5 Truths About Returning to Work After Your First Baby

Going back to work after the birth of your first child runs the gamut of emotions. You’re nervous about how you’re going to make it through the day, sad to leave this squishy little baby for an entire eight hours and excited - you know, to talk to adults!  


While the whole idea of going back to work can be more than a little stressful, at least we can all laugh about the truths that come with getting back to the grind after having a baby for the first time. Here are five things first time moms know to be all too true!


1.     You’ll actually consider becoming a stay-at-home mom


Even the most ambitious career women aren’t immune to toying with the stay-at-home mom idea once they meet their new bundle of joy. I distinctly remember sitting in my “women in business” course in college, 100% certain that I would make it to the C-suite. Fast-forward 10 years and about midway through my maternity leave, and I had that moment…the one where you think, Well, maybe I could just stay home…maybe we could make that work? I was literally crunching numbers trying to figure out if I could realistically stay at home (by the way, the answer was a resounding no!). 


2.     You’ll wonder if your brain will ever return to full functionality


You’ll find yourself back at work, struggling to remember the details of the talk you had with your boss just five minutes ago. Your brain turns to mommy mush – regardless of your work demands. By day two back at my job, I was leading a new project and in full swing. But I couldn’t finish my sentences, much less easily recall conversations, deliverables and action items. How in the world are you supposed to function like this? Using lists, my friends. Lots of lists – and a very organized calendar with reminders!


3.     You’ll walk into work with food or spit up all over your clothes


And even more shocking: you won’t care! Before having a baby, at the very least my hair would be dry, I’d have make up on and accessorize! These days, I’m just happy if I’m out the door on time. I’ve completely redefined what work chic means to me (top knot, mascara, lipstick).  Pro tip: Keep a clean shirt and a great scarf at your desk for when you realize (most likely around noon) that you have spit up on your shoulder!


4.     You’ll have to deal with stupid comments from co-workers


Particularly the ones who try to point out the bright side of being a working mom but fail miserably – like the fact that you get to take a “break” to go pump breast milk. Oh yes, the 15 minute window I have between meetings to haul my medical grade pump up five floors to the “comfort room,” get everything set up, pump (usually while still emailing) and make it back in time for my next meeting is really restful! Mind you, this will all be for about two ounces of liquid gold. Bonus points if you’re on a call and pumping at the same time!


5.     You’ll be proud of yourself


There will be a day when you take a step back and realize all that you are accomplishing – and you really will be so proud of yourself. You are super mom setting your child up to learn from your success. Somehow, you’re actually keeping it together (most of the time, anyway). Congratulations on becoming an unstoppable working mom!

Mary Beth Ferrante