Perhaps you can’t find a suitable daycare, or maybe having a baby made you re-think your whole career.
There are also the logistical factors - getting everyone ready and out the door by 8am, the ‘walk of shame’ for afternoon pickup, and the difficulty of adhering to your own schedule - no matter how flexible it was supposed to be.
Watch: Be a good mum... Post continues below.
Mamamia spoke to 11 women about how they navigated returning to work after maternity leave. Here’s what they shared.
Oakley, mum of one.
I returned in January after 14 months off (lasted three months before getting stood down due to COVID-19). Luckily working for a large company with majority female workers, the expectation of going back full time was not there and they were very accommodating.
I negotiated a five-day fortnight with alternating Wednesdays which was unheard of, but they were open to it if I could make it work.
Emotionally I was so excited! I have never felt guilty having my son in daycare as I know I need the space and so does he.
Logistically, my husband was able to drop him off at open time as I had to leave at 6am each day. We were just prepared the night before, bottle, bags packed, clothes laid out etc so all we had to do was get him up, dressed and fed.
Michelle, mum of one.
There is no flexibility in my retail workplace - no working from home or shorter days!
But the reality is that I love my work and needed to go back to feel human - I'm 100 per cent a better mum because I work.