Why I Can't Wait to Go Back To Work After Maternity Leave

In the UK we are incredibly lucky to be able to take up to a year off of work when we have our babies, however, this is not fully paid leave. The current entitlement will vary from employer to employer, but the legal minimum required is; 
(taken from the Gov.uk website which can be found here)
Statutory Maternity Pay or SMP - The first six weeks are paid at 90% of your average weekly earnings (AWE) before tax then the remaining 33 weeks at £184.03 or 90% of your AWE whichever is lower. The final 13 weeks should you choose to take it would then be unpaid.  - Figures accurate as of April 2024. You will also still have your annual leave entitlement

When I found out I was pregnant with our second baby in March of 2023 we knew she would be due late November so I decided to start my maternity leave on 23rd October - making me 36 weeks pregnant. I have chosen to end my maternity leave on 31st July 2024 and take 5 weeks of annual leave to cover August meaning my return to work date is 2nd September 2024 and I cannot wait. 

Please do not assume this means I do not love my children and want to spend as much time with them as possible. I love my children more than I could ever explain and relish every single extra moment I can spend with them, but I cannot wait to get back to work and these are my reasons why. 

1) Money - Maternity pay is rubbish. I'm in a position with my job that I am paid a decent wage and so the drop in pay when on maternity leave is definitely noticeable, especially with the cost of living rising drastically. We will be much better off financially once I return to work, even with the extra childcare cost. 

2) Socialising - Maternity leave is lonely, especially when all of your friends and family work a 9-5 job. I spend 90% of my time now alone with my baby and count down to the weekends when I have my husband home and friends are available. When I go back to work I will have lots of other adults to talk to. 

3) Sence of Self - When I had both of my babies I felt like I lost myself and became 'Mummy' Everything is about the children - which is as it should be - but when I go back to work I get to be myself again and have things outside of the children which is definitely needed.

4) Mental Health - all of the things above contribute towards issues with my mental health. After I had my first baby I had quite bad post-natal depression which I have never hidden and when I fell pregnant the second time it was something that played on my mind as I knew the likelihood was I would get it again. One of the things that helped last time was returning to work. While I thankfully do not appear to have post-natal depression this time round, I still know that returning to work will help to prevent this as you can get post-natal depression up to two years after the birth of your baby. 

While returning to work will mean that I will miss out on time with my children and will be one of the hardest things to do, I know it will make me a better mother in the long run. I do feel that it is frowned upon to say that in the 'mum community' but here I am. Saying it. 

I can't wait to go back to work!

10 things you should always take to work

Anyone else used to be obsessed with the 'What's in my bag' videos on YouTube? Just me? I honestly loved a nosy into everyones bag, but even now I'll take a look at the 'work bag' editions out there because I love to be organised. I thought it might be a good idea to put together a 'What should I have in my work bag' post with my 10 must have items when I am going to work. Some of them you probably already have and maybe one or two you had never even thought about. 

1. Hand sanitiser. 
Okay so this one is obvious these days, however I have carried hand sanitiser in my bag since being pregnant. It was like it suddenly occurred to me that the world is a filthy place! I find that 'fun' sanitisers mean I reach for them more, I currently have the Carex love heart scent and now that Primark is open you can bet I'll be picking up some of their fun scents. 

2. Hand cream. 
Again this one is probably a given, but I work on a computer all day find it really hard to type when my hands are dry. Sanitiser doesn't really help with dry hands so I tend to go through loads of hand cream, in fact I keep one in my work bag and one on my desk at work too. 

3. Lip balm
Dryness is clearly an issue for me, but I hate dry lips, so you will always find a nice lip balm in my bag. EOS are my current favorites but I'm always looking to try new ones. 

4. Travel hairbrush
This one is one that people never seem to expect from me. I don't wear makeup to work very often (I like to sleep as long as possible) however I have long hair and often will wear it down, so I have a hairbrush always in my bag, just in case I want to pull my hair back or its just gotten a bit messy as I run my hands through it all day long!

5. Notebook and pens
I don't think I go anywhere without a notebook. I think it so much nicer to write things down then put them in my phone, I'm not a very digital person (although I am trying) there is something about a small notebook for when I have a blog idea or need to jot something down. 

6. Sunglasses. 
I never not have sunglasses in my bag. I'm incredibly short which means even in the winter if the sun is out its in my eyes. 

7. 'Period pack' 
If you look at this and think, nope don't need that, I am insanely jealous. 
What I mean when I say period pack is exactly that, I carry at all times a few sanitary towels, a few tampons, and a spare pair of underwear, just incase I get caught short at work. 

8. Hard boiled sweets. 
People always think this one is a little strange but I hate going anywhere without hard boiled sweets. I think they are great, tickle in your throat? Suck on a hard boiled sweet. Need a sugar hit? Hard boiled sweet for you my friend. Conversation starter for new people? Hey fancy a sweet! yeah I love these what's your favourite?

9. Mini anti bacterial spray
So these are a new one for me, but I love Fabulosa and when I saw in Aldi a few months back hey have mini versions I had to have them all. I always have these with me because, even now, you never know. I used to carry a pack of anti bac wipes but these and a tissue are so much better, and they smell amazing!

10. Toilet spray. 
There is nothing worse than needing to go for a number two at work. You know, it smells and its uncomfortable if anyone goes in there after you because its so obvious it was you. Well not anymore! I use the Fabulosa versions of toilet sprays but there are loads out there. Just spray before you go and no more smell!

What are you work bag must haves?

Where It All Started

Birth Story

Harry's birth story seemed like a fitting first post on here. Bear with me because it was written months ago. More posts to follow ever...