to see my friends as fitting it in around times I need to collect Finlay from pre school is difficult. In the evenings I’ve managed 2 nights away from the house with friends since she has been born. The last time by 9 I was getting messages saying she was upset. Not exactly a successful break. If I can’t manage any time out now, how am I going to manage it when I’m back at work?

When I go back I’m not going to be able to see them 2 mornings a week and 3 after school. I’m going to get home at bedtime and leave as soon as they are up. I’m not going to be able to make sure they get to School ok, to talk to their teachers about what has been going on. I’m going to miss Finlay’s first week at School and I’ve already missed taking him and picking him up from transition day as I was working at mine. I won’t be able to go to things that are on at the School as I will be doing those same things at mine.

I might miss Ava’s first words, first steps and many more. I’m not going to be there when she wants a cuddle and when she wakes from a nap. I’ve been there every day of her life and now I’m going to miss so much. I’m worried that she is going to wonder where I have gone, that she is going to think I don’t care, I don’t want to be there. I do, I desperately do!

I’m not sure how I’m going to be a good Mummy, a good teacher and a good girlfriend. I already feel like I’m constantly juggling and there aren’t enough hours in the day. How am I going to cope with work thrown in the mix? Then the planning and preparation that comes with my job on top of the hours I am away. How am I going to be able to be there for all of my children? How am I going to do it all? I don’t feel like I’m going to be able to give 100% to anything and everything will be half hearted. I want to 100% be there for my children and I’m not going to be.

I’m dreading the guilt I know I’m going to feel, the tears I know I’m going to cry. I know I’m going to miss precious time with them that I will never get back and yet I’m doing it for them. I’m doing it so we can afford to live, afford to eat, buy clothes and do a couple of clubs. I’m not doing it so we can go on expensive holidays and have nice cars. I’m  not doing it because I have a career that I enjoy, that excites me and I wake up wanting to go to. I’m doing it because I have to and maybe that is why it’s so hard.

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17 responses to “The End of Maternity Leave – Mixed Emotions”

  1. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head – it’s because you have to not because you want too that makes it harder. Don’t get me wrong I love being a sahm and having all those moments but as I said some times I just want something more, for me, and by wanting it and not having to do it changes things I think xx

  2. Lec says:

    It must be so hard. I got to be a stay at home mum, and not a day goes by where I don’t feel blessed. Try not to feel guilty, you are doing what you need to do for your kids, so you should be proud of yourself. All the best and good luck starting work again xoxo

  3. Wow, I’m actually close to tears!! Beautifully written and so honest, I can relate to everything you have said!! I’m going back in September and I have mixed emotions too, at least I’m not alone xx

  4. I can completely understand everything you are saying. I felt it all when I went back to work after having my son. I had anxiety for weeks before for the exact same reasons you state, and I’d never left him with anybody. My first shift back I walked in to work and as soon as a colleague said hello to me I burst in to tears. Slowly but surely it got better. I still have my son asking me not to go to work now, at the age of 3. It’s not nice, but like you say, you are doing it for your children and they will respect you for that 🙂

  5. It’s hard going out to work when you have children and I think you’re incredibly brave to put your feelings on paper for all to see. It’ll work out fine, not only because it has to, but because you obviously care enough to make sure it will x #wineandboobs

  6. You will find that although nothing is as rewarding as spending time with your children, when you get back to your work, your desk, your time in the adult world full of people who speak full-fledged English, that in a way it becomes “Me” time, and it is healthy. It is your own life and your own career– and it will be the few hours of the day that no one will spill anything in front of you, put anything inadvisable in their mouth that you have to remove, or throw up on you. Enjoy that much. –Suzanne Mattaboni

  7. Louise says:

    I completely empathise with you. I’m going back at the end of August after my second baby. I didn’t love maternity leave the first time around; it was hard getting my head around being a new mum and not having my career. This time, I would be more than happy to stay at home. Being a mum is hard work, but my babies need me more than the office.
    Look after yourself, lovely. We’ll both be OK and keep it all going. Because that’s our job xxx

  8. Harps says:

    Sending you lots of hugs Hun. I returned to work yesterday and wrote a similar post last week. It sucks. I also have to return which makes it seem a lot worse than it being a choice. Yesterday was a tough day (I wrote a post on my first day too) but today felt slightly better. I’m feeling really tired but other than that I’m ok. Like you – I hope I don’t miss his first words etc. I’d be so gutted. Keep your head up, we can do this and we will do it!! Mums are superheroes in disguise!xx

  9. Joy says:

    I faced this same struggle last year. After being on maternity leave for a year, I couldn’t figure out how is juggle mum suites with a job. At the end, I chose to leave the job. Not the best decision seeing as I needed the extra income but definitely rewarding decision. You just try and stay positive and remember the reason you go to work is to provide the best for your kids.

  10. Talya says:

    Ah bless you. I totally relate to this. I went to because I had to and not because I wanted to and have to say I personally struggled with this but everyone is different so it might end up making you appreciate everything lots more. Either way wishing you the best of luck love and thanks for linking up to #wineandboobs

  11. Janine says:

    I thought I was going to miss all the firsts too but luckily he done all those at home.
    You’ll be fine. a change of scene is good for everyone. I’m back in a month.

  12. I’m in exactly the same boat, apart from just having the one child to leave all day. I’m trying to reassure myself that going back to work (like you because I have to) will make me more enthusiastic and motivated to make the most of my time with my daughter, although the thought of three days in a row only seeing her at bedtime is horrible! #TwinklyTuesdays

  13. Oh sweetie, this is exactly why I have so much guilt, because I have to work not because I want to work. I hope that like Zach did, Ava will do any firsts at the weekend while you are with her. It’s so bloody hard but just remember you are doing it for the family, for the kids. I hope your return has gone well. sending lots of love. #wineandboobs

  14. Oh sweetheart I didn’t know you were feeling like this at all, it can’t be easy and I remember going back to work when Fin was small and finding it so hard at first. I hope you manage to find a balance somehow,

    Stevie xx

    You know where I am if you need a chat or a rant

  15. Musing Mumma says:

    Oh my gosh. Your blog made me cry! I have four weeks to go and it’s breaking my heart! All the best.


  16. Sadia says:

    I’m so sorry that going back to work is so diffiicult. You’ll make it work. And it may be time, in a few months, to look for something that does make work joyful. I’ve come to that realization myself of late. And it was SO valuable to me to have a job I enjoyed to balance the agony of leaving my babies 55 hours a week.

    Thanks for linking with #TwinklyTuesday

  17. Lovely post, a great reflection on the reality of having to return to work after maternity leave.

    It’ll be tough, but I know you’ll figure it out. Eventually it’ll all slot into place and you’ll wonder why you were ever worried (I’m sure of it… not that I’m a oracle or anything!)

    Thanks for linking up with #wineandboobs

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