I will be heading back to work part-time in a couple of weeks, after being on maternity leave for 12 months. To be honest, I’m quite anxious about it. I know from past experience that it is a big adjustment returning to work from extended leave. A lot can change in a workplace over the course of 12 months, and I know for a fact that a lot HAS changed at my work and in my own specific role. It’s easy to get swept up in all the projects, priorities and bureaucracy all over again, and I do tend to invest a lot of mental energy and time in my work, even when I’m not there.
So, after this past 12 months of taking life slowly, enjoying my family and the simpler things, seeking inspiration, and indulging in my own interests and self-care, these are some things I want myself to remember if I find I am becoming consumed by work:
I am capable, I am worthy
Sometimes I feel like I can’t match up to others at work, because I don’t have a degree. But I need to remember that I have skills, experience, and natural abilities, and they are worth something.
I am confident, my opinions matter
Kind of related to the point above. Sometimes I have held back on voicing my opinion, because of the fear that what I have to say is stupid or not important, only to have someone else raise the same point later on and be praised for it. I’m smarter than I give myself credit for.
I am in control of my own destiny
If I want something to change, I’m the only one who can change it. And I CAN change it.
Work is just work
Bigger picture here. I tend to catastrophise when I’m feeling stressed. But one thing I have learnt over this past year of slowing down, is the art of stopping and trying to see the situation logically before jumping to my instinctive response of panic and frustration. The world isn’t going to stop turning if something goes wrong or if I have too much on my plate. I just need to do my best, and at the end of the day when I step out of the office, leave work there where it belongs.
I am grateful for all I have
In today’s climate, I’m just grateful that I have a job. One that pays me well, provides me with excellent conditions, and grants me the flexibility I need as a working mum of small children. Double bonus that my job is pretty interesting too, and I work with some wonderful people.
The most important thing in my life is the love of my family
No matter what happens, I already have the greatest achievement of my life – my family. You can’t do better than that. As long as we’re happy, we’re doing ok.
Life isn’t over
Over the past few months, whenever I’ve remembered that work is looming, my heart has sunk. I won’t be having any more babies, I won’t ever have this time again. It feels like the end of an era. And it is, that’s true. But there is so much more to come. We have so much more life to look forward to. And I’m only going back part-time initially, so I’ll still have plenty of dedicated time to spend with the kids.
I’m sure I’ll cry on my first day back. I can’t imagine not having Little R by my side all day every day. But I’m trying to look at the positives of returning to work. Like – no one screaming in my face (one would hope anyway), alone time in the car to listen to my music really loud, time to read my book over an uninterrupted and quiet lunch, adult conversation, etc. I guess it’s what you make it! Wish me luck!
Joining in with the Weekend Rewind at Life, Love & Hiccups