One of my toughest times mentally, emotionally and physically was when I went back to work full-time in 2017 after my maternity leave for my firstborn Kieran ended.
I had to struggle to reinstate myself as a good employee who could still deliver the work while juggling being a first-time mom (FTM), ensuring I pumped enough breastmilk for baby K amidst a super busy work schedule with meetings always overrunning, and then having to rush to pick K up, manage the household chores etc when I came home.
Sometimes I was so tired after latching K I’d fall asleep without showering then wake up with such bad engorgement. I still remember the days I woke up still in my office dress, stressed and helpless, texting my boss I would be late as I hadn’t even showered or pumped. Taking a day off was never an option because of the looming deadlines.
Countless times I sat at my office desk so overwhelmed I’d start crying. I wanted to quit my job not because I didn’t like my work but coz everything was so overwhelming as a FTM & FTWM. I wanted to convert to part-time but i couldn’t due to our peak period.
Many times I walked out of the house, wanting so much for the darkness to consume me. I was exhausted, tired of it all. I wasn’t me; I was just a mom; trapped, who could see no light nor end.
Somehow, I hung on. I weaned K off breastmilk. And with my boss’ blessing several months later, I moved to a 2/3 work schedule. I began a slower pace of life. I got hubby to take on more with K and the household chores. I started running to recharge myself. And slowly, I found myself again and began to love being a mom once more.
I will always be proud of overcoming this tough time in my life, for persevering and not giving up. I didn’t start strong but I found my strength along the way. And I choose to write my story as one of resilience and self-discovery.
- Charlene (@charlean)