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Stress at work after the maternity leave

stressworkmaternityleaveClueless. Confused. Anxious. These are the feelings I am experiencing today as the world marks World Aids Day. I am typing this piece on December 1, which happens to be my first day in office after my three-month maternity leave. It has been one draining day.

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First, leaving baby was distressing (Don’t tell me I am a second time mum so I should get a grip of myself!) I reported an hour late as I gave my house girl instructions a million times on how to warm frozen milk.

Although I had trained her beforehand, I went over and over to ensure she gets it right. I mean with these house girls, one can never assume anything.

You see if you tell her to warm it by dipping it in a container of hot water; and forget to remind her NEVER to microwave breast milk, one day her creative mind will tell her to microwave it because it is a faster route. But I digress.

So after giving her a million-and-one instructions and making her repeat them, I dashed off to work still unsettled.

Going back to work after such a long hiatus comes with a certain feeling of dread and apprehension.

“Will I really remember how to write a grants proposal? Will I be relevant at the workplace? Will I understand the new programme of workflow HR has introduced? Where will I be pumping the milk and storing it now that my employer has no such mother-friendly facilities? What will my boss say when I dash out before time? What if baby falls ill and I am caught in traffic, will I make it in time?”

These are panic attack questions that flooded through my mind as I was seated in the matatu headed to work.

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When I arrived at work, I did a short meet the people tour to ‘greet’ my fans then I settled down to work. Guess the first hurdle that I face? Yes you guessed right. I had either forgotten my password or it might have expired. So my first two hours were spent calling IT. Is it just our office that IT guys take centuries to respond?

Anyway, as I waited for them to sort my machine, I kept calling the house girl to find out if they were OK. After being sorted by IT, I tried to settle by doing something gainful, but my mind kept wandering off to my pregnancy days, to delivery and maternity leave that had flown like a wind. I was like a zombie. My agony lasted four hours before my boss noticed how unsettled I was and allowed me to go home before time.

Thank God for understanding bosses!

photo:madamenoire.com
 

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