A Work In Progress: My Post-Maternity Leave Experience
I’ll start by highlighting that both of my ‘going back to work from maternity leave’ experiences were very different…
The first time I went back to work from maternity was when Lena was 8 months old. She was my first child, so I was very stressed at the idea of leaving her!
I couldn’t help but keep thinking…
- Is this going to have an impact on our relationship? Is she going to still react in the same way hearing my voice and looking at me?
- Would her routine be followed? When she didn’t have enough sleep during the day she was cranky in the evening and if she had too much sleep, she would certainly wake us up very early!
- Am I going to miss any special moments in her life, like her first steps and other milestones?
- How do I manage the new relationship with my nanny, who I’ve entrusted with the care of my first born?
I missed my baby every day but, on the other hand, I was excited about going back to work! I liked my job, and I loved the idea of being surrounded by ‘adults’ every day with whom I could have an adult conversation. After a few months at home feeding, changing nappies, reading books and learning all of the possible nursery rhymes and songs from popular children’s shows, this opportunity for a change of pace and location (and less singing…) was exciting!
Despite my worries, our bond remained incredibly strong, and I didn’t miss her first steps or major milestones - but my mailbox and messenger were full of pictures and messages which just weren’t organised in any way, meaning finding any information was incredibly difficult, from simply sharing photos with her grandparents to needing to access details for health visitor check-ins and doctor’s appointments. We also found ourselves juggling endless lists between us which definitely taught me a lot about time organisation, but also that there had to be a better way!
The second time I went back to work from maternity leave was different, as I was more relaxed and much better prepared. Why? Well, this video probably says it better than I could!
I went back to work when Anthony, my second, was 10 months old and Lena was 4 years old. It quickly became apparent that having two children under 5 meant that my family needed to level up our organisational skills...
In the mornings, my husband and I not only had to get them ready for nursery, but we also needed to be ready (mentally and physically!) for work. And getting out of the house on time? Anyone else who’s been in a similar situation can probably guess how often that happened…
In the late afternoon, we had then had to arrange pick-up shifts to fit around our varying work schedules. Planning was a completely different level, due to the fact that both children had different needs, and those lists I mentioned previously only grew!
Once we had implemented our schedules and found our rhythm as a family we did it - we coped, and my husband and I both managed to retain our professional schedules alongside the children’s needs and requirements - but our learning along the way is what influenced so many of the features in Onoco.
If I had Onoco back then:
I could have tracked my daughter’s milestones in the app and used daily tips to schedule activities supporting her development, both for us and her nanny
I would have used the planner to schedule doctor appointments, play dates, pickups etc so I could see all of that in the context of their individual schedules (not to book any appointments they would be overtired and therefore grumpy!)
I would have safely shared my kids' pictures and have everything in one private place that no one else apart from my family could access, so my parents and parents-in-law would get regular updates from us with lovely pictures without us needing to search through endless email threads or use social media platforms with questionable privacy settings
I would have created logs for reading time as they both grew, and probably one for my own mood so I was using the app to check in with myself too - being a parent isn’t an easy path!
There are so many features of Onoco I would have used, and this is why I created the app.
I really hope you love it as much as I’ve loved creating and developing it, and that we are able to grow together!