As any working mom can attest to, returning to your job after having a baby is tough. For one thing, not everyone gets to take a paid maternity leave; one in four new moms return to work less than two weeks after giving birth, before their body has fully healed. Even if you do take a few months off to recover and bond with baby, plenty of new moms still struggle with the decision to leave their child in the care of someone else due to guilt, fear and a whole host of other post-pregnancy emotions.
Comedian Amy Schumer has so been there. After previously being mom-shamed for returning to standup just two weeks after giving birth to her son, Gene, this past May, Schumer took to Instagram to share what motherhood has been like in the months since she returned to her career.
“Five months today, and like all moms I love him so much it hurts,” Schumer wrote alongside a photo of her hugging a newborn Gene. “I’m feeling strong and good and like I’m still a human being with interests and ambitions and goals I’m excited to reach. It’s felt good to be back at work.”
She goes on to clarify, though, that the transition back to comedy hasn’t been totally smooth sailing. Like many new moms, Schumer admits she really, really misses her kid sometimes.
“I was so worried about it and was afraid to go back after he was 3 months old,” she revealed. “A couple days I’ve cried from missing him. But it’s mostly good to be back and the breaks energize me to be a better mom and appreciate our time even more.”
Science backs this up. At least one study determined that moms who go back to work full-time are happier and healthier than other new moms, since having a stable job can give workers a sense of purpose, self-efficacy, control and autonomy. (For the record, the study found that stay-at-home moms weren’t the unhappiest or unhealthiest of moms. Rather, it was those who try but struggle to hold down a consistent job, which is understandably stressful.)
Luckily for Schumer, she has access to money and resources that can help make being away a little more bearable, an advantage that she fully acknowledges. “I have it a lot easier than many people,” she concluded, “but I wanted to share my experience.”
She then asked her followers to share their perspective on what it was like to go back to work after having a baby.
The post, which had received nearly 700,000 likes as of press time, racked up the comments and inspired other moms—including tons of celebrity moms—to share their back-to-work stories and offer Schumer words of support and encouragement as she makes her way through this difficult transition period.
“I didn’t care about anything,” actress and founder of Flower Home Drew Barrymore commented. “Everything seemed trivial if it wasn’t about my kids. But after time, things fall into the new place. Not the old. Old is gone. Forever changed by a love that is indescribable! And it just seems to get better and better every day! I am no longer interested in myself as me. It’s being their mom. That’s who I am now. You’re such a cool person Amy! Your kid is gonna be so proud of you!”
“Thanks, Mama,” model and founder of the nonprofit Every Mom Counts Christy Turlington Burns said. “Love, Gene and all the mamas who need strong examples of motherhood and support.”
“It’s hard, being a working mom,” Debra Messing added, sharing her own experience of going back to work on Will & Grace after having her son Roman. “But I believe that we are better moms when we are able to do what fulfills us. One hour at a time, Amy.”
This is exactly what we love to see: moms supporting other moms. And Schumer certainly seemed to appreciate the words of encouragement. “These comments are so good to read,” she later added in the comments. “Thank you.”
If you’re on maternity leave and heading back to the office soon, read our best tips for going back to work here.
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