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Friday, December 2, 2011

How soon to go back to work post-baby? Roxy Jacenko weighs in.

How soon did you go back to work after having a baby?

Six months? One year? Three weeks? Haven't gone back?

How about three hours?

That's how soon Sydney publicist Roxy Jacenko went back to work after having a baby.

No, she didn't escape from the hospital, making a run for it in the middle of the night from the maternity ward, but she did switch on her BlackBerry just three hours after the birth of her first child, daughter Pixie-Rose.

She told her story to Grazia magazine.

In the article, she says she knows some people will judge her for taking micro-maternity leave, but she doesn't feel guilty in the slightest. Nor will she apologise.

Read it here:

What did you think?

Can you relate?

Or is your experience entirely different? Feel free to comment (I know we mums get very passionate, so no personal attacks, please).

Me? Well, I underestimated just how soon I wanted to engage in work again.

After giving birth to twins almost four years ago, I did some work from home - when my babies were just three weeks old.

Looking back now, sure... it was probably a little mad.

It wasn't a huge job - some subbing work, which I always really enjoy - but I was so severely sleep-deprived you'd think all I was interested in was catching some zzz's.

Nope. And it wasn't about the money, either.

It was about retaining some of my old life. A life I'd worked so hard for. Went to uni for, toiled my way up that corporate ladder. I just knew that if I didn't keep working in some capacity, I would not only lose my groove, I'd lose touch with my industry, and most of all, lose confidence in myself and my abilities.

I was - and am - fortunate enough to be able to work from home and that is wonderful for myriad reasons.

Not battling traffic, no need to coordinate an outfit, no need to wash my hair, even. I dare say I am also more productive (no water cooler conversations, no long lunches).

The downside? Working all hours. Juggling an email with a dirty nappy, or a roast I need to turn. Missing out on the co-worker camaraderie. Never switching off.

And while I did say it wasn't about the money (I didn't want to earn bucket-loads of cash so I could surround myself with material things I didn't actually need) it was more about the freedom that the money represented.

As a non-earner for a mere few weeks I felt a slight 'power shift' in the home... and I really didn't like it.

Before even meeting my husband, I was a woman who looked after myself financially, big-time. I paid all my uni fees upfront with my part-time job, bought my cars, set myself up financially, always thought about my financial future.

While I have never gone back to structured full-time work, trust me when I say I work full-time. It never stops. My workload never. Ever. Ends.

What has been your experience of going back to work?

Did you resent going back so soon because, financially, you had to?

Or are you in the midst of prepping to go back shortly?

And how soon is too soon?

Share your experience here!

(Photo of Roxy Jacenko by Andy Baker).

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