I think like most people, as soon as I knew I was pregnant I was counting down the days, not for the arrival of my baby, but until I got to finish work. Now the dreaded return to work is approaching quicker than id like.
I left work back in December and I couldn’t wait to leave. Initially it was to do with my own selfish reasons. I worked hard and at times I just felt as if that’s all I did. It was like groundhog day replaying over and over again. It was rare that I had two days off together so it never really seemed like I’d had time to relax. I would spend my days off usually indoors, curtains closed and watching endless programs on tv. I would often catch a glimpse of the sunshine on my face as the blackout blind tried its best to hide it but I didn’t care. I would feel guilty for all of five seconds and then I would continue watching TV, usually surrounded by an abundance of wrappers and empty diet coke cans.
There would be dishes to do, washing in piles, an unmade bed and some half finished project I would say to myself I would attempt to finish after the next episode of Scott and Bailey, but three hours would pass and id still be there in my panamas (aka whatever i was wearing the day before, sweat and all).
I spent a lot of time on my own and i’m ok in my own company thankfully. I couldn’t wait to kick back and indulge in me before Ernest arrived. I used to virtually live like a slob for nearly three weeks but as soon as I knew my husband was due back from work, I would do those dishes, have all the washing finished, folded (we don’t iron in our house, unless its a special occasion and we use the hairdryer, yes the hairdryer), the bedroom would be clutter free and the bed was made so well you would think id taken a hospitality course.
I am for want of a better word, what you would call lazy. I am not afraid to admit it and my husband is fully aware of this gigantic flaw. He is the get up and go type and once he has his mind set on something, that’s it, hes off. I like to think of myself as the idea provider.
I often come up with some wild idea that i’ve either cooked up in my brain or ive seen on Pinterest and then I set my husband the challenge of completing said task. I had every intention of making the most of my spare time completing all the projects id half attempted before our days were filled with poop and puke, but it all just seems to run away with you.
I almost liked being a slob in a way but actually there is nothing better than waking up early and making the most of the day. I definitely still have those days, but having more time has meant the majority of it is used wisely.
You are warned that once your baby comes along, all those household tasks you have will be left unfinished and its true. I constantly look around my house and see all the things that need completing but these days I barely have time to shower. Those household jobs have been replaced with Ernest and i know that in time i will resume my task list. I honestly thought I would have bundles of time to complete them. When you want time to slow it goes fast and when you want time to go quickly, it feels like an eternity.
When Ernest was in the first few months of infancy I was wishing the days to pass me by. It was hard going and I couldn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. Although this spell of hardship didn’t last forever, and now being on the brink of returning to work, I just wish I had Bernards watch so that I could be in this moment forever. Motherhood has really taken me by surprise. Its softened me. I feel emotions for things that I wouldn’t have even flinched at before.
Although in some ways I still have my insecurities, in others I have gained confidence. I couldn’t have imagined before having a baby that I would recount my inner most feelings and post them online. There is no better feeling knowing that what you’re doing is being appreciated, although I do get the odd wobble and wonder if I should even bother.
I almost feel like I’ve discovered myself as cheesy as it sounds. My outlook on life is so different these days. It has to be. I can’t just close the curtains and hide from everything. I have to think about this little person. I try not to shy away from the things i would have done before. I want to put myself out there and returning to work will be the ultimate test.
Ernest turns 9 months this week and in a way it’s harder to go back to work at this stage as he’s gaining character tenfold. He knows his own mind and he’s simply a joy to be around. Even his tantrums make me smile! I worry i will miss an important milestone. Its not often that i’ll leave Ernest as i want to spend all my time with him. Some people need that break. Some people don’t have the luxury. So to think ill be spending so much time away from him breaks my heart.
Going back to work for me, is something i have to do, not something I want to do. It’s all very daunting. The unknown. The changes. I was the girl who knew everything and now ill be returning as the new girl who barely knows a sole. That scares me. I’m like most people and I don’t deal well with change. These past 10 or so months for the most part have not involved thinking about work. Its refreshing to think about taking a walk and showing Ernest the beauty that surrounds us, not getting stressed out over the really insignificant things you do when you’re in the workplace.
I’ll be returning part time which i think will be the best balance for me in the long run. I now have to become even more organised than i am and think about getting myself sorted for work as well as Ernest. I also have to throw in the mix that Timmy will be away for weeks at a time. But i will do what i always do and muddle along.
I have often found that when asking others about their return to work, they’ve welcomed the change and the ‘break’ but i’m the total opposite. I know as soon as i’m back in that environment all those feelings of dread and sadness will start to drift away. As they say the fear is always worst than the reality and after a few days Ill feel like i’ve never left.
I haven’t fully used my brain in the working capacity so readjusting from my morning ritual of feeding, napping, changing shitty nappies and probably changing more shitty nappies, to dealing with the general public and remembering all the policies and procedures involved isn’t going to be easy.
If i had my way i would be living the life of a self employed stay at home mum. Don’t get me wrong i like to have a purpose and although being a parent is most definitely a huge purpose, i want to be able to show Ernest that i’m something to be proud of.
But for now i’m just going to have to make the most of the days we’ll have together and keep dreaming of that big lottery win.
Have you recently returned to work or are soon to return? Or did you choose not to return to work? Id love to know your thoughts.