Returning To Work After Maternity Leave

I finally return to the workforce in two days after taking nearly 8 months of leave that was comprised of 28 weeks of disability plus 6 weeks of paid family leave.  This couldn't be more different than my original plan of returning to my job after 8 weeks of delivering a baby. (What was I thinking?)

To start, I had a rough and traumatic labor, 62 hours long to my first baby at 38 years old. I was lucky to have my (former) Mother in Law in the delivery room with me and she stated that my labor was by far the most difficult and scariest that she's witnessed and honestly didn't think I was going to survive.

My recovery was just as difficult and challenging, both on a biological and emotional level.  I was diagnosed with moderate/severe Postpartum Depression and this was so hard for me to understand.  I had dreamed almost my entire life for a baby---so why do I feel so completely empty and lonely now?  Here I have this absolute gorgeous and healthy girl in my arms and all I wanted to do was fall asleep and never wake up.

Eight weeks into my maternity leave, I notified my employer that my doctor had extended my disability to 12 weeks due to recovery complications.  I worked for an iconic family brand name as Chief Operating Officer of a sophisticated single family office in San Francisco.  I had served this multi-generational patriarchal family for over 3 years and was the first employee to take maternity leave in nearly 18 years of their business existence.  Just 10 days before my expected return date, I received a call at home that my position was eliminated as a result of a "corporate restructuring".  I was the only employee negatively impacted.  I'm not here to disparage any employers but "Just Saying".

"When the storm passes, the sun shall shine" was my new mantra for the next few months.  I needed to fuel my resilience to land on my feet again.  My brand new daughter's livelihood was on the line.

After a few months of job searching, I'm happy to share that I've found my next home to transfer my skill-set and talents. While I am excited to join this woman-owned firm in just TWO days, I am deeply nervous and heart-wrenched about finding my new normal of working full-time and single parenting it. I hope to do a good job on both counts.

For the mamas out there who have gone through this transition, I welcome any tips, advice and inspiration to get me through the first few days and coming weeks.

xo







Comments

  1. Jackie. First off, you are amazing. When you doubt yourself. And get negative remarks from naysayers just know that you are amazing. Take it day by day. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Us Type As are really good at that. And then don’t forget - you can always call me. Night or day. I’ve been there. Working mom trying to do the best for my family. Love you. What you’re feeling is normal. Don’t beat yourself up. Your baby is lucky to have you as her mother.

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    Replies
    1. thank you Jan! you are amazing and make three kids look easy.

      xo

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  2. Wow, Jackie! You've been through a lot. Best wishes to you, Josephine, your family and your village. Hugs ~ Trudy

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    Replies
    1. thank you! hope you're loving the retired people's club!

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