1) You might make less money than you used to
Don’t expect to reclaim the position you held at your last job six years ago. Your employer’s expectations have changed, and so have yours. It’s likely that you now want a job that’s more flexible, lets you leave on time, and possibly, is less stressful.
Notes recruitment consultant Selina Seah, “Women who have taken a long break are usually encouraged to try a part-time position or temporary work assignment first before settling on a permanent job, which gives them time to adjust.”
2) Your home won’t turn into a war zone with you gone
When you’re home with the kids, you’re either picking up after their messes, cleaning the walls they’ve happily decorated with crayons, or preparing meals (don’t forget the clean-up after that!). With you at work and the kids spending most of their time at the childcare centre, there’s every chance your place will actually be tidier.
3) You have to relearn how to talk to adults
How are the water-cooler chats working out? While your cubicle mates are discussing news headlines and the stock market, your mind is swimming with the theme song from Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Oh wait, did you just excuse yourself to do a poo-poo?
While your cubicle mates are discussing news headlines and the stock market, your mind is swimming with the theme song from Jake and the Neverland Pirates.
4) You feel like you gave up on your kids
You shouldn’t feel guilty about returning to work. Sure, you’ll wonder if you’ve made the right choice, particularly in your first weeks. “I was a mess on my first day at work,” says Chua Li Ling, 34, a physiotherapist and mum to Sean, 3, and Shireen, 6.
“I cried in between my patients. Even though I have a work arrangement that allows me to work just five hours a day, I couldn’t bear it. Thankfully, things got better eventually. My kids got used to it long before I did.” It’s natural to feel guilty about being away from your children. You’ll likely feel guilty about anything, from not providing a home-cooked packed lunch for them, to secretly loving that solo, hour-lunch break.
5) You find that you don’t need to call home every hour
It serves no purpose. Just make it clear to the caregiver when they should call you — for instance, if your child is feeling unwell or has been injured.
6) You realise that you’re being a great example for your kid(s)
Think about the role model you are being for them: You’re a financially independent woman with a career and aspirations, as well as being their mum!