What Happens When Maternity Leave Ends (2 minute read)

I knew my maternity leave was going to end. I just didn't know how I would feel in that moment I had to go back to work.

All throughout my 11 months of maternity leave, I only counted forward; I didn’t count down the days I had before going back to work.  Instead of thinking I only had x number of months left, I focused on now having an x month old.  

I wasn’t nervous or scared or anxious about going back because I knew I had done my best to instill trust in her.  Even though she couldn’t speak real words to me, our bond was sealed and I was confident she knew I was coming back.  

I felt indifferent until the morning of my first day.  I wrote my feelings live, car parked, phone in hand and head down because I wanted to capture this moment for her.

So I'm sitting in my car, 10 minutes early for my first day of work after my mat leave.  How did I prepare for this moment? TBH, not much except reminding myself that this is just a transition phase.  Work is work.  I'm nervous but trying my best to stay brave.  

This day is just a day, all 24 hours of it; the sun rises and the sun sets.  Perhaps downplaying the moment will actually make it a normal day?  I worked up until she was born.  I have changed but the work has not so I need to trust that the system I'm entering back into will welcome me and the adjustment will be seamless.  

Time is a constant and that is on my side.  As I sit here, 7 minutes pass and Drake's new single finishes on the radio; I take a heavy breath.  There are no starts or ends to life's important moments.  There are only moments where the engine is running and the lights are amber. So let's keep going!

I want her to know that when moments like these come up (exams, presentations, tournaments, moves, graduations, job interviews, school starts, first dates, break-ups, health scares etc.), they are only moments in time.  

No matter whether they are positive, negative or neutral, time will continue to move and that is a good thing. We can savour the good moments and bask in the reality of those experiences, letting time swell.  

We can brace ourselves, take heavy breaths and patiently wait for the moments to pass.

We are resilient beings.

The ebbs in life are drastically different than the flows but they share in the fact that they are constantly moving.

So Readers, have you ever taken an extended break from work? How was it coming back? Are you on leave now? How do you think it will feel going back?

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