This post discusses mental health issues and may be triggering to some readers.
As a new parent returning to work after a fulfilling 10-month maternity leave, I experienced a whirlwind of emotions. Leaving my baby to return to my corporate job in July 2021 was not an easy transition, and like many parents, I felt isolated and disconnected during my time on parental leave. There hadn't been much meaningful communication from my workplace during my approved time off.
The past four years have had its beautiful highs and extensive mental health challenges, but it's primarily my former corporate life that has been the catalyst for me sitting here as a fraction of myself today.
Watch: Is extended maternity leave good for parents and employers? Post continues after video.
My first day back post-parental leave had me attending an online conference, where approximately 18 of the team that reported to me were present. I had loved our previous conferences, so this helped take the edge off my nerves as I jumped onto the call.
It turned out to be the most challenging two hours of my life.