I Don’t Know What I’m Doing

Road Signs

Last year I didn’t want to leave work to go on maternity leave because I was scared of what I was going to miss out on. Scared that the momentum that I had built up over the last few years would be lost. Scared that people would forget me. Because in the fast paced world that I work in, where things are constantly changing, people coming and going, it’s a very real possibility. Fast forward eight months and now, at times I don’t want to go back. I want to stay in this new world that my daughter and I have built together. Where I get to live the stay at home mum dream, all day every day. Of course, at times it’s very hard living the dream. Its hard work being a full time stay at home mum. But its a lovely privilege that I am enjoying every minute of. One that has caused me to daydream what it would be like not to go back to work. Not to go back into the city that I so love. Something that I never considered in my pre-child world. Because I never anticipated that becoming a mother would change me so much.

I haven’t even been back yet to give it a chance, but the anxiety already has me contemplating a move. A change of career. Perhaps even an opportunity to reinvent myself a little. I can’t quite see consulting fitting in with having a family. But then in the same breath I’m thinking about going back and scaling the career ladder, picking up where I left off and hastily setting up meetings with work. I thought I was ready to go back in a few months. I thought I had decided. I thought in my head, that it was a done deal. But an informal call with work yesterday suggested otherwise. I’m a mess. I’m all over the place. I’m not quite sure I know what I’m doing. I’m not quite sure I want to know yet, and I guess that’s ok. When we confirmed our childcare arrangements a few weeks ago it set off a chain reaction, one that threw me back into my working mentality. One that I don’t think I was quite ready for. I don’t want to return to work feeling as uncertain as I do now about my decision of when the right time is for me to go back to work. I need to be confident and sure that the decisions I am making are for the right decisions, and if there was anything that the call showed me was that I’m still not sure.

So I’m not sure where that leaves me. I don’t know how much more thinking and talking I can do around this. I’m not sure what I need for me to make a final decision that I feel happy about. It feels like such a big decision and I don’t want to regret anything. I really don’t know what to do. But I’m not sure that I need to just yet..

I would love to hear from other parents on how you made your decision about when the right time was to go back to work? What things helped you make your decision and how did you feel when you made it?

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/lori_greig/5331407245/”>Lori Greig</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>



  1. bettyallonby
    January 29, 2014 / 7:16 pm

    Hi again!

    For me the decision was easy; I arranged to go back to work as soon as my SMP stopped. As it happens, I ended up having 3 weeks unpaid maternity leave (or 2 – I really should know!!) because I couldn’t quite face going back when I had originally planned but other than that I didn’t have the luxury of choice. We can’t afford for me NOT to work. I see zero shame in being a stay at home mum and if I were lucky enough to be able to do so, I would make no apologies for my decision not to go out to work every day. Unfortunately that is not an option open to me at the moment.

    I totally understand how you’re feeling, because when I went in for the first meeting in the flexible working request process, it suddenly felt VERY real. Before, going back to work was like some abstract concept and felt so far in the future as to be irrelevant.

    I hope you can come to some conclusion soon.


    • February 5, 2014 / 10:48 pm

      Hi Betty

      Youve hit the nail on the head with you comment – thinking and talking about work, up until now had felt very abstract and like a future event. But actually starting conversations with work makes it feel very real all of a sudden and even though I still have a reasonable amount of maternity leave left to enjoy, going back has started to feel very near. I think id almost prefer not to have the luxury of being able to decide because I think going back is hard regardless of when you go, so it might make it that little bit easier if I knew that I had to go back by a certain date then I wouldnt be able to over-think it so much! I think im a step closer to deciding now, but I still have those days when I feel a little uncertain..

      Thanks for reading as always 🙂

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