5 Unexpected Perks of Going Back to Work

mother holding baby while working
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Though I've always wanted to be a working mom, leaving my son with his babysitter to head back to work when he was just eight weeks old was one of the hardest things I've ever done. The first few weeks were chaotic. I was struggling to fit into my work clothes, having trouble getting out the door in the morning, and missing my little one like crazy all day. Even in the whirlwind of adjusting to my new normal though, I was able to identify several perks of heading back to work.

office
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Your office now feels like a sanctuary

Though you might have spit-up on your shirt and baby wipes in your purse, your office probably doesn't have laundry piles in the corners or breast milk splattered on every surface. It's also probably quiet, pleasant smelling, and devoid of anyone who relies on you for absolutely everything. Work has its stressors but it can feel downright relaxing after a long night with a baby who still isn't sleeping.

friends over coffee
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You rediscover the joys of adult conversation

Unless your spouse was able to take as long a leave as you when your baby was born, you likely spent the last few weeks face to face with someone who wasn't even able to babble yet. While babies' out-adorable grown-ups any day, having a whole office worth of adults to talk to about current events or celebrity gossip or big ideas can be a refreshing treat after maternity leave.

{ MORE: To All the Moms Who Are Just Tired (And Maybe Don't Want to Wash Their Faces) }

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You're forced to take the time to take care of yourself.

While skipping showers and staying in sweatpants all week was fine while you were on maternity leave, heading back to the office means you have to be showered, dressed, and reasonably well groomed every day. Finding the time to take care of yourself can seem daunting as a new mom but it's absolutely essential and, once you start making yourself a priority, you'll realize just how much better you feel when you do.

work at home
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You have the opportunity to be your old self for a little while

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New motherhood can be all encompassing. In the early months it can seem like your old life and the person you used to be have totally disappeared. It's also common to feel like you don't have a clue what you're doing. When you head back to the office, you regain a little bit of who you were before the baby came along and get the opportunity to spend time doing something you know you're good at: a total win-win in my book!

mother kissing child
Image via iStock

You feel like an absolute superstar

As a working mom you do the seemingly impossible. You manage to cram in a full day's worth of work both at the office and at home, and you do it with love and a smile (most of the time)! When you finally lay your head down each night you'll probably feel a little bit exhausted, a little bit anxious and very, very proud of all you're able to accomplish.

{ MORE: 5 Things to Expect When You Have Babies 10 Years Apart }

What are you looking forward to about going back to work?

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5 Unexpected Perks of Going Back to Work

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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