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You’ll Have Imposter Syndrome

After spending nine-ish months with just your baby and Cocomelon for company, it is perfectly normal to have legitimate concerns your brain may have turned to mush. You’ll worry about everything, starting with how the hell you’ll manage to get out of the house by 7.30 am every morning. You’ll also worry that everyone thinks you have no idea what you’re doing. Do not panic. Within a few weeks, you’ll both be in a routine and completely nailing your ‘new normal’, and you’ve more than got this!

You’ll Give Nursery 3000 Notes They Won’t Care About

‘She likes to go to sleep with bunny’s left ear slightly over her face, but not covering her nose and for goodness sake, DON’T wash it. Oh, and when you feed her, you’ll need two spoons, one for each hand. Are you writing this down?’ Newsflash: nursery staff have actual magical powers. You might struggle to get your baby to sleep in the comfort of their pitch-black temperature-controlled room, but they can get 20 kids to drop off simultaneously on paper-thin plastic yoga mats. Don’t stress – they’ve got this!

You’ll Achieve Absolutely Nothing on Day 1

Your first day back will mainly consist of resetting long-forgotten passwords, deleting 12,000 unread emails and trying to remember the new people’s names. Someone is sitting in your old seat, and there are a thousand new acronyms to remember (just smile, nod and google them later). Have patience and be kind to yourself. The first few weeks are bound to feel like information overload.

Nothing and Everything will Have Changed

Wait a second, wasn’t this action literally on the agenda of the last meeting you attended NINE months ago? Your pass might not let you into the fancy new building, but your workmates are still complaining about the same old shit and within a week, we guarantee you’ll feel like you never left.

First, You’ll Feel Guilty. Then You’ll Feel Free

However much you love and miss your baby, there’s nothing like being able to drink a hot drink without having to reheat it and peeing without an audience. For the first time in what feels like forever, you’ll be called by your first name instead of ‘Mummy’. And best of all, when you’ve settled back into work, there will be a moment when you have time to do something for yourself on a real-life lunch BREAK!

You’ll Forget What it’s Like to Wear Real Clothes

If, like us, you spent the last 9 months wearing a wardrobe that largely consists of leggings with holes in and jumpers covered in baby vomit; you can understand why your eldest child’s teacher asks you to confirm your identity when you arrive to collect them in workwear for the first time.

The Sickness will Nearly Break You

When they said ‘you can have it all’, you didn’t realise they meant Strep A, Norovirus and a never-ending string of other nursery-spread illnesses. It’s hard to look like you have your shit together when you receive ‘that dreaded call’ in the middle of a v. important meeting, and you have to leave to collect them early (again). Remember, it takes a village, so don’t be afraid to ask a few favours if you can. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember it does get better as they age.

You’ll Have Tons of New Skills

Patience, multitasking, and the ability to concentrate on the most tedious tasks on just 4 hours sleep. If you can get a toddler to put their coat and shoes on without a fight, we guarantee your skills in persuasion and negotiation are now shit-hot.

You will be THAT Parent

No matter how solemnly you vow *not to mention the baby* it’s literally impossible when their key worker sends you adorable pictures of them all day playing with their mates at nursery. Just resist telling your boss the graphic version of your birth story or showing Sandra from Finance your c-section scar in the toilets.

You’ll Find a Way to Make it All Work

You’ll join the mass exodus of other stressed-out parents hurtling home to collect their kids before they incur a giant late fine. But it will get easier, and you’ll realise the best is all you can do. It’s incredible how quickly you’ll fall into a new routine, and the baby (and you) will stop crying at drop-off. You’ll start to remember who you were pre-baby, and you’ll cherish the time you get to spend with them even more.

*Or all failing, you’ll go back to the Dragon’s Den idea you thought up on mat leave and become a millionaire.

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