Trying to be anything other than “Mum” after so long of being nothing but, it can be tempting to overdo your return. Here’s how to keep yourself in check and avoid some unwanted stress and potential meltdowns while we’re at it.
1 Get your hair cut off.
Or changed in any dramatic way really. Are you crazy? Not only would you be tempting the all too familiar hair salon fate – the one that says never get your hair done before a big event. It didn’t end well for Bridget Jones and it probably won’t end well for you – but you’re going to need a low maintenance do for a while. You do not have time to straighten that thick curly hair into a sleek chin-length bob each morning; you are, after all, working two jobs now! So what could be easier to manage than what you’ve been managing this entire time? I’m not saying you shouldn’t go to the salon. A deep conditioning treatment and a trim can do wonders for how you feel bouncing out of there and into your new role as Career Gal. Just don’t overdo it. Less is most definitely more… for your own sanity.
2 Change your style
This one is relative. Change your “Mum” style, yes… change who you are? No! It’s tempting to try to re-invent yourself when thinking about the return to work. Maybe you were always classic low key and you’re thinking high-ball glam now that you’re back. After all, you want people to take you seriously and you sure as hell don’t want them to just see you as a mum, right? Well, yeah that is right, but there are better ways to do that. Trust me, your work ethic and capacity to multi-task like a dynamo will have increased exponentially anyway, so trust that your work will speak for itself. There’s nothing worse than trying to be someone other than who you are at the best of times, let alone during this stressful transition period. So find that old you, spruce up the wardrobe with a few items you love and feel great in and have a little faith in brand YOU.
3 Question everything
Don’t spend nights wondering if you’re going to cut it. Don’t obsess over whether or not your precious little babe will hate you for putting them in day care (they won’t). Do not lose sleep over if you’re being a good mum. I did all these things and I can tell you, nothing good comes of them. You cannot possibly predict what’s going to happen, but I can tell you, while it will be hard at first, in a few months time you will look back and wonder what all the fuss was about. Stressing, worrying, staying awake at night (let’s be honest, you barely get enough sleep as it is!) and overthinking will do nothing except make life harder on you, your partner and ultimately bub. It’s impossible not to ever think about these things, I know, but just trust that you’ve got this. If work is something you have to do, your babe will always hold their mother in the highest esteem… Mum had to work to give me all the things I needed. Or if you have a career that you love and just can’t bear to give up, your babe will grow up knowing what it is to follow their dreams and shoot for the stars. Whichever way you cut it, you are doing the absolute best you can and no one can ask for anything more.
The key here, Ladies, is finding a little piece of the old you again and tapping into that. You don’t need to find a whole new you. That might come anyway, but don’t force it. Right now, you need to ease in and lighten up. And remember to smile.