The day is looming. The end of your maternity leave. Maybe you’re feeling dread. Maybe you’re feeling excitement. You might be feeling a combination of both.
It’s a big deal, there are all sorts of decisions to make. Go back to work full-time or part-time? Daycare or nanny or Grandma? Should you even go back to work at all?? Or maybe you don’t have a lot of options and you have to do what you have to do even if it doesn’t feel quite right.
So many moms face indecision during this time of transition.
And then there are your Feelings. Leaving your baby can feel hard. What are the voices in your head telling you? Are you wondering if you’re a “bad” mom for going back to work? Fearing that your baby will experience separation anxiety being away from you? Or worse be emotionally damaged forever (yikes!) because you left her?
And you might be wondering how you can really trust someone else to look after your baby. How can anyone know your baby as well as you do, what his needs are, and just how bleepin’ often he puts objects just the right size to choke on in his mouth?
Or maybe it doesn’t feel hard and you can’t wait to get back to work. In fact, you are ready to RUN back to work. Are you wondering if something is wrong with you? Are you afraid you’re a “bad” mom for wanting to return to the adult world, and finally, finally get your life back?
Notice either way there is Guilt. Society is quick to judge a “bad” mom. Moms judge each other too. And most tragically, we judge ourselves.
And then there is Fear. The fear of something bad happening to your baby. The fear that there is something wrong with you.
It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin and keep them up at night.
So mamas, what do you do? How do you let go of the Guilt and the Fear that are making your life miserable and clouding your judgement when you have big decisions to make? How do you find a clear way forward?
Many of my clients have faced this exact thing: The Beast of Guilt and Fear at the End of Maternity Leave. It’s reared its ugly head for me as well with my recent return to my counselling practice now that my youngest is almost one.
I’m going to walk you through some steps to face and move past the Beast of Guilt and Fear. This works whether you’re dreading going back to work or really excited about it, or anywhere in between.
Feel the peace and clarity that comes from facing the Beast of Guilt and Fear. If you’re not quite there and your feelings are still big, try this exercise again later or another day.
When you’ve worked through what all those nattery voices in your head are telling you (and they’re really just a distraction) and found your peaceful place, you can look again at any decisions you need to make around going back to work. Your “stuff” will be out of the way and you can move forward with a clear head, better able to make the best decision for yourself and your baby.
If you’re still struggling and need more support with this, contact me. I have been honoured to help many moms work through their feelings around transitioning back to work.
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Katherine Aucoin, Motherhood Counsellor
Hi Mamas! My name is Katherine and I'm a motherhood counsellor and a mom to two little boys. I'm here to offer tools, insights and support to help you be the best mom you can be for your children AND yourself.