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Anxious about going back to work

(7 Posts)
Nikkibham Mon 28-May-18 23:46:43


Thank you for reading my post. This is the first time I have posted so please be kind lol.

I am currently on maternity leave, I had a beautiful baby girl and I’m due back to work soon. Unfortunately I cannot put it off any longer, we need the money.

I am a qualified social worker and most days I can handle my job and I enjoy it. I have been doing it for some time.

Recently I have been looking at my little baby and cry when I remember some of the cases I managed. I can recall babies I have seen who have been severely physically, mentally and sexually abused and although I felt I had coped with it at the time it’s caused some trauma. I am having nightmares and anxiety about returning to work and again having contact with these cases.

I guess the purpose of this post was just to acknowledge my anxieties. I will have to return to my work for at least 13 weeks and will think of ways to get support.

Did anyone else experience anxieties about returning to a difficult job and how did you cope?

mdtl Fri 08-Jun-18 14:51:36

Hello Nikkibham

I don’t really have advice to give but didn’t want to say nothing! You sound like you have experienced some really horrible things and I can completely see how you’d feel this way. Hope someone else can offer advice for you! My dd is 4 months old. Big hugs flowers

Nikkibham Fri 08-Jun-18 16:31:44

Thanks hun. I hope your enjoying motherhood 😊

User19992018 Fri 08-Jun-18 21:06:23

Can you get any support from work to help you cope?

it sounds like you've been exposed to some horrific cases and what you are feeling is only natural and to worry is normal.

When you become a Mum I think it switches on something that can't be switched off - I don't know what it is, but I find a cry nowfrequently at things that never used to bother me.

I feel a much greater sense of empathy and sadness for children and babies that have a rough ride into this world and beyond.

Psychotherapists have to go to sessions themselves to keep themselves sane etc. Do you have to access to something similar - like some sort of supervision?

Calmingvibrations Mon 11-Jun-18 23:33:44

I used to work in a very similar environment pre kids. I didn’t think that it affected me too much at the time. However a year or so before I had a child I changed the area in which I worked, not because I wanted to get away from that area of work, but for other reasons (but current job is still bl00dy depressing by the average persons standards!).

Since baby has been born I’ve been much more emotional and anything traumatic upsets me to point of tears, more so if it involves kids. I’ve sometimes wondered if I would be able to hack it in that old environment or if I’d be too upset (I used to be just mostly angry).

Perhaps when you are in working mode it will be easier than you think? Sorry can’t add much more but I hope you will be ok and wanted to say I totally understand how you feel x

ErikaLindersSecretAdmirer Wed 13-Jun-18 18:17:15

I could have written this post. The return to work hung over me like a shadow. The closer to returning I got the more sick to my stomach I felt. I didn't work specifically in Child Protection but I did work with vulnerable children and I think whichever area you work in as a social worker the difference pre-children versus post-children was, for me at least, unbelievable. I could not stop thinking about how vulnerable my daughter was whilst not in my care and I know that being around abuse, neglect on a daily basis and fighting it meant that I did have a somewhat skewed perspective of the darker side of life. But even so, my anxiety increased not just about leaving her but also about the children on my caseload. I cared before, sure. But having my own daughter released emotions in me that made social work impossible. I worried now for them. I found myself worrying at night, worrying at weekends and I had decision anxiety regarding risk management. I found my non-judgemental attitude disappear overnight almost and think in disbelief how can you do that to your child? Of course, I sought supervision but ultimately having my daughter changed me as a whole person. To cut a long story short I left my job and got a part time job as an adult support worker instead and found that I could still make a real difference without the heartache that came with working with children. It was a new challenge, too which was welcome after becoming a parent. We all have our limits OP and life is far too short to not be brave and honest about your feelings. I'm still a social worker but not in a way that upsets me. Good luck!

Nikkibham Thu 14-Jun-18 14:43:02

Thanks @user. I have spoken to my manager regarding KIT days and also explained to her some of my worries. She is going to speak to HR about counselling.

@calmingvibrations. I think I have had too much time to think about the children I worked with for a number of years and I feel I’m more ‘emotional’ since LO got here. In some ways I am looking forward to going back and swinging into action.

Erika, thank you so much for writing this. This is exactly it. I always cared about what happened to children but now I am genuinely distraught by some of the things which happened to them. A career change may just be what I need if my feelings don’t improve when I return to work. I am pleased you found something you enjoy doing.

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