The Dreaded Return to Work After Maternity Leave

Mareena & I chilling on the porch after my first day back to work. I needed those snuggles!

This past week has been such a bittersweet one. So many things happened in this last week than in the last month alone. For starters, it was my first week back to work post-baby. I’ve been on maternity leave for the past three months. I’m not going to lie, I was dreading this return. Especially with all that was finally happening with the baby. 

The feelings of dread were so strong that it kind of freaked me out. Listen, I have never in my life thought I’d ever want to be a stay-at-home mom. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! I’ve just always been that “I don’t need a man to bring home the bacon, women can do anything a guy can do (with certain limitations of course), independent warrior” kinda gal. But now that I had a taste of the home life and have this precious little nugget depending on me, I kind of feel like my time could be best served snuggling with Mareena and raining praise on her for doing things normal human beings do every day. 

I guess that is my way of confessing that I’m just afraid that I’ll miss out on seeing her achieve all her baby milestones. I know that is an irrational fear because moms have been rocking the “full-time working mama” status for decades now. I can’t help it though. It didn’t help one bit that Mareena started doing cute things, you know, besides her newborn just sitting there staring thing they tend to do for the first two months. The last month, actually the last week alone, she has started pulling herself up when you hold her arms. She has held her own bottle. Plus, she’s started grabbing at her feet. 

My Bubbie playing with one of her favorite toys.

I just about cried the Friday before, thinking about all the things I wouldn’t see her do first. But, that’s okay. Grandma and grandpappy Liska are watching this little one and if they are smart, like one of my former coworkers told me, they won’t say a word when it happens and just let me think I got to see it first. I’m still torn on whether I completely agree with that method. However, it does make me feel better knowing she is being cared for by the second-best people to provide for her, aside from mommy and daddy. I know they have just as much love for her as we do. 

All emotional things aside, making the transition back to work has actually been quite a breeze. Thanks to my amazing co-workers and boss. Checking in on me. Welcoming me back with open arms. Oh and a huge shoutout to my wonderful temporary replacement for staying on top of my work and handing my position back not in shambles! I was so thankful to come in and only have to deal with a backlog of emails to sort through, and most of those had already been handled. That was a great relief and one of my two major stressors!

The other being the transition from exclusively breastfeeding to actually having to pump at work to produce enough milk for Mareena to take at a minimum of three six-ounce bottles a day. Luckily, I have not seen a major drop in my supply and pumping hasn’t been too terribly annoying. I’ll have to do an update on this once the semester starts, but I am currently pumping two to three times a day for 10 minutes. I can get anywhere from two to four ounces a boob depending on the time between pumps and how hydrated I am. Generally, at the end of the day, I store about sixteen ounces in the office freezer. I plan to take it home all at once on Fridays. That just seems like it would be the easiest instead of adding one more thing to my things to remember list each day. Plus, no one seems very weirded out by it. So that’s great! 

Pumping hands free at work. Woohoo! lol
Milk stash in the breakroom freezer.

All in all, I’d say my first week back to work, post-maternity leave, went well! 

The icing on the cake was that the hubs and I got to celebrate our five year anniversary and it was World Breastfeeding Week! The whole month of August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month! What a perfect time to start back to work and feel super appreciated, loved, and supported for who I am and what my body can do! I’ve received lots of support and advice from the Milky Mommas Facebook group on starting back to work while nursing a little one. Check them out if you are a nursing mama or even just someone who supports a nursing mama. You can find great advice, get support, and feel apart of a greater community. There is also a lot of adorable photo sharing an I am now dying to take some cutesy nursing photos of baby girl and I to commemorate our first three months of our breastfeeding journey! 

Are you a mom? Did you breastfeed or not? Did you return back to work or did you decide to stay home? Let me know in the comments and advice is always welcome! 

P.S. I am so totally obsessed with the Tree of Life Breastfeeding picture art. I’ve made like fifty of them lol. If you don’t know what I’m talking about look it up!

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