“I just can’t face it, I might call in sick.”
“What’s the matter?”
“I have to go back to work on Monday.”
My response was something I never thought I would say; I never thought that I could confidently, believably tell anyone the following:
“Really, You will be fine. It really isn’t as bad as you think it will be.”
I then received a highly doubtful look from this stranger in the swimming changing room. I had been eavesdropping slightly and I felt the overwhelming need to tell this lady my views on the impending matter. Why? Because I felt like I was looking at myself just last week; that sad look, the fear and anxiety. I felt like I needed to tell this Mother; that it was my duty to tell this Mother that the day will come and it will be, ‘Okay.’
She obviously did not think too much of my advice because she just walked out after, I will put that down to the fact she thought I was a fibbing stranger, or some nutter who desperately wanted conversation.
I am writing this now because as people may know from my previous post, I was dreading the beginning of being a, ‘working Mummy.’ It is in my character to over think, over worry and over analyse; I like to psyche myself up too certain events and come to terms with them. This part if me has led to many disagreements between myself and hubby, ‘Just chill out Mary.’ ‘Why are you getting so worked up?’ ‘Why worry?’ And, most certainly, now my son was involved multiply this ten fold, so this is to reassure all Mummies, like the lady in the changing room, that you will definitely worry (let’s be realistic) but life will go on – happily.
Anyway, Monday came and I decided that I would treat this as my first working week, as I started Wednesday. I can honestly say that if my baby could talk he would have most definitely have told me to, ‘get off Mummy,’ because I have never hugged and kissed another human being so much in my life! I assume this was the guilt kicking in. I claim that he definitely knew something was going on, every time I sat down, he snuggled me back and he is not the most cuddly baby; he likes his own space (he wouldn’t even hold my hand when he learnt to walk!)
Wednesday was actually fine, I feel bad saying it, but I was a bit excited. I felt like this was the beginning of a new chapter. I even got my outfit out the night before (yes I tried it on) because let’s be honest, a new outfit makes us all feel great. I toddled into school and what do I find? It’s Eid and we had 19 children in! I had nothing to do….except think about what was going on at home.
Daddy was actually out buying the little one his first pair of shoes and was so excited about his bonding day (although he didn’t actually get the shoes due to a stubborn little man who wouldn’t uncurl his toes) but this did not phase him, saying that he had, ‘THE BEST DAY EVER,’ with his son (Stuff our wedding day or the day he was born!)
Even this, however, did not bother me too much because I was actually enjoying being back. It genuinely felt like I had never left, except now I was bump less. I had great pleasure chatting to actual adults, going to the toilet, sitting down for lunch. Daddy sent me so many pictures, and instead of being jealous I was happy that they were having some bonding time, that Daddy was getting his share of his son – plus I was secretly hoping he would find it a bit tricky (When I got home, the house was spotless, dinner was on and they had had a fantastic day. This isn’t a joke, it genuinely happened. I felt so mean, I didn’t even mention it because when he gets home there are toys everywhere, dinner is vaguely prepped and I have a crying child on my leg – half the time. I thought this was maybe a one off, but it hasn’t been, the next baby I’m having he is taking the year off).
Thursday and Friday were so much harder; the novelty had worn off, especially on Friday when I had to listen to him crying at the door. I mean, It was still ‘fine’ when I got to work and I tried to keep as busy as possible, but leaving him actually was quite painful. Every time someone asked me about my son I had to stop myself from boring people with my baby stories because, let’s face it Mummies, we could win competitions talking about our children. I could have spent hours telling people in minute detail about his sleep and feeding patterns (not that he really has a pattern). By the end of the day, I think everyone I came into contact with knew he had gone for a shoe fitting. I just wanted to be with him and share his day.
By the time it hit lunchtime I was clock watching and zoomed out at half past 3. I was angry at every red light I hit and when Hubby asked me to stop at Tesco to get some mundane purchase I got so irritable. JUST LET ME COME HOME. Why was the universe stopping me?
…I do not think the little man knew I had gone. I assume at this age they have no concept of time! I was playing a super long game of peek-a-boo for all he knew.
My biggest positive about going back to work – I feel Daddy understands a lot more now. He definitely helped a lot before and has always been a fantastic Dad (I hope he is not reading this because I do not want to inflate his ego), but when Saturday morning came and I was exhausted from my first week, he got up, got the little man dressed and fed without me even knowing. I woke up to the sunshine gleaming through the window, baffled that I had not been woken up by babbling. It made such a difference having an extra hour in bed.
He also does the night feeds now every time I have work in the morning and after a year of doing pretty much all of them, I feel like a new women being able to function; it makes such a difference.
After all the panic and sleepless nights, it has been fine and I’m actually enjoying it. I just sat here and realized I’m not working tomorrow and I think I genuinely appreciate these days so much more now! I do not even mind the night shifts now and just want to hold on to him and enjoy the moment because I know that time will go even quicker now I am even more preoccupied; I do not mind getting up at 5am because I get a couple of hours before work to play and give him breakfast.
I enjoy getting the updates and seeing the masterpieces that Daddy has dressed the little man up in. I showed someone a picture the other morning – the shoe fitting day- and someone commented that Daddy had dressed him like a prisoner.
I enjoy seeing that he has taken him out to lunch (or more recently taking him on Pokemon hunts). He is definitely making the most of it because In September Nonna is having him and I think he is squeezing my years worth of fun into three weeks!
I absolutely loved having the year off, but I am so much more excited about this next chapter…