I was about to write the end of my story for the blog but I cannot for two reasons:
- I’m finding it hard to revisit the past, and it is taking longer to put into words than I thought.
- I AM GOING BACK TO WORK AND I CANNOT STOP THINKING ABOUT IT!
Yes, after a year and a bit out of work I am finally going back. Eeeek! The next few sentences may make you believe I am an overprotective Mother who just needs to get on with life, but, in fact, I am quite laid back and these are completely new emotions and I’m not quite sure how to express them.
Working, feels like it’s going to be a challenge in itself, even without coming home to a family. Suddenly, I am having nightmares about planning lessons, marking books, playground duty, behaviour management and staff meetings (that shortened list fills me with dread already and I actually loved my job). I didn’t have time for all this ‘before’ so how on earth am I going to have time now? Especially if the little man and I have a ‘dodgy night.’ Right now I have an inner monologue playing, Most mothers do it, you can too!
Please tell me, working mums, that you feel the same as me and these are normal feelings; terrified, guilty, anxious, sick, nervous and maybe a tad excited. How can one person feel this? Surely all these emotions are going to make my heart pop! How will my baby cope without me and the more scary question: how will I cope without him? The idea of passing him over to someone else fills me with unimaginable panic. I keep telling myself that so many mothers do it and this is part of life, but I just want to cry. Can someone out there tell me that I am not being over-dramatic. I am so worried about silly stuff: Will he forget me when I’m gone? Will he even notice? He might even hurt himself and I won’t be there to give him a kiss and cuddle and make him feel better. I know that these feelings are only present because he is so little, but after a year of his constant company and, well, for his whole life, it’s daunting to just wake up one morning and say, “Bye, I’m off to work.” I’m hoping that when he goes off to school or his first sleepover, these thoughts would have diminished somewhat (or I hope they have and I won’t be a crazy mother sitting in a tree with binoculars).
When I originally found out I was pregnant, I was no way in a million years taking a year off work; I would be bored out of my brains and couldn’t possibly fill EVERY day! I was taking 6 months max. Then the little man came along and I begged the question, ‘How can I leave him after 6 months?’ After a discussion with the hubby, we agreed 9 months was fine.
But 9 months rolled around way to fast and it was easily decided that I would be off for the year. I do not even think we discussed it, we just plodded along and hubby never asked, so I didn’t have to explain. Actually, I was gradually becoming more and more in denial that I would ever have to come out of my little home/baby bubble.
Then I began to question my original, pre-pregnancy notion that I would have to go back full time. I felt like I had an epiphany when I realised that mothers do not go always back full time! 4 days would be lovely! A wonderful 3 day weekend with my boy. What more could I ask for?
… 3 days. I could just do 3 days. I was dubious about suggesting this to hubby because I could hear him questioning the financial issues (eurgh, so grown up). But he agreed and this is what we settled on. And in about three weeks time I will be starting this new part time mummy, part time teacher role and how am I feeling? Terrified. I am literally counting down the days, hoping that some sort of miracle will happen and time will stop. Sitting here now, I know without even checking its 23 days. Many people will be telling me to suck it up and get on with it! So, I will attempt this; I will list things that I am excited about in a brave attempt to feel better (this post is genuinely my attempt to wipe away any anxiety I have).
What to look forward to as a working mummy
(I actually stopped writing here to sleep on it – so now it’s 22 days).
- I would like to think I’ll get a hot drink.
- I can have adult conversations, or conversations that are not all baby related.
- I can look forward to seeing my baby at the end of the day (absence makes the heart grow fonder).
- I will have money again, without asking hubby to borrow his bank card for a coffee; I can have a little bit of independence back.
- My hubby may cook dinner if he gets home first.
- My little man will get to spend quality time with his Nonna and Grandad (who are looking after him – is it normal to feel a little bit jealous?)
- I will still get to wake up to his happy face and and put him to bed.
- I can still bath him and read him his bedtime story.
- I can make food without the fear of having my trousers pulled down.
- I will have purpose (outside of being a mummy) by doing what I trained four years to do.
- I get to buy a new work wardrobe – with clothes that haven’t been stretched with a bulging belly.
- I won’t be expected to do ALL the mundane chores around the house.
- I can use my money to spoil my little man without justification – or even book us a little holiday!
- I can go to the toilet without an audience, or someone sat on my lap.
Right now that is all I can think of!
I keep telling myself that I have to go back, of course I do, I have a mortgage to pay and bills. This is what life for my little boy will be and he will always have a working mum, so this is just the beginning of the next chapter of his life, and, eventually, he will not know any different. Also, these extra pennies will give him extra luxuries in life. This, of course, is the adult in me talking – the sensible, sane version of myself.
Please, if anyone out there is a working mummy, reassure me that it’s fine that I am going back to work, that my little man will be okay and he will still love me the same, even if I am not home all the time.
I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below!