I had everything planned in my head. I would give birth, stay at home for 40 days and then go back to work and send my daughter to the nursery in our office building. Perfect right? And then she was here- the most beautiful thing I ever seen and it was mine! I couldn`t imagine anyone taking better care than me, let alone for the whole day, every day. Motherhood doesn`t strike you when you are pregnant, not even in the moment when you see your child. It comes after few days and weeks. You feed and cuddle this little human and they grow thanks to your care and love. I stayed home for good three months. Thanks to my boss who never asked any questions I wasn`t ready to answer. I would occasionally work from home or attend few meetings, mainly on the weekends. But then I started to feel I was needed more hours and had to plan it wisely. Me and my husband decided that our own nanny will be the best care as Poppy was still very fragile little baby. We had few interviews and we set on one. The day was here. I was getting up in the morning and preparing myself to go to work. On that first day I went to the office after 10 am and left around 13 pm. It felt like ages! I wasn`t even looking at my phone or any social media, just work. The amount of work I did these first months was enormous. I was aiming to go home early and see my little girl. I admit, that I never felt more productive than these first months. I was only allowing myself to check our baby camera just to make sure my daughter is well looked after. I was breastfeeding and pumping in the small office every three hours was my only break. We know on paper how hormones goes crazy the first weeks postpartum, but coping with these changes and being at work is like the cherry of the cake. I felt like betraying my only precious thing in life. I felt like I wasn`t good enough mum. I was envy to all stay at home mums for the privilege they had. I was trying to clear my mind of these thoughts at all times. Here are a few things that helped me getting over the anxiety of the separation from my child:
- Installing baby camera that is accessible on my phone. Real time camera, that rotates 360 degrees was my perfect way to see my daughter when I missed her the most. Was she crying or sleeping? Is the nanny following the instructions I gave her in the morning? All this covered by the camera. I told the nanny I want to see the baby on the camera at all times when she is awake and in her bed for the naps. She did as she was told. It gave me great peace of mind.
- Combining my lunch break and nursing break to leave early. The UAE labor law allows mothers to take one hour nursing break a day for 18 months (starting from the date of birth). Combining these two hours together I was able to go home early with clear conscious. Pumping wasn`t longer than 10 minutes, so it could be compared to a smoke break.
- Working harder. Once I was at the office I was entirely devoted to work. Social media or any other distractions were out of my sight. This helped me to get my job done and kept my mind busy.
- Thinking of all great things that came with work. Work provides finances for the family and I liked to be beneficial for it. We could choose any area we wanted to live and afford the bills. I was able to afford shopping for my daughter (and trust me I did) and all things nice I wanted to buy without asking for money. I like that freedom and find it very empowering.
- Spending really good times in the afternoon after work. Up to now I always have things to do planned with my daughter for the afternoons when I get back home. I like to spend time doing either creative things, walks or our favorite- going for a swim. Keeping our afternoons and weekends busy make me feel accomplished and I don`t fear of missing out this precious time with her.
When you have a child you start looking at the world from a different point. It is not only about you anymore and will never be. Going back to work should make you proud and accomplished. Be positive that this is the right thing to do and do your job with love and passion. You will always secretly miss your child, so make every moment with her count.