By ALISSA WARREN
Going back to work after maternity leave is like going on a first date with someone you’ve been in a relationship with before and with someone who you haven’t seen for a long, long, long time. A lot of things have happened since then…
To your life…
To your brain….
To your body…
You make the date well in advance and pencil it into your diary. It feels a lifetime into the future but then all of a sudden date night with ‘The Office’ is only hours away and your belly is full of anxious little butterflies who’ve drunk too much red cordial.
Leigh Sales, the rather excellent host of the ABC’s 7.30 report is going back to work today after spending the past few months on maternity leave following the arrival of her second baby, James. She posted this gorgeous photo on social media, with the message “Well it’s time. See you at #abc730 tonight. Saying goodbye to this delicious little ball of fluff.”
Aww. Every mother knows that moment. The going back to work day, the day where you’re saying goodbye to one phase of life and a giant hello to the next. Even if you’ve done it before it’s exciting, terrifying and daunting.
And it goes a little like this:
8.32pm: Planning your outfit
This is the first moment of re-entry into your new/old life. The outfit that you hope will project two key messages to your workmates: I’m ready and I’m still me. Can these two rather complex gender stereotype fighting messages really be communicated by the cut of your suit or the height of the patent heel? You bet they can.
9.12pm: Refreshing your handbag
A good clean-out is what it needs. No baby wipes, more business cards. Less teething toys, more classy matte lipsticks. Less plastic spoons, more authoritative silver pens…
This inevitably won’t happen because you’re too tired/ can’t be bothered/ don’t want to overthink things/ prefer to watch The Block.
10.14pm: Going to bed
This isn’t called ‘going to sleep’ because you may not. It’s very possible you’ll either lie in bed until 4.12am thinking about thinking about going to work or somehow the Work Devil has sent a magical message to your tiny offspring to grow their 12-month-molars early and thus, you’ll spend the entire night nursing a whinging child and Bonjela stained fingers.
6.00am: Getting everyone ready for you getting ready for your day at work