1. Pain, every way you turn, you feel pain! Now that you no longer have the freedom to express milk on a whim, be prepared for some uncomfortable meetings in your near future.
2. Double line those nipple pads for every single meeting. No, I mean it. Every single meeting you attend, line those babies. Use two-ply if you have to!
3. Is it really only noon? I thought staying awake with a newborn during the day was difficult.
4. Did your coworker honestly just ask how your extended vacation was?
5. Eight-hour days feel like an eternity. All you can think about is the endless to-do list you could be accomplishing without a baby tied to your torso!
6. Working mom guilt is real and it smacks you in the face like a hammer the first day back to work. It’s OK. It’s normal.
7. That hot date my coworker had last night? Now it sounds extremely painful!
8. No, I can’t do cocktails with you after work. I have a little human that depends on me for life!
9. I don’t sleep for more than four hours a night still so whoever missed their turn on coffee duty today, I hate you. Maybe not forever, but I hate you today. I feel totally rational in making this decision.
10. Pumping is a serious pain in the butt. By the time you unpack your supplies, you’ve been gone 15 minutes. Coworkers will start to snicker about the amount of time you’ve spent in the “mother’s room” and you will undoubtedly begin to doubt your choice to pump at work. Don’t let it get to you.
11. You will start to look at your childless coworkers with jealousy. This too shall pass.
12. The first time you get asked to travel after returning from maternity leave will feel like a punch in the gut and then turn into the best vacation you’ve ever experienced in your life. SLEEP!
13. How did I ever tolerate that pompous jerk of a boss every single day before getting pregnant?
14. You’ll start to wonder if your 3-month-old is more mature than some of your colleagues. The answer is yes.
15. Oh, you wanted to wear your prematernity pants the first day back to work? That’s so funny!
16. The day you drink your coffee alone in silence for the first time in months will feel like a 10-day vacation from reality.
17. The first time someone points out dried baby throw up, you will be mortified. The next time, you will shrug and explain that it could be worse because yesterday there was a diaper blowout. Your coworkers will never mention the spit-up again.
Monica Froese is a working mom who lives in Buffalo, New York with her husband and 3-year-old daughter. She earned her MBA in 2010 and is currently a marketing director. She blogs at Redefining Mom, where she focuses on empowering other women who go back to work after having kids. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram, where she shares interesting facts about being a working mom and on Facebook and Pinterest where she shares all her best resources for managing the working mom life.