lifestyle

“The hardest part of going back to work wasn’t leaving my baby behind.”

It wasn’t what you’d expect…

Making the decision to go back to work after I had my baby wasn’t an easy one. In fact, in a lot of ways it wasn’t really a decision. Once my maternity leave was up I needed to go back to work for financial reasons and like a lot of mums, I struggled a lot with the idea of leaving my little one behind.

For a year it had been just the two of us during the day. I took a while to adapt to my new role but slowly we fell into a rhythm and spent our days exploring and learning. I was all too aware of the timeframe we had together so I tried to make the most of it. I was lucky to be able to take that amount of time off to be with my child because I know that’s not the case for a lot of women – but still, time seemed to fly by.

Before I went back to work I looked into a thousand day care options and put my son’s name down at any that looked decent. I’d heard that day care could be hard to secure so I was thrilled when my mum offered to look after my son until a position became available. By the time he started formal day care, both he and I were better able to manage the separation and I felt comfortable with the staff and the loving, friendly atmosphere that he was in.

“Before I went back to work I looked into a thousand day care options and put my son’s name down at any that looked decent. I’d heard that day care could be hard to secure so I was thrilled when my mum offered to look after my son until a position became available.”

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Open Colleges. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.

What I didn’t expect to be as hard though was my transition back into work. I had been with my employer for over six years. I was established and had a lot of friends but yet, when I returned from maternity leave, it felt like a lot had changed and that I had been left behind.

Friends that used to work in similar roles to mine had progressed with their career and there were new people I didn’t know everywhere.

I felt stuck in many ways. I was in no position to ask for a promotion, having been off for such a long period of time, but it was hard seeing others get promotions that I perhaps would have got had I not left to have a baby.

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I’ve always been a focused person so I took matters into my own hands and decided to upskill myself by going back to study. A lot of people had doubts. Full time work, motherhood and then additional study…but I had a look around, and it turns out that my only option wasn’t a classroom waaay after dark.

“What I didn’t expect to be as hard though was my transition back into work.”

Yep – I enrolled in online study. A friend recommended it to me after she completed some further study stuff of her own, and as a mother of three, I figured if she could do it, I could too.

At first, I needed to make sure I was organised, but once I got into a rhythm of studying when I could and allocating time to focus on things other than work and baby, it just became another part of life. As a busy mum, being able to fit study in whenever I found an odd spare hour here and there (hello, nap time) was a lifesaver. It helped that I had a supportive partner – but even if I didn’t, many colleges offer support for students who are also parents, and let me tell you – that’s a huge relief.

I’d like to think my study is assisting me with job prospects in the future which may not be available to me otherwise. I also love the idea that I can continue my studies should we have another baby and still maintain a path to something else at the end.

I always wanted to be a mother, but I also wanted to be a successful working woman. Now, I’m confident I can be both.

Did you have a hard time returning to work after having a baby?

Want more? Try these:

“I went back to work 6 days after my baby was born.”

“I wanted more than motherhood and a boring job.”


Open Colleges is Australia’s leader in online learning having educated over 700,000 students. We offer over 150 TAFE and other nationally accredited online courses that allow you to fit study around your busy lifestyle. We support you every step of the way to help you achieve your goals. Start your journey towards a rewarding and successful future today! Find out more: www.opencolleges.edu.au