Returning to work after baby production was one of the strangest experiences I can remember; birth will always still trump it though! Heading back to an environment in which I previously felt comfortable and in control, felt like a hideous leap into the unknown. For months I’d stumbled around in the style stakes as I regained confidence and my body changed shape. Suddenly, faced with the knowledge I must interact with only other adults, any security in style and taste I previously had seemed to evaporate. This process of diminishing self esteem was gradual – think lone deflating lilo in autumnal swimming pool. It culminated in a frenzied credit card assault on Zara online one week before I went back to work. I bought numerous coordinating outfits that pleased me simply because of their newness and size, matching the number I was before my rotund days of pregnancy. I only wore those clothes that first week! They weren’t really “me”…just the me I thought I should be in the eyes of my colleagues i.e. organised, composed and prepared. In reality I was none of those things. I was simply nervous, shambolic and lonely without my new extra little human at my side.
So this week my thoughts are with Lorraine Candy as she returns to work as Editor in Chief of ELLE Magazine. I had a stylistic melt down at the thought of returning to work with fellow humans whose hearts and minds do not live for fashion…so I staggered to think how Lorraine would cope. Of course I now see that Lorraine has many strategies to deal with the return to work process, as it is after all the 4th time she has done this and she does have a team of über-fashionistas at her fingertips. Through her new Editor’s Blog on Elle, the What The Editor Wears feature and her Twitter feed, we can all follow her tentative steps back into the workplace. I love the honesty with which she writes and look forward to seeing her show all new mums how seamlessly it can be done.
(All images courtesy of ELLE Magazine)