As I say over and again, the woman who returns to work is NOT the one who left. Her reality is composed of concerns and that never even crossed her mind in the past. Factor that in to being alone and smack-down at the bottom of a steep learning curve and the results are not pretty. Thank you so much for sharing.
As I often share the same person does not come back from parental leave — how could they? Life is different, parents are different people and time, space, energy and efficiencies shift into bold new forms. I firmly agree that the downplay is a trap and your encouraging of the ernest embracing of “what comes next” is perfectly stated.