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11 Women Share What It Was Like Going Back To Work After Baby

The struggle is real.

"I pumped two times a day at work for a year. All they had was this tiny server room, which was dirty and very loud. I was running late for a meeting and forgot I still had the bottles attached to, you know, breasts and walked out. I think I scared one of our poor engineers for life when I opened the door to our kitchen. I quickly ran back and hid for two hours and missed my meeting. I never was able to look at him in the eyes again."

—Jen W.

"Going back to work after both of my babies were born was so bittersweet. I always like to think I'm showing my boys that women are strong, capable, and smart by also working outside the home to provide for their families. In turn, going to work makes me a more patient and present mama when I'm home with them."

—Sara W.

"I cried the entire weekend before going back, but on my first day back, I pulled it together. I didn't get cry when I left. I got in the car and kept telling myself, 'I am a positive role model for my daughter.'

"But this was my first time driving without her, so I kept trying to check in on her in the rear view mirror. The first time it made me laugh. The second time I cried so hard I had to pull over. I've been back at work for a month now, and it's still the hardest thing I've ever done. The excitement when I get home is priceless though!"

—Melissa C.

"I was happy to poop alone. Is that awful or what?"

—Jillian T.

"I'm lucky enough to work with my family so although it was hard to be back on a schedule, I can bring my daughter to work. I have a play pen with changing table next to my desk and plenty of family willing to pick up the slack when I need to work and she's being fussy. It's still not easy, but I can't complain when I know so many other mothers would love to be in this situation."

—Cassie M.

"It's my fourth week back to work, and while I have fallen into this new routine, I still haven't been able to overcome the pain I feel. Going back to work is something you can't prepare for. It's a grieving process and one that I know will take me a long time to accept. But somehow you make it through it, and I know that I will be a better mommy for it."

—Jen Y.

"People at the office aren’t exactly thrilled by hearing about poop consistency, sore nipples, and milk puke. But finding a lost Cheerio hidden in my shirt or a burp cloth stashed in my bag reminds me that I have smiles and shrieks of joy waiting for me a few short hours away."

—Jenny M.

"It feels like a vacation sometimes. When I first went back, I felt unintelligent because my brain was all mush from the baby talk. It feels great to be missed though! My child was crying from happiness to see me when I came back."

—Nancy T.

"I remember picking her up from the babysitter the first day, and she shot me the meanest look ever. Later that night, she gave me such a hard time going to bed that my second day back at work was fueled by three hours of sleep. After the third day, she got used to not being with me and has been taking it easy on me ever since."

—Monica J.

"I worked from home for a while. Let me tell you, I learned to type really well with one hand."

—Diane S.

"I was anxious and worried about leaving my son in a new environment, but, at the same time, I was excited to get back to work. On his first day of daycare, I was a mess. I put him down, and, as soon as he saw the toys and kids, he crawled away from me and didn't look back. It was like he forgot I was there. It felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders, and I left not feeling guilty about going to work.

"I remember walking out smiling, and thinking, I love him, but he's their problem now."

—Anna J

Overworked. Under pressure. That’s the life of a Workin’ Mom. Tuesdays 9:30/10 p.m. NT on CBC.