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"My heart aches to be back home." Carrie Bickmore on returning to work after maternity leave.

After the birth of her daughter Addie and taking seven months off for maternity leave, journalist Carrie Bickmore has opened up about the unexpected challenges of returning to her work, The Project.

Bickmore, 38, went back to her presenting duties in early July for The Project and also co-hosts her afternoon radio show in Melbourne with Tommy Little.

Writing for Stellar Magazine on Sunday, the journalist candidly admitted that maternity leave for many women can feel as though “they are losing their identity”.

The Project co-host recalled “looking forward” to maternity leave while still pregnant, and said she joked with her husband that it would be like taking a “little holiday”. She quickly realised, however, how hard it would be, and said the extended period away began to get to her.

 

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When you get the call up to host @theprojecttv on your day off but you have no babysitters ????

A post shared by Carrie Bickmore (@bickmorecarrie) on

“Going back to work can be such a vulnerable and dichotomous time for a woman,” Bickmore reflected.

“When I’m at the office my heart aches to be back home, but when I’m at home I look forward to drinking a coffee while chatting to workmates about something other than the animation Bluey.”

She continued: “Your brain starts messing with you — What if I have been pushed to the side? I wish I could take more time; maybe I should stop working altogether. Maybe I should start my own business, work from home!”

It’s not the first time the journalist has been candid about her new struggle of being a working mother-of-three.

Addie is Bickmore’s second child with her partner Chris Walker, who also share four-year-old Evie. Carrie’s eldest child Oliver is 11-years-old, who she had with her late husband Greg Lange.

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Right before she was due to return from maternity leave, Bickmore told Sydney Morning Herald: “I think it’s going to be a massive adjustment for me heading back to work.

“I’ll have a little pain in my tummy, but that’s the reality of working when you’re a parent… I don’t know if you ever feel quite content.”

While on maternity leave, Bickmore was praised by her Instagram followers for her refreshingly honest post, that shows an “Instagram verses reality” snapshot of parenting.

The post featured two photos – one, a superbly candid shot of her dozing in a straw hat with a perfectly peaceful expression as then-four-week-old Addie sleeps, and the second, Carrie fast asleep, legs splayed on the couch, with the tiny child tucked under her arm. Looking happy – albeit exhausted.

The post rightly garnered a flood of praise for the rare glimpse of realness on Instagram. But certainly if there’s one thing we have come to expect from the journalist, it’s her honesty.

You can read Carrie Bickmore’s full column for Stellar Magazine right here

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