Tuesday 6 January 2015

A year of being a working mum

This time last year, I was getting ready for my first day back at work. I'd had just over eight months off to prepare for our baby, have Ethan and get to know him over the course of his early months in the world. 

We spent our days often in our pyjamas, side by side. We'd go to local baby groups, we would have a stroll in the park in the summer sun and we would fill our days with feeds, naps and toys... with a bit of daytime TV thrown in to help keep this mama company. 

The plan had always been for me to return to work. And the plan had always been to return in January 2014. For anyone who knows me, they know I like a plan and so if I have one, then that's how things are going to go. End of!

I knew it was going to be hard to adjust back to working life; not doing my job so much, more getting used not to having my little sidekick, well, by my side all day long, and getting used to a new routine that involved a lot more juggling and far less pyjama days.

I knew that things would be ok, that Ethan would settle at nursery and I would get back into the swing of things too, back at work and learning how to become a working mum. My first week back went well and I was feeling ok about it all and it's true, that with time, it does get easier.

A year on, and it's hard to remember those care-free, maternity leave days. This Christmas came close, as I had the most time with Ethan over the past couple of weeks since I went back to work and I really enjoyed getting to be with my special guy everyday. 

In all honesty though, it was pretty tiring. 

My work schedule can get pretty stacked and it's not one of those jobs, or I'm not one of those people, where you can just switch off completely when 5pm comes around. But despite having had a few very busy work weeks and desperately needing the Christmas break, being at home with a toddler who has just learned how to work is even more exhausting. They just have so much energy! And if you can tell me when I will grow the extra pair of eyes in the back of my head, that would be great.

Not that I am complaining at all. I've become quite greedy, used to having Ethan's company and being back at work is a shock to the system. I was reminded yesterday, when I dropped Ethan off at nursery in the dark, having woken him and bathed him and clothed him in the dark, of how I felt when I started back at work this time last year and that tug in my chest when I had to hand him over. 

Sorry Ethan, Mummy has to go. But she'll be back soon.

He was quite upset, although sometimes he really isn't a morning person so I don't know if it was just a coincidence or if he really was upset at being back at nursery and with me waving goodbye. He had a really nice day in the day, as he always does as he loves nursery and being around other children, and work wasn't bad at all. Things never really are as bad as you think they might be, are they?

And really, being a working mum isn't so bad. I didn't realise how an upset child can really pull on your heartstrings when you're running late and you have to leave them behind, confused and snotty, in the arms of someone else. But these days are infrequent and few and every time, the sadness passes, for him and for me, as we get about our days without each other. It's good to be without each other as it gives us both time to grow in ways we can't together. 

Of course, if I could have the best of both worlds and be with him whilst working full time and giving him the chance to learn and develop around those his own age, then I'd wave my wand and make it come true.

We have our Wednesdays together, and evenings and weekends too, which is more than some people have, and that's what I remember and what I cherish. I've learnt over the past year that you just have to make the most of your time, any time, in any way you can. 

Whilst there's no magic wand, we have our magic bond which means we're never really apart.

I'm always there, bubs. Always.


1 comment

  1. As a working wife now, planning to have a baby, you've reassured me so much.

    Lizzie Dripping


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