To Work or Not to Work?

Mother and son

One out of three new mums face the agonising decision about changing their careers or not going back at all…it’s an emotional minefield and that’s without a global pandemic to contend with!

I have been lucky in that I have had 18 months to spend with Ray on maternity leave. Have I loved every minute of it? No – but do I want it to end?

Definitely not!

The thought of leaving Ray strikes fear into my heart and conjures up such a strong emotional reaction that sometimes it feels like a physical pain but at the same time I am a woman who has built a career, who loves learning and who misses ‘grown up’ company.

My maternity leave has been stressful and, like many new mums in 2020, has been full of anxiety and a sense of isolation in general. Although I’ve had 18 months on maternity leave, 9 months of that has been spent in lockdown. The intensity has created such an intimacy and connection between us that it is scary to think of anyone else looking after him.

New mums are facing an unprecedented tumult of emotions, anxieties and worries. All the support systems; the ways of sharing worries and niggles are gone and therefore it’s hard to gauge what’s a serious problem or a minor wobble.

It feels like there’s nowhere to go to have a moan or a rant, a cry or a giggle because everyone else is under such pressure.

That pressure is also being magnified because of finances – a lot of us are being forced to consider going back to work earlier than we would have liked.

With a very strange Christmas ahead of us and an uncertain New Year everyone is feeling the pressure to one minute put plans on hold and the next to be super adaptable to any further changes.

Uncertainty leads to anxiety and a constant state of anxiety may lead to illness.

The research also stressed that only 10% of parents take the time to consider their mental health.

That’s not to say that you have a mental health problem.

You may be stressed, you may be anxious, you may be worried and that IS all normal as a new mum.

You may have problems planning or even thinking about the future and leaving your child to go back to work after such an intense time with them.

Any feeling or decision that feels imposed or rushed increases anxiety and that’s why it’s important to someone who understands. Having a support system may be difficult at the moment but it shouldn’t stop you reaching out…

I know I have to return to work, I know being separated from Ray will feel horrendous – but I have a plan, I have some tools and I want to share them with you so we can get through it together.

Watch out for my next blog post and an announcement about an email coaching offer that works around you and your baby.

Most of all remember, please – reach out if you need some support or feel lonely, have a worry or just need to talk.

Cornelia x

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