Returning to Work

So it’s 8.30pm on day 3 of my first week back at work. The best day so far. The first day when I didn’t constantly check my watch and wonder “What’s the baby doing now? He’s probably napping. I wonder did he finish his apple puree? Is Finn playing in the paddling pool? Oh rats, I forgot to pack his togs”.

Thoughts of the boys swam around my head all day Monday. And while the high level of adult conversation had me giddy, if I let my mind drift, I could feel my heart grow heavy. And man was I rusty at my old job! Getting nervous, flustered and fluffing lines in front of the camera. “Just slow down”, said my producer into my ear piece. A phrase I wanted to say to my sons as they grew up while I was busy doing something else.

By Day 2, we were getting into a rhythm. Sure I was cooking tomorrow’s dinner at 9pm and ordering groceries on my phone but it was easier than facing into a morning of panic.

And now it’s hump day, and I’m feeling like a champ. The boys have been in flying form. Our evenings before bedtime are chore free, I’m not washing a plate while they’re still awake, so every moment counts.

And I’m loving feeling like my old self. The last time I returned to work after maternity leave, I was already pregnant and wearing stretchy jeans.

So this time, it’s been a treat to pile on the makeup, slip on a dress and finish hosting the show without having to run out to the bathroom during an ad break. And that old buzz is back. Nothing like seeing the red light of a TV camera ignite to get your adrenaline pumping.

So I’m already planning on what we’ll do come the weekend, how we can cram in fun stuff for the boys. And you can guarantee there’ll be no makeup, no pretty dresses. But plenty of fun, muck and making every moment count.

Karen Koster

Karen Koster is the anchor of Ireland’s primetime entertainment news show, Xposé which is broadcast on TV3 every weekday. She is currently on maternity leave after welcoming her second child, JJ (John James), on February 29th this year. She is also mum to Finn, who was born on New Year’s Eve 2014.

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