Maternity leave anxieties
Going on maternity leave is a nerve-wracking prospect. For a first-time mum like me, I wondered; what is the baby going to be like? Am I going to be a good mother? And what is this going to do to my career?
Before going, there’s no doubt that I was anxious. I’d always wanted to be a mother, but my career was going really well and I was nervous that all the hard work I’d put in over the last few years would be wiped away in one swift move. I often thought “my replacement will be much better than me”, “they won’t want me to come back”, “this is the time they’ll expose me for the imposter that I am”, “there are plenty of people that can do what I do, better, quicker and to a higher standard, my mat cover will get my job and that’ll be game over”.
None of these thoughts were substantiated. I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive team. Don’t get me wrong, I was told in jest several times that my timing could’ve been better, but it always came from a place of warmth and an acknowledgement that I would be missed.
During maternity leave, I was allowed to be as involved or uninvolved as I wanted. I brought my daughter to work for a few meetings, I dialled into the monthly company update to keep abreast of what was going on. All because I wanted to. Not because there was an expectation to.
Being away was a challenge. I’d come in for a KIT day to find that my replacements were doing really well. Fantastic for the company which I want to be successful but more ammunition for the anxieties already in my mind. Secretly, I wanted the feedback to be “we can’t do this without you”.