Back to work (again)
So this post must mean that I survived my first week as a working mama, after a glorious 13 months off (the term 'off' always makes me laugh a little, barely a 5 star all inclusive trip to Mauritius is it?!) I'm dropping a further shift meaning I am now doing a nice 3 day on and 4 day 'off' working week. Making the decision to go back to work was easy because well bills don't pay them selves (nor do baby clothes) but it doesn't mean that I didn't spend the vast majority of these past few months making myself feel ill over it. The return to work is the symbol of a little chapter of my life ending, sorry if that sounds dramatic but its true. I'm a pretty emotional person if you hadn't already noticed and letting go of this magical chapter of my motherhood journey isn't easy for me. Its not the 'work' part that upsets me its simply the fact that this time in my life has come to an end. I'm not all that good at goodbyes and I'm an emotional hoarder, constantly thinking back to this time last week/month/year etc So my maternity leave holds so much emotional attachment that I refuse to let go of.
You set a date for the start of your maternity leave and you don't even give the ending a second thought, its so far in the distance that it seems untouchable. You count down the days until the start of your break and then you count down the days until you finally meet your new addition, but what you don't do is count down the days for your return, that sneaky sod just creeps up on you when you least expect it! Completely unwanted! I pushed my start date right to the back of my mind, I opted for 3 extra months off unpaid because although I hope to have another child one day I figured when do you get the opportunity for a 3 month work break unpaid or not?! As much as those 3 months were a financial struggle for us, I would do it again in a heartbeat because this time round it would be doubly special as it meant I got that incredible 3 months extra with BOTH my babies. Quality time that I would never get back.
Having done this once before I know exactly how it goes and honestly its not all that bad. So many of you have reached out this past week following my Instagram posts and so many of you are going through the same or about too. I feel that I can speak from experience when I say it gets better rather quickly, you will be surprised how soon it becomes the new normal. Just as motherhood throws these hurdles at us and we speedily bounce back because us mamas are bloody amazing, we do the same again and adjust to working life with our little ones in tow because we have too. I can say for me personally that its the thought of it that's more daunting than the actual task at hand. Looking after our family comes naturally too us now and this new element is just an extension of that!
There are positives, like the lack of having your eyes bleed to just 'one more' episode of Peppa Pig or being able to have a wee without someone shouting 'Mummy, where are you?' Even just being able to hold down an adult conversation with someone other than the post man was nice, I'm certain I have talked my colleagues to death the past few days in fact but the thing I have enjoyed the most is being able to put my skills to good use. Don't get me wrong I would like to think of myself as a skillful mummy but I am also good for other things too, having the chance to concentrate on a task other than lego building was a breath of fresh air. It was an amazing reminder that I am capable of so much more than just being a mummy, I would never consider any job being greater than my role of mama but that role does not define me nor should any of us feel as though we cant enjoy taking on another title for 9 hours a day. We can do both! I cant speak for all but I found the end of my maternity leave very intense, I knew I wasn't being myself and it got me questioning as to why? I was getting snappy and short tempered which if aimed at my husband wouldn't surprise me but not with the kids. I knew that I was reaching the stage of needing that break in order to redeem my positivity levels with them.
I thought back to when I returned to work after 10 months off with Oakley, I remember our 3 days a week together being so special, I was a better mummy and better person for having that time apart. I would look forward to weekends, no longer did my weekends merge into my weeks and I made each weekend or day off count. I got out more, I planned more, I was more organised at home because I had to be but I enjoyed that control I had back over my life. The structure created a huge sense of organisation which made me so positive in every aspect, although I had less time I remember feeling less stressed about small things because I had less time for them to fester in my thoughts. Even now after just one week I can feel all of the above coming back and I'm excited to see how these new changes will effect us. I'm looking forward to us to adventuring again in the Spring and how much more I will appreciate those adventures, I'm excited for the way I will feel knowing that I am doing things because I WANT to and not because I feel I HAVE too. I am really looking forward to 2018, I got my positive pants on and they are here to stay!