Returning to Work After Maternity Leave: Time’s Up!

People love to tell me, “After you have 3 kids, adding anymore isn’t a big deal!” Well – let me tell you, THEY LIED.

I was on maternity leave for a little over 3 months. I enjoyed the precious time I got to spend with my baby boys. I was home with Zaire and Zo. There were so many benefits to this quality time. Zo remained healthy and wasn’t exposed to germs that are easily spread at daycare. Zaire got to be snuggled and cuddled all day and literally grew up before my eyes!

Maternity leave wasn’t new to me but going back to work this time was. While on maternity leave, I received a great opportunity for a new role with a new company. So to add fuel to my fire, I finished out my maternity leave and started a new job all at the same time! I know, I know, It’s a lot, but I’m just built like that! I always have a lot on my plate and God provides the strength – ALWAYS!

So how did it go, you ask? Day one was OVERWHELMING. 3 car seats. 3 jackets. 2 lunches. 3 kids to get ready. 1 mother. I was all alone. My husband has to be at work before I do, so he was only home with us for a little bit. So there I was, running around, grabbing things, trying my hardest to be on time. Feeding a baby and trying to get ready. Supermom superpowers: ACTIVATED. WOAH.

I’m not really sure how I made it on the first day. I dropped everyone off. I made it to work with a minute to spare. I kept my attitude positive and I made it through the day – Thank GOD! The rest of the first week had a few more bumps and bruises, but I made it.

Week two TOOK. ME. OUT. There is literally nothing worse than starting a new job and then getting a call that your son is sick; the same son who while on maternity leave was damn near PERFECTLY healthy. Working mom guilt: ACTIVATED. For me this is taken to another level immediately, due to Zo’s Sickle cell. So I dropped everything to get him situated and once he was good and symptoms decreased, my symptoms increased.

In the midst of the pandemic, the last thing I wanted was symptoms that could be COVID-19, but here we were! WOW. Four different covid tests done in the family, and after multiple doctor’s visits, I figured out I had a sinus infection and got the meds I needed <insert praise dance!>

So, well, how are things going? All good; things always end up good.  God’s favor does not waiver.

It’s a lot having 3 kids under the age of 5! There is a constancy for someone needing some part of you pretty much 24/7. They need your attention, your love, your participation, your excitement, your space, your hugs, your bed, your room, your blanket, your heart. Literally everything you have, they need.

Having three kids at three different developmental phases is also challenging because they all need various things simultaneously. I won’t lie, a lot of times I’m overwhelmed. I’m tired. And I’m burnt out.

I find my strength in the Lord and I lean on my husband. A lot. I’m not good at asking for help and calling in for back up – because I’m a “if I don’t do it, it won’t be done right” kind of perfectionist and it comes with positives and negatives. Having three kids has made me break away from this. I’m so thankful for this. God knew what I needed to force me to change. I’m so thankful He works in mysterious ways like this. I can’t do it all and that’s ok. Hard to swallow some days, but it’s ok.

We were not made to be alone, Literally in the book of Genesis, 2:18 it says “Then the Lord God said, “It’s not good that the human is alone. I will make him a helper that is perfect for him.” Although I know what the Word says, I still struggle with this. I just want to do it and then be done. But this is where I appreciate God and his sense of humor.

Now with three kids and all of their needs, I simply can’t do it and then be done, all by myself. I like to believe I’m a superhero, but I have to have my wingman, my right-hand man- my boo man, my hubby. He makes this whole thing go round!

Shout out to all the single mothers: I genuinely think you are remarkable!! I am rooting for y’all!

Working full-time and supporting my family is a challenge some days. My sweet Zaiden reminded me how much I’m loved. I found him writing in my devotional and I was instantly mad. I yelled “Stop it Zaiden”, his eyes widened, and he said, “Mommy I just want you to have something to make you smile when you feel sad.” And my heart sank. I didn’t even understand that his little heart could feel like this. It was the sweetest act of kindness that literally makes me smile every time I read my devotion. I’m so thankful he wrote his name all across my devotional! This constant reminder of love in the form of an all caps, left-handed, ill-spaced ZAIDEN is what I’ll always need.

They say the days are long, but the years are short. This time, THEY TOLD THE TRUTH. If your maternity leave is coming to an end, just know God has it all planned out for you. You will survive, and it will get better: it ALWAYS does. Don’t forget to stop and give yourself grace. You, too, deserve the love you give everyone else!

Love,

Janelle

9 Responses

  1. Love this babe !! Bring a boy mommy is the most filling job !! Glad to see that you are embracing the journey !! Can’t wait to read note

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