Am I ready to return to work? I’m writing this the evening before my first day back after over a year off. There have been many tears over the last few days.

I feel lucky that I’m only going back to work 3 days a week, so I get another 2 days with my special girl. However I’ve spent the last 13 months with her. I’ve left her with my mum twice and she’s had a settling in session at nursery, but that’s it. She’s been by my side the entire time otherwise. She’s my shadow and now I have to let her run free.

I have no doubt that she will flourish at nursery. She is going to absolutely love being around other children and playing with lots of different toys. Her routine might take some adapting but she’ll soon settle.

Me on the other hand, I think it’s going to take a bit of getting used to. The idea of leaving her for 9 hours a day scares the hell out of me. How am I going to get any work done when she’s on my mind? Please tell me it gets easier.

It feels like my heart is being torn open. I’m possibly being over dramatic, or I quite definitely am. But it’s the night before I start work and I feel physically sick. Is this normal?

I pulled out this briefcase from it’s hiding place in the back of my wardrobe. It’s a beautiful bag that my mum bought me when I graduated. I’ve never had an opportunity to use it as all my jobs, although corporate, have always been relaxed.

Radley briefcase bag returning to work after maternity leave

I feel like now is the time to bring it out. Maybe it’s something for me to hide behind. I don’t feel particularly confident about going back to work so maybe I can look the part instead. Hey, if I dress the part I can fake it until I feel more me again.

Today I’ve packed our bags: my briefcase and Eleanor’s backpack. We’re both ready for our next adventure. I hope she has the most magical day making new friends. I hope I just manage to get through the day. I’m going to pull on my positive pants (as they’re definitely a thing) and get excited about this new chapter of our lives – and the chance of a hot cup of tea in peace.