Here we go, I’m 3 weeks away from returning back to the daily grind of work.
I’m sitting here, trying to string together some sort of sentence to put down how I feel about this page turning event. The fact that I will be back to work after being off for nearly 10 months. This seems to be the hot topic at the moment. How do you feel about going back to work? Every time I give a different answer. Depending on the person because in reality my brain hasn’t decided yet. It’s just sitting on the fence having a peek at both sides deciding which side it’s willing to live with.
I realized a long time ago, I really wasn’t made for being a stay at home Mum. Don’t get me wrong before I had children, during those long sleepless nights when your so heavily pregnant turning on to your other side is a challenge in its self, I thought I would have been a amazing stay at home mum. We would do crafts, educational trips out and the children would be dressed to perfection. There would be a Michelin star dinner ready as the husband enters the magazine cover worthy home. When the dinner chat came to how was your day darling the answer would always be “my day was perfect”.
I know, I know, I watched too many happily ever after movies growing up, but who doesn’t love a happy ending. Then in reality, you have children and that dream comes crashing down when you come face to face with play dough and the chaos it brings along with it.This not a slagging match of who is better, stay at home mum’s, full time, part time working mum’s etc. I thought just get that out of the way before I have the onslaught of comments.
For the last 10 months I have played the part pretty well. It’s not been a Oscar winning performance, but both children are still alive which I think gives me at least some brownie points. Looking back, I found the change from 1 to 2 children quite a shock. I thought before my second I had the basics down, but then adding another child into the equation, I really wasn’t prepared for how hard it would actually be. Most days they like to tag team me. Who doesn’t love a game of let’s see how many times we can nearly push mummy over the edge. Which some how again play dough plays some part in this. My OCD and horror of how the oldest easily mixes all those colors together and god forbid you left her alone with it. As you know as soon you turn your back it will be ingrained into your sofa forever.
I do try and be in two places at once. To make sure everyone is getting equal share of Mummy. The hard truth is I spend most of my day trying to divide myself up fairly . Now I don’t just mean between kid 1, kid 2 and the husband that would be most days quite possible. I mean trying to split myself between kids, husband, washing, cleaning, organizing, dinners, play dates, food shopping, lunch prepping, entertainer and that’s just some of the tasks. While others are thrown to the husband before the Mummy ship sinks.Now I felt I was just managing to float along with 1 kid. Then adding a second and trying balance myself out again has taken a fair amount of time and quite a few patch jobs to keep me a float.
Until recently, the idea of taking two children out myself has brought me out in hives. All the preparation in my mind, and knowing that it would end in Mummy being stressed, a baby screaming and the 4 year old moaning that she cant walk anymore because her legs are too short.*We have had this excuse quite a few times*
To add work to the list of things that needs to have a share of mummy, and is still quite hard to get my head around . I mean some days I am one of those mum’s that rock up to the school gates with a baby still in Pjs (at least its not me in Pj’s it was a close call a few times) and the hair hidden under the bobble hat to hide the fact it should of been washed quite a few days ago. Clothes have been thrown on last minute probably with baby sick or dribble hiding on them somewhere. So the idea I will need to be presentable and organised, on top of getting two children packed up and ready to spend their day at which ever grandparent has the shift. Is filling me with complete and utter dread as I write this.
It has taken a long time to get into some sort of daily routine. Being honest it has pretty much taken taken the whole 10 months, and it still doesn’t go to plan 70 percent of the time but I do love a routine possible more then the children do.The practice runs have already commenced in warm up to me going back. I’m very lucky that my family will be my childcare when I’m working, without them I wouldn’t be able to return. I’ll be going back to do the back shift which means I will still be able to do the nursery drop off, pick ups and then leave the kids at lunch. Though I wont be home again until passed both there bedtimes. In my head I’m thinking YES!! no more needing to convince the 4 year old that she loves certain veggies or having to listen to the baby scream like a banshee while I try to put together some sort dinner. Also for the last 10 months sharing the bedtime routine with daddy after not doing it every other night for 3 years, I am going to miss it. The special way *Mummy* tucks in 4 year old or the nice cuddles I get from the baby which are getting few and far between with him being on the move. Don’t get me wrong Daddy will do a brilliant job but I think this is where the Mummy guilt steps in.
Me going back to work is going to effect everyone, the kids especially. Firstly it will effect the baby as hes known nothing different but as time gets nearer i’m realizing it will effect the 4 year old so much more than I first thought. Before maternity leave she was used to Mummy not being there at bedtime or that sometimes Mummy wouldn’t be able to pick her up after nursery. Now mummy has done all this for 10 months and its all about to change. Going to her grandparents has been more a treat than a necessity. We have started reminding her that in a few weeks Mummy will be going back to work to make pennies so far so good she has seemed happy enough but time will soon tell. The grandparents, are getting everything ready for their weekly visits of the two mini tornadoes into their homes. Finally daddy, I’m sure he is going to have a shock when he has to fly solo at bedtime.
So the next time someone asks me “How do you feel going back to work?” I’m excited, but nervous that my baby brain is here to stay. I know the Mum guilt will rear its ugly head from time to time when the kids do something I have missed while working. But for my own mental health I need to go work to be able to miss my children. That way when I am home I can be there without wishing I was somewhere else.