Natassia Soper shares the concerns of first-time mums the world over when it comes to returning to work.
There's the fabled work-life balance to grapple with, a new Sydney commute to factor in and a little girl - nine-month-old Kora, to be missing.
But unlike too many, Soper's return is playing out in the public eye.
From Monday, the Wollongong TV news reporter takes on a presenting role, having answered the call-up to Nine's Sydney studio under the network's re-launched foray into regional news.
"It's going to be a fine balance at the start, I think," said Soper.
"But Nine is very fostering of new mums, they've been very flexible, so I get to have a bit of time with [Kora] in the mornings, then I go up about midday. I've got a very, very supportive husband and family, who are coming to the party to help out."
Former St Mary's girl Soper (then Apolloni) met Edmund Rice graduate Aaron Soper in a "very Wollongong" romance, borne out of the city's then-karaoke institution, The Harp hotel.
"I slipped and fell over. He went to help me up and then he slipped and fell over. We were there on the ground laughing ... and that's our love story."
Their relationship went long-distance for three years as Soper moved interstate for her career, which began at regional rival WIN, with a dogged six months of unpaid work experience.
"It is [competitive], but if you're willing to put in the hard work and you have the skill set behind you, then you will rise up and you will be noticed," Soper said.
"There was no one 'big story', it was just consistently putting myself forward to pick up those bigger stories, to have that confidence in my own skill set to be able to handle that and just to work hard. I've put in lots of overtime. I've lived and breathed news for 10 years - it's literally about dedicating yourself to the job."
Nine suspended its 6pm regional news bulletins in March, amid COVID-19 uncertainty.
From Monday, Soper replaces Vanessa O'Hanlon as 9News Local newsreader for a half-hour all-regions program that serves as a curtain-raiser to the 6pm metro bulletin.
The combined 1.5-hour format replaces the hour-long version, which had local stories peppered amongst national and international headlines.
James Wilson and Kaitlan Tukukino stay on as the bulletin's Wollongong-based reporters.