‘That’s crap’: Carrie’s frank TV confession
Carrie Bickmore has revealed her mixed feelings after returning to work after maternity leave, saying it's "crap" most women can't share how they feel on the topic.
Bickmore returned to The Project in July after eight months of maternity leave, giving birth to daughter Adelaide late last year.
In her column for Stellar magazine which was published on Sunday she compared returning after maternity leave to a confusing and conflicted "big slice of tiramisu".
"Layer upon layer of coffee-flavoured excitement, mixed with a whole tub of mascarpone guilt, a few biscuits questioning their existence and a sprinkle of chocolate shavings to disguise the soggy, out-of-control mess. It was a lot for one sleep-deprived head to handle," she wrote.
Bickmore also added that despite telling her partner Walker she was looking forward to being home for maternity leave "he knew I would quickly start longing for the relative peace of the office".
After sharing her column on Instagram, Bickmore realised her views had struck a cord with other mums, prompting her to speak more on the issue during Tuesday's The Project.
Bickmore said returning to work after maternity leave was "different for everyone" but the important thing was to be able to "share the conflict".
"Some people find it hard and some people find it easy to return to work. For a long time, I reckon we have been told that you can't share that it is struggle," Bickmore said.
"You can't share how hard or conflicted you feel because that will be detrimental at work and also that just that might show that you are a bad mum and you want to work. And I just think that's crap.
"I think there is so much power in being honest and us being vulnerable and speaking the truth. And the more conversations we can have, the easier things get in the workplace and the easier things get at home."
Guest Project panellist and Nova radio host Chrissie Swan, who is also a mother of three, agreed with Bickmore.
"You don't want anyone to think that you're incompetent or that you've changed so much that you're no longer the right person for the job," she said.
"I read something once that you've got to parent like you don't have a job and you've got to work like you don't have kids, and I feel that very strongly, that I just can't really bring one world into the other."
Bickmore's confession she had felt conflicted returning from maternity leave took co-host Hamish Macdonald by surprise.
"You are every bit as professional as you have ever been and it does appear from the outside that it is all together," he said.
"Don't open me up!" Bickmore quipped back. "You don't want to see what is underneath it all."
"Maternity leave is different for everyone. Sometimes going back to work is optional, for others they have no choice. A lot of time is spent discussing the economics of maternity leave, not a lot is spent unpacking the experience from an emotional standpoint. " @BickmoreCarrie pic.twitter.com/nQ0xSLMBzf— The Project (@theprojecttv) August 6, 2019
Returning to The Project desk in July Bickmore said going from two to three children had been "so incredibly hard".
Bickmore explained Adelaide had struggled with "really bad" reflux which had taken a while to diagnose.
" I had no idea what that was and it made the first few months very hard because we couldn't put her down at all and we didn't know why she was crying and unsettled," she said.
"But we're on top of it all, it's good now but it's been full on. Coming to work is easy."
Bickmore shares Adelaide and four-year-old daughter Evie with Walker, while she had 11-year-old son Oliver with late husband Greg Lange, who died from brain cancer in 2010