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A New Comfort Zone

This time a few weeks ago, I was feeling anxious. Only one more sleep until my first day at work. Another step into the unknown, not knowing if I was doing the right thing or not. I had spent 17 months previous being there for Emma, watching her every move, cramming in the housework amongst playing with her, trying my best to get it right. So many people told me that I’ve got to do what’s right for me, and as I lay there unable to sleep, I think to myself ‘this is what I want’.

I had started to get a bit emotional about it all, breaking down a few days before as I told my other half that I would miss her too much. I’m knew what I was feeling was a loss of control, and perhaps a good measure of guilt too. I didn’t know if this was normal, I mean is it normal to burst into tears when someone asks you if you are excited about starting your new job? My tears shocked him and he told me that I don’t have to go back to work. I thought seriously about what he said, but I had to do what was right for me now – I needed to give it a go.


On my first day, I was a complete bundle of nerves. I was almost late for work as in the 19 months I have been on maternity leave, I had forgotten that trains are evil. How could I forget to allow time for delays…there might be a leaf on the track or perhaps the driver just couldn’t be assed to turn up for work that day. As the train went at 5mph, I could feel myself getting boiling hot…the basics of commuting after all those years of battling the rat race train journeys had somehow flown out the window!

A few weeks has now passed and we’re doing fine. But there’s no doubt about it, my days are different now. Now, as it approaches 7am, I’m longing for her to wake up so I can see her before I head off to work, instead of praying she sleeps and sleeps. I seem to be running everywhere, instead of keep as calm as I can when we get from A to B..what does 10 minutes later matter? Now 10 minutes is the difference between giving her the bottle before bedtime, or being able to give her breakfast before I go to work. It matters.

There are also hard days – when all I want is to stay with Emma and be Mum instead of the Mum who runs around juggling childcare, work and train timetables. And there’ll be tougher days to come, when I am delayed because of work, or the trains…when I can’t see my girl before she goes to bed. But for now, I’m going to focus on the positives – time for me to be me again, to get back into the job that I loved to do and meet a new set of people. I still haven’t managed to have an entire hot cup of tea or coffee (true story) but there’s still time to work on that!

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  1. October 17, 2016 / 9:17 am

    I love this post. It’s been a year since I went back to work and I can still relate to this so much. Especially the 10mins being the difference between giving her a bottle before bed or not, every minute really does count! Glad you’re doing what you love though and eventually hopefully you will get that hot cup of tea or coffee! #bigpinklink

  2. October 17, 2016 / 9:52 am

    Ahh you’re doing amazingly well, it must be such a huge change for all of you and it’s never easy leaving our children. It sounds as though you’re getting into a routine and it’s always important to jump out of your comfort zone, especially when you are capable of achieving so much. Good for you Bridie, you’re a real life super mama! #bigpinklink

  3. October 17, 2016 / 10:00 am

    Ahhh you are doing brilliantly. Such a massive change for you and Emma and you should be really proud of how you are both coping! #bigpinklink

  4. October 17, 2016 / 10:24 am

    Oh I’m so pleases that it is going ok! Such a big g step to go back to work but I bet you’re loving the feeling of being you again and all that adult company – yay! You need to work on the cup of coffee lovely! #BigPinkLink

  5. October 17, 2016 / 11:17 am

    Give it time. Everything will fall into place. Where there’s a will there’s a way:). You’ll be promoted from mom to supermom in no-time;).

  6. October 17, 2016 / 11:38 am

    It sounds like you have the rights attitude. Soon you’ll be in your routine and know what to expect #marvmondays

  7. October 17, 2016 / 11:51 am

    It can be hard to find the right balance when you first start back at work after being a full-time parent, but it does become your new normal quicker than you might think. I don’t love the nursery-work-nursery-dinner-bath rush, but it just feels like a normal part of my routine now. #bigpinklink

  8. October 17, 2016 / 12:07 pm

    I remember when I returned to work after mat leave. It was a new job and it left me feeling so conflicted. It was a tough time. But soon I found my balance and I began to love going to work and having some ‘me time’ and would appreciate my time with my son that much more. It’s a challenging time but it does get better. #bigpinklink

