Returning to work after having a baby can be very difficult and involve a whole host of mixed emotions for mums, as they learn to juggle and accept that their priorities may have shifted.
A poll of 1,000 mothers who have gone back to work after having a baby found 31 per cent found it harder than they expected.
As a result, new mums take nearly six months to readjust after going back to work – with nearly a quarter saying the workplace is “completely different”.
Just under one in five felt their boss and colleagues didn’t understand what they had been through – mentally and physically.
And one in seven felt patronised by their male – and female – colleagues as they learned to juggle work and parenting.
Top 20 worries about returning to work
1. Leaving your baby/child with someone else (54 per cent)
2. Juggling childcare (48 per cent)
3. Fitting back into your job and knowing the role (41 per cent)
4. Paying for childcare (38 per cent)
5. Having to be more organised to get everything ready for work/ nursery/ school in the morning (38 per cent)
6. Having to take time off work when your baby/ child is ill (37 per cent)
7. Dealing with changes that happened with your job/ company while you were away (33 per cent)
8. Fitting back into the team when your life had changed so much (29 per cent)
9. Colleagues not understanding the pressures of having a child (23 per cent)
10. Not being able to work late/ come in early when everyone else does (23 per cent)
11. Not being able to socialise as much as everyone else (16 per cent)
12. Crying because you miss the baby so much (15 per cent)
13. Dealing with the physical effects of having a child (13 per cent)
14. Boring your colleagues with baby talk (11 per cent)
15. That your colleagues will see you in a different light (10 per cent)
16. Not understanding the in-jokes after having time away (8 per cent)
17. Arriving at work with fingerprints/ food /sick on clothes (6 per cent)
18. Being reprimanded for constantly calling the childminder / nursery to check on the baby (6 per cent)
19. Accidently using childish words in meetings (4 per cent)
20. Pulling children’s toys out of your bag in a meeting (3 per cent)
Top 10 things mums were looking forward to about returning to work
1. Earning money (62 per cent)
2. Having an adult conversation (43 per cent)
3. Having time to yourself (38 per cent)
4. Feeling like ‘you’ again (37 per cent)
5. Using your brain again (36 per cent)
6. Having a life away from just being a mum (33 per cent)
7. Being back to a little bit of normality from your pre-baby life (33 per cent)
8. Being back with your team/ colleagues (32 per cent)
9. Having a routine again which didn’t revolve around feeding and nappy changes (26 per cent)
10. Watercooler gossip (9 per cent)
How about you?
What have you struggled with when going back to work, and equally what have you enjoyed?