By NICKY CHAMP
You know those hectic weekday mornings when you sleep in, make a mad dash for the bus, miss it and have to wait eight whole minutes for the next one?
And by the time you arrive at the office, you’re late, sweaty, flustered and telling anyone who will listen, “I’ve had the worst morning ever?”
Well, multiple that by 1000 and that’s getting close to what it’s like when you try to get to work on time when you have a small child.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by the The Style Network. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
But it’s not only your commute that changes when you return back to work after maternity leave, no, no, no, here’s what changed for me when I went back to work.
1. Stains are the new black.
I like to think that I had fairly high standards of personal hygiene pre-baby, I mean, I definitely wouldn’t have left the house in stained clothing. In fact I probably didn’t even own any clothes with unidentified stains on them prior to having a baby. Oh how life changes.
One particularly bad morning saw me cop a musical instrument to the head, have Weetbix smeared onto my t-shirt and yogurt handprints pressed onto my black pants. By the time I left my place I’d had three wardrobes changes, dressed and re-dressed the baby twice and had the pleasure of changing not one but two pooey nappies. And this was all before 7:15am.
I remember this morning well because several colleagues went out of their way to tell me that they liked my outfit. I was gobsmacked, having had the morning from hell, I’d thrown on whatever was on top of the clean (debatable) washing pile.
That was until, someone pointed out I had a stain on my white top, I countered with: “ah well, it’s only one stain.” Six words I would never had ever even thought about uttering had I not been with child. I also held back from saying what I was really thinking: “At least it’s not poo!” (because to be honest I wasn’t entirely sure).
So there you have it, some days getting to the office on time may mean you end up leaving the house with baby poo (or Weetbix) on your clothes. It’s best to invest in some scarves you can strategically drape over anything that looks a bit dodgy.
2. Being “under the pump” at work has a whole new meaning.
At Mamamia HQ we have an open plan style office with many glass doors, which is great for production but not so much for privacy. Unless I wanted to expose my breasts and the mystery of breast-pumping to all my colleagues my best option was to take my bovine-milking equipment to the kitchen – which was the only room other than the toilet which had a (non-glass) door, um, not that the toilet has a glass door.
To prevent any awkward interruptions Mia made a “pumping in progress” sign for each time I needed to occupy the area – not that you couldn’t hear the pump’s awfully loud mechanical, “mmrroo” “mmrrroo” sound from several kilometres away.
My bosses and colleagues did their best to accommodate my needs but it led to some fairly awkward conversations like, “Nic, can I make my lunch now or do you need to pump?” With workmates planning their sandwich-making and soup-heating around my need to drain my breasts, talking about my boobs with male colleagues no longer constituted sexual harassment.