  9. October 17, 2016 / 12:08 pm

    Well done you! It must be so incredibly hard to juggle everyone’s needs, but it sounds as if you are doing well. It will be so rewarding being recognised for your achievements at work – remembering who you are, beyond a wonderful mother. Alison x #AnythingGoes

  10. October 17, 2016 / 4:39 pm

    Good on you for giving things a go. It’s the best thing to do. I went back to work when B was 9 months and none of us were ready. Due to the lack of flexibility I left my position, now I’m a SAHM. I completely relate to those nerves, those break downs but it doesn’t make you any less of a mother and Emma isn’t going to forget you or resent you. You are doing fabulous. Take each day as it comes, cry when you need to cry and all will be well #bigpinklink

  11. October 17, 2016 / 6:20 pm

    SO pleased it’s going well for you and I hope it continues to do so! I’ve been waiting for this little update post after reading the first one. Good for you. #marvmondays xx

  12. October 17, 2016 / 7:01 pm

    I think you’re smashing it – it takes a huge amount of balls to go back into a role where long days, trains and childcare are involved, you’ve gone in feet first! I’m so pleased it’s starting to fall into place, as I knew it would. Oh and totally normal to cry when asked if you’re excited! Xxx

  13. October 17, 2016 / 7:08 pm

    You’re doing so well! I can relate somewhat as I recently changed my language lessons to the daytime from evenings. I now do more hours, an extra day and I find it difficult leaving A in daycare. It’s a routine that will take some getting used to. I think so many of us find it challenging to get back into doing our thing after taking maternity leave.

  14. October 17, 2016 / 8:36 pm

    Sounds like you are coping really well. Going back to work after a child is a MASSIVE deal. On top of that you’re going back to a new job. But it does get easier as you get into the routine and your LO gets used to you being away and their new care arrangements. It got easier for me by 3 months and others have said the same so give it a couple more months and it will be the new norm I’m sure. Also once you’re settled back in your job, hopefully you can be a bit more flexible with your leaving time now and again, or work from home occasionally! #MarvMondays

  15. October 17, 2016 / 9:27 pm

    Good luck lovely it sounds as though you are doing brilliantly. It is so hard going back to work after having a long break away from work and your career, but you do find yourself and a new routine. I felt frazzled in my first couple of months, my brain felt foggy, that’s passed now and I’m now really enjoying it. You’ll love being back at work before you know it, and really appreciate the time with Emma. You’ve just got to hope that the Southern train drivers stop striking! Claire x #triballove

  16. October 18, 2016 / 7:19 am

    I think it’s good that you’ve gone back to work. So many of my friends who are working parents say that a few hours outside of being a mum is really good for them. But I can completely understand how hard it is. I’m always running from one thing to the next and I don’t even have any little ones. Throw that into the equation and time must get crazy!

    Sally @ Life Loving

  17. October 19, 2016 / 6:50 am

    My wife went back to work in a new job 5 months back and she felt the exact same. I fully get why you need to do this for you while feeling the way you do about Emma, The Missus is the exact same with our girls. I am so proud of her for doing it which I expect your hubby is for you too. My wife was interviewed by a journalist recently and the piece ended up on The Irish Examiner site and I think it might help you http://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/features/why-working-mums-should-ditch-the-pointless-guilt-424130.html (that’s us in the top picture 🙂 and she also wrote this piece for my blog http://thestentedpapa.com/2016/08/26/mama-the-one-who-goes-to-work/ – hopefully they might help you. Regards, Ross.

  18. October 21, 2016 / 12:49 pm

    I agree that you need to do what is right for you and if this is what that is then good on you! I am sure that it’ll get easier once you get used to the job and the routine x

  19. October 21, 2016 / 2:15 pm

    It’s great that you made the decision that felt right for you. It sounds like you’re enjoying the new routine, even if it is rather hectic!
    I think its normal to feel strange at first, but before long, it’ll become your way of life and you’ll start to really enjoy it
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes 🙂

  20. October 22, 2016 / 9:16 pm

    Awww such a lovely post. So honest and real. Reading your post brought it all back to me, those first few and early days back at work after you have a baby. It takes some adjusting to again, but you definitely get there. Your life is pretty much running from A to B as a working parent and then trying to make the most of, and cram everything into the weekends, but if you enjoy working then it is so worth it. It sounds like youre doing really well too 🙂 Thanks for sharing this on #MarvMondays. Emily

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