First day at office after pandemic

Mommy’s Day Out

Post pandemic world was entirely a new kind of ordeal for Alia. Overwhelmed with thoughts and insecurities, she leaves for office for the first time in two years leaving her baby at home.
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It seemed like ten years and not two. Her clothes fit her, but tugged at the corners just a little. With a sigh, she thought of the long way she still had to go at losing some of the weight gained.

Looking back at her was a tired face in the mirror. A little more pink on the cheeks ought to do it, she thought.

Getting ready was taking forever for Alia, a habit she had quite forgotten. The pandemic had added to the maternity leave and made it an extremely long period to be indoors. As a new mother, she had tons of insecurities – about her body and capabilities. But post pandemic was an entirely new kind of ordeal. Nothing felt sure anymore. Alia’s mental health had taken a hit.

As she left for the office, her first time in two years, she was flooded with thoughts. What if they had unwillingly agreed to hire her, what if the baby did not cooperate with the nanny, what if she couldn’t work as effectively as she used to.

After breathing through a panic attack in the cab, she entered her workplace only to be warmly greeted by her new colleagues. A few came up to her and struck a conversation. One of them even wanted to see pictures of her baby. Alia was surprised at how much she had missed an office environment and talking to people with similar interests. Later, during lunch, her boss reassured her. “Please settle in at your own pace, we want you to return to work with love and not out of stress,” he said. She felt grateful.

As the day wore on, Alia kept looking at her phone, worried she might get a call about the baby, but her nanny called only once to inform that all was well at home. Strangely, it made Alia cry. She rushed to the bathroom and wiped her tears. It was after all the first time she had left her baby and gone out for so long. It felt as if the baby was already okay without her. Alia knew she had to stop overthinking before it became too overwhelming.

When she finally returned home, it seemed as if everyone’s eyes were on her – her mother-in-law who had felt she was resuming work too soon, her husband who had come early from work just in case the baby needed anything. A strange sense of loneliness crept into her as she felt no one truly understood her situation anymore – her need to be around the baby at all times fighting with her need to go out and do something with her time and skills or her desire to be a mom, but also be more than that. She sighed as she entered the nursery.

Her baby was cooing contentedly in the crib, and when he saw his mother, he smiled widely. He raised his arms to let her know he wanted to be picked by her. Alia smiled at the most beautiful face in the world.

“My darling, how I missed you! Do you want to know about mommy’s day out?” she asked happily.

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