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Why I loved returning to work after having my baby

Do you feel anxious about returning to work after having your baby? I hear you. There’s no knowing how this small person is going to impact your life. Or if you’ll have the brain space, energy, or desire to go back to your job once they’re born. But for many people – like me – work is genuinely enjoyable as a mother. And nope, no one paid me to say that. I’m my own boss

That’s not to say juggling both is easy – hell no – but you can do it, and you can love it. Here are a few reasons I’ve loved working since having my son.

My career makes me feel like ‘me’

I’m lucky enough to really enjoy what I do for a living, which made the decision to return an easy one.

For me, work is challenging and interesting. I love meeting new people and thinking creatively. Getting back into it helped me feel like myself again after months of being consumed by postpartum recovery, nappies, breastfeeding, and trying to figure out WTF I’m doing in the role of ‘mum’.

It’s a break from mundanity

Let’s be real – motherhood can be boring sometimes, especially as it’s often paired with doing a bulk of the housework. You spend your days drenched in breastmilk and/or vomit, preparing bottles and/or purees, wiping poop, doing laundry, coaxing your baby into taking a damn nap, and tidying up toys. If you’re lucky enough to not be in COVID-19 lockdown (like I was for a lot of my postpartum) you may be able to leave the house and do stuff… but even then most of your friends will probably be at the office.

You talk to a baby all day long (which is cute AF but, like, they don’t add much to the conversation) and when your partner finally comes home, there’s barely anything to update them on.

“The baby tried to roll! But didn’t. I cleaned out the pantry. And I walked around the block. Uh, that’s it.”

I love that my work gives me interesting stories and things to talk about. I love that it lets me have conversations with real human adults. (I just have to remember that they’re adults and not accidentally call them ‘Hunny Bun’.)

I like contributing financially

Concepts like ‘a man is not a plan’ have been drilled into me my whole life, so there’s no way I could see myself not sharing the financial load. I like that working gives me a sense of independence and that I’m helping us pay the bills (which helps me feel less guilty when I buy myself fancy skincare).

It gives my confidence a boost

I still remember the first job that came through after my maternity leave. My husband and I had just bundled our baby into the pram and were ready to set out on a walk when I got a call. Someone had found me on Facebook and wanted me to write his website copy.

When I got off the phone my husband played a cheesy sound clip of applause and said he was so proud of me. I still get that little jolt of joy every time I get a new enquiry or positive feedback. I’m proud of myself too!

Working gives me a healthy confidence boost and reminds me that I have skills to bring to the table. (The hypothetical table, that is – although I have pretty mad vegetable concealment skills for the dinner table too, perfect for fooling a picky toddler.)

It reminds me I’m more than just a mum

Don’t get me wrong – being a mum is the most important job in the world. It’s hard and very rewarding. But mums can be more than ‘just mums’. We can do other things too!

Working reminds me that there’s more to my life than raising a child and keeping the house clean. It makes me feel clever, valuable, and badass. And that’s how I want my son to view me, too.

It makes me a better mum

Working gives me the chance to miss my son by being apart from him. It forces me to be present when I’m with him, to make our time together extra special. It also gives me time to be me, and allows me to be creative, use my brain, and recharge. 

I cherish my time with my son, but I love that it’s balanced out with work.

So I want to encourage you not to be fearful of returning to work after having a baby. It’s not for everyone and that’s OK. But you might find that you really enjoy it.

Did you enjoy your return to work? I’d love to hear about it. Drop a comment.

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