This day hung over me like a black cloud for most of my maternity leave if I am honest. I am a worrier by nature so this new experience of going back to work, with the responsibility of a baby to add to the equation made my stomach churn….Sound’s a little drastic I know.
My plan first time round was to take the 6 months off as I believed life would pretty much be the same and it would all slot into place..I couldn’t have been more wrong. As soon as my son was born I never felt the same and found it hard to function, let alone cope with a baby! The thought of entering the world of work in a matter of months filled me with dread. It wasn’t just the changes I experienced becoming a mum, it was the thought of leaving him and even worse with someone else.
I worried about this a lot and one day came clean with my husband and presented him with my fear and anxieties. We hatched a plan, reviewed our finances and decided we could just about manage until our son was 1 and then I had to return to work….phew! I still had to go back at some point.
My increased maternity time I relished every moment. My worry and panic subsided a little as I had “time” to pick up those feelings in the future. I was not going to waste a moment!
I enjoyed every minute of my “extra” time but as we hurtled towards a few months prior to returning, those pangs of guilt, dread and panic came back again. It wasn’t going away and I had to accept it would be my turn shortly and join my peers and friends who were working and juggling their family lives. This is what other mums had warned me about. I found it really hard whichever way I dressed it up or down.
“That” day approached fast and to lessen the pain I treated myself to new work clothes – a new me. Helped a little but the reality was I didn’t want to leave him. Yes the money was a huge plus….financial independance again, holidays etc “I am giving him the best start in life” “Better to provide for a easier life than constantly worry about money”. These where the conversations I would have with myself regularly.
The day came and I thought I would never survive, but I did. Plenty of women do. It’s hard and emotional but if you are organised, have selected the best childcare which works for you, don’t beat yourself up too much and try and select the positives from the working/balancing life then you will get through it. It also made it a little easier when I had some close friends to lean on when it was all too much….
If I could get through a good week without dropping a “ball” and more importantly no sickness from nursery, including baby and I then I had succeeded! The biggest reward of picking my son up from nursery and the time we spent when I wasn’t at work was worth it…..I will never forget those cherished times of indulgence…