Returning to work can be a bit of an anxious time. Questions like ‘will my brain still work?’, ‘will my nipples leak mid meeting?’ and ‘will I cry all the way there on the train?’ are all highly likely to cross your thoughts. The brain thing for me was a biggie; towards the end of my pregnancy – a time when anything could be blown out of proportion and turned into a major concern (yes it WAS essential that I reorganised my underwear drawer the day before I was due) I spent a lot of time looking at Ben, lip out whining ‘but what if lose my edge? What do you mean what’s an edge? My edge, the edge, you know MY EDGE! It’s withering away, it’s crumbling, oh god what if it becomes just a slope’. Whilst I could empathise with him having to live with a crazy lady the size of the moon, obviously I relied on him to assure me, no promise me, that ‘my edge’ would remain in tact (even though he clearly had no idea what I was on about).
I’ve been working for a couple of months now and am pretty sure that ‘my edge’ is still intact; it may be seasoned with a few rusk crumbs and baby wipes, but damn it I’m clinging on for dear life!! Actually, one of the reasons I started this blog was to keep myself busy and keep my writing up, and it has certainly been fun interacting with lots of you and reading your comments. In a way returning to work can actually be a confidence boosting experience (yes, really!) if you turn it on it’s head and look at it differently…Work does feel different when you have a baby; nothing will ever be higher up on your agenda than your kids, so if you give that a positive spin it kind of takes the pressure off a bit – if something goes wrong, or your boobs do leak in a meeting, yes you’ll feel the familiar stabs of ‘work stress’, but at least you get to go home and munch your little one when you get back.
So if you’re returning to work and feeling a little apprehensive, don’t fear because I’ve created a list of new magic mummy skills that you probably take for granted and may not even realise you have. And trust me, no one in the office will be able to trump you on any of these, so keep them up your sleeve and remind yourself of them when you’re losing the will to work!
1) Jedi reflexes – if someone is about to drop a cup of coffee or slip over no one will get there quicker than you. By now you’ll have prevented multiple head bashes, falls and spills. Before long you’ll be transformed from a clutz to a hero and always the best person to have around in liquid or injury based crisis. It is however not a good idea to snatch a pen from a colleagues’ mouth if they’re enjoying a quick chew.
2) Sniffer dog nose – someone done something disgusting they’re trying to hide?Guaranteed you’ll be able to out the culprit in seconds. All those moments of having your snout shoved up your baby’s bottom mean there’s no bad smells getting past you.
3) Go go gadget arms – Baby on your hip, dinner on the go, collecting up toys, sending a text and drawing the curtains. All done simultaneously. And they wonder why it’s women who are the best multi-taskers!
4) imap – Your out and about and your colleague is suddenly desperate for the toilet. Well lucky for them the new upgraded you comes complete with a built in ‘toilet radar’ which locates all toilets, baby changing facilities and lifts within a 2 mile radius. Phew.
5) Ask me.com – Most allergic fruit? Best washing liquid for sensitive skin? Milk stain removal? Local entertainment? Most absorbent nappy? Who’d have thought it? You’re a walking, talking knowledge bank of weird and wonderful facts and solutions. You’ll never need to use ice breaker techniques again, just whoo people with your info database and someone will listen…eventually.
6) Magic bag – We laugh in the face of fashinistas trying to achieve the ‘over size’ handbag look. Once you become a mum magic things happen to your bags and they become quite simply, bottomless. Excuse me while I just find my laptop….one cuddly toy, 4 dummies, a bottle of Calpol, some handy tissues and a tub of Sudocreme later and bingo there it is. Extraordinary. Hermione Granger eat your heart out (that’s a Harry Potter reference in case you’re wondering, and if you are wondering, shame on you for not reading!)
So go forth and get stuck in! May be the force be with you 🙂