When I packed up my bags in November last year and exited my office to head into maternity leave, I knew the next time I walked through the doors would be different. I would have changed; I would be a mother. I would be in charge of a real-life human being. It was almost impossible to picture what that would be like.
As an obsessive planner, I would spend my commutes mentally preparing for a future I knew nothing about. How would I feel about returning to work? Would I want to? How many days would I come back? How many months should I have off? Would I still be good at my job?
Lots of incredible mothers around me would share their advice, and their experiences of returning from maternity leave. I felt as prepared as I possibly could be.
What I didn’t prepare for was a global pandemic that would fundamentally change every single thing about the way we work.
Watch: Be a good mum. Post continues below.
There have been some real challenges being on maternity leave during COVID: reduced incomes, further isolation from friends and family, attending hospital appointments alone, missing out on mothers' group.