Louise’s Blog: Back to Work and Back to Maternity Leave

clock Released On 3rd Jan 2023

Louise’s Blog: Back to Work and Back to Maternity Leave

My son Logan was born in September 2019 and six months into my maternity leave the UK went into its first ‘Lockdown’. Initially I felt that my ‘special time’ had unfairly been taken away from me. We should have been attending swimming classes, mum and baby groups, seeing friends and family whilst they gush over how adorable Logan was and yes, the occasional shopping trip / coffee and cake whilst Logan napped in his pram.

Instead I had six months of days filled with long walks, naps in the cot where I had time to get on with chores or if I wanted just relaxed because the fast pace of life had slowed down. We had picnics in our garden, there was zero comparing to other people’s babies and feeling pressure that we should be out doing something because everyone else was and probably the best bit of all, my husband being there for every bath time, bed time story, hug and kiss goodnight that he would of missed had he been working his usual Monday to Friday in London.

I very soon realised that the ‘special time’ that I thought had been taken away hadn’t been taken at all, it was just different to the idealistic view of what I thought maternity leave should be like. So when my maternity leave came to an end and I had to return to work in September 2020, I didn’t feel resentful that my year had been cut short, instead I felt all the usual emotions; sadness that my wonderful year off with Logan had come to an end (how an earth had it gone so quickly), worried about being a working mum and how I would juggle everything that comes with that, worried about whether I would still be good at my job and how on earth was I going to get myself and Logan up, dressed and out of the house to nursery by 8:30am.

Thankfully my return to work was a virtual one and that did take some of pressures away but my biggest worry of all was how would I tell my manager, on my first day back to work, that I was pregnant again and would be going back on maternity leave in six months’ time…

Day 1 of my return to work arrived and somehow I had managed to get Logan to nursery, just about recovered from the traumatic handover, and got myself logged onto work. Next came the moment I had been dreading and yet there was nothing to dread, my manager congratulated me and our conversation continued to catching up on work. Two years on from that moment I still find myself saying ‘thankfully she took it really well’ when I think about this, why should I be thankful? I hadn’t done anything wrong; I wasn’t bad at my job just because I decided to have another child but yet that was how I had felt, in fact I shouldn’t have been worried at all, it was a reason to celebrate, I was having another child, something I feel extremely fortunate for and I’ve realised and I hope other mums to be realise that there should never be a feeling of negativity from the workplace around expecting mothers.  

Any way cut to April 2021 and the arrival of my second boy Riley and my second bout of maternity leave…but more on that another time.

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