It has been eight months now since I retuned to work after maternity leave and I have to say that this is a very different experience from the one I had the last time I returned to work after having a baby. For one, I am happy with the company I currently work at. I mean, its not perfect but it has been difficult for me to find a place where I am actually happy, especially here in New York. I work in Finance and the hours can be grueling and the work life balance can be non-existent. For the most part, I have a flexible work environment and work with people who understand if I have to work from home because of my children. I am exceptionally busier this time around though. There were so many changes to my team while I was out on maternity leave. When I returned, I took on new assignments and there was a learning curve all over again. Thirdly, I am really tired. I am not complaining at all. I love working and my girls but two kids makes a huge difference. It’s been eight months since maternity leave and I am still working on my time management to be able to get to everything I want to do, including keeping this new site updated regularly.
The company I work at now has made the transition to work easier than my last company. They allow for flexible work time and understand when I have obligations. There are no questions asked and working from home is completely encouraged. As a mom, having this kind of support is instrumental. I am happy going to work this time around which contributes to my overall happiness at home as well. In my last role, no one cared that I needed to get home to feed my newborn. At my prior company, I once requested to work from home to take Chloé to the doctor and my manager had to look at the schedule for that day and think about it. He would also make me email him as soon as I logged in the morning, when I was heading to the doctor, and when I returned home to show that I was really working as though he didn’t believe me. It was such a horrible situation. Don’t get me started on the list he had of everyone’s race taped to his computer. Now, at my current company, I don’t have that pressure and I enjoy the work that I do. I don’t mind logging in and working from home because I know the support is there. In addition to the ease of working from home, my company has hospital grade breast pumps in their mother/ lactation rooms!!! This makes me so happy. My mood at work and this machine has caused my milk output to be so much more than last time. I make sure to go into the mother’s room at least twice a day and relax while I pump. The room is filled with snacks, a fridge, cupboard and sink so I am able to wash and keep everything right there. Pumping at work can be so difficult but this has made the transition easier for me.
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While I was out on maternity leave, there were a couple of changes to the staff and I came back to practically a completely different team. With that, I had to take on new projects which caused me to have to learn a completely new fund structure. I welcomed that because I am always happy to learn and be more versatile at my job. It is a great experience but I was working later than I would have liked. This was not forced by anyone at work though, I was at work late trying to completely understand and learn the role for myself so it would be easier in the long run. It was difficult in the beginning to work those hours but putting in the time in the front end leads to working normal hours now. Sometimes, I may log in when I get home just to stay ahead of deliverables. My boss is always telling me to go home so working late by choice is always a better feeling than when you are expected to do it. So much time is spent at work that there isn’t much time to spend with the girls by the time I get home. At least I make that up and spend all my time with them on the weekends.
Finally, the biggest difference from returning to work after maternity leave, this time, is that I am really tired. Chloé really spoiled us by sleeping through the night at two months old. I got so used to that and I was not ready for these sleepless nights. Celine wakes up a lot through the night and I don’t get the same amount of sleep as before but that’s okay. I know this is temporary and if feeding her through the night makes her feel better, then that is what I am going to do. I am figuring out how to fit everything into my day. By the time I get home from work, I take care of the girls and help with dinner. Celine doesn’t go to sleep until ten at night so that doesn’t leave much time for me. Having two little ones so young in age has been a game changer and adding a full time job to that really makes an impact. It is a matter of constantly figuring it all out but it always comes together, and sleep…well that will have to wait for now.
I love working and I love my girls and returning to work after having five months off has been challenging but nothing worth it is ever easy. I am managing and will get better with time. How did you manage returning to work from maternity leave?
Thank you for reading,