Inspired by one of my favorite MythBusters episode (back when I had time to watch tv), I’m busting the return to work after maternity leave myths! A “Bull in China shop” is quite graceful. Busted!
The danger of these myths is that even though we may think they are not true, society, our spouse, our co-works and so on think they are real. We often get sucked into them and really get down on ourselves. Let’s liberate you from these lies!
Here are the biggest myths about going back to work:
I’ll feel refreshed after the maternity leave “vacation”. Despite what your co-workers really think of you, you will not look and feel like the sun-kissed, beaming with vacation-glow like you after your honeymoon return. In some ways you feel like you had a break from the daily stress of work. So your job is not wearing you down on the daily. But an innocently looking ten-pound, suckling, pooping, puking, crying bundle of joy IS! You’ve got your own stress, just different now.
Pumping is hard. Apparently college, remedial algebra is hard. Well, for me at least, I had to take it three times. But pumping is a task. A daily repetitive task that becomes such a grind. For the love of Pete, can they improve the sound of those machines?! The reee, reeee sound is burned into my noggin. Besides the sound…and the spills….and the packing…it really is worth the trouble. Pumping is not hard it’s a commitment every day to yourself and your baby. This article about what to expect when pumping.
Leaving baby will be hard. Ok so this is have myth, half truth. Sorry. Yes the first few weeks or months (and then every once in a while for eternity) you will feel so bad/sad about leaving baby. So preparing for this and knowing that for the first few weeks or months you gotta call a friend who will let you cry or complain or carry on. She’s been there, she can take it. But sister, it will get better.
Only time, some wine and being kind to yourself well make it better.
I can do it (alone). Not sure where the crazy notion that we can do stuff alone comes from, but it needs a good spankin’. We can’t do this alone. There is a team of doulas, partners, midwives, doctors at your birth. Perfect strangers show up at your door with casseroles to help you when baby is born. Why do you think you should endure these feelings as you transition back to work, in silence? Join the conversation with the Thrive Tribe on Facebook. Ask for help. Delegate more than feels comfortable. Bring more people into your support system.
Baby brain will be gone when I go back to work. Nope. Sorry. Some women are stuck in the haze the entire time they are breastfeeding/pumping. Oy veh! It’s real, and try not to be too hard on yourself.
Work will be the same. This is not a myth. Your work will be eerily the same. But the tricky part is that you won’t be. Everyone will expect you to pick up where you left off, at the same pace and with the same level of energy/commitment/stamina. This is where you need to set expectations with your boss about how much you can take on, especially when you need two pump sessions a day. This will also be a time to learn how to say NO. Such a short word but has taken me so long to learn it. Your priorities have shifted and a good boss will honor that for a temporary time you will need to ease back into work.
What myths do you want to bust? Leave a comment below and we will add it in!