Arjun is fast asleep after a long day at nursery so I thought I’d share my first day back to work diary. Please don’t judge – it’s been a whirlwind of emotions and stress manifests in irrational ways!x
I’m lying in bed and it’s 5.55am. I need to get up in 15 minutes anyway so it’s pointless me trying to sleep now. I’ve definitely not had enough sleep. I’ve been awake since 4.30am and my head feels really heavy. I’m not feeling the same positive thoughts that I was feeling yesterday.
I’m feeling heavy headed, irritable and really tired. I’m also feeling really emotional. Basically a bit of a firecracker.
I hope I don’t cry when I drop Arjun off to nursery. I’ve been watching his peaceful face as he’s slept for the last hour and a half and my heart feels like it’s overflowing with love and my throat is struggling to fight back the tears. He’s so perfect. I’m going to miss him. I’m so glad we got to see his first few steps last night. I’m not sure if that made going back to work easier or harder or if it didn’t make a difference. It did make a difference but I’m sort of struggling to process my feelings at the moment.
I’m frustrated as I asked Preetam to do night shift tonight. I thought it would be sensible for him to do night shift on Monday’s and Tuesday’s and for me to do it the rest of the week/weekend. You’d think that’s a fair deal!
Arjun woke at 2am and my ears are super sensitive to him now (amazing given I’m generally a really heavy sleeper). I nudged Preetam to get up. Instead of going straight to Arjun who would have still had his eyes closed at this point, he decided to go to the bathroom first – I get that nature called but I wish he’d gone to Arjun first. Because what happened was Arjun ended up in a fit of tears while waiting and woke himself up fully. Hearing him crying got me worked up which meant I was also fully awake and really irritable. Anyway after a few minutes; he successfully put him to sleep. And after tossing and turning, I also managed to fall back asleep.
Arjun woke again at 4.30 (I’ve been awake since). The same thing happened – I nudged Preetam who decided to go to the bathroom first again and again Arjun woke up fully as he was crying. I usually rush to him the moment I hear him whine. Maybe for selfish reasons as I don’t want him to fully wake?
Preetam ended up bringing Arjun in to our bed at 4.30. Again frustrating given how hard I worked to break our co-sleep habit. Also frustrating as Arjun doesn’t really like sleeping in our bed for long when we are also in it. He gets agitated quite quickly and isn’t shy to show it through kicks and general whinging.
Maybe I’m just using the above as an excuse to validate me feeling so crappy. Maybe it’s actually my inability to deal with the unknown. Doing night shift is also new to Preetam and it’s not easy especially when you have work the next morning! My anxiety has made me feel snappy. I feel sick when I think about returning to work. How long are they going go be patient with my baby brain? What if I cry in front of them? Will I remember how to do anything? I want to cry. I hate change. I hate uncertainty and I hate the thought of being away from Arjun for about 10 hours a day when I’m at work. He’ll be spending more time with nursery staff than with me.
My alarm has just gone off. And so day 1 of my new reality begins …
I got to nursery at 7.29am bang on – I was boasting at my triumph at getting there a minute ahead of schedule.
Unfortunately now, my smile has been replaced with floods of tears. Arjun and I both cried inconsolably when I dropped him. I’m sitting in my car outside nursery as I try calm myself down. I feel so empty. He must hate me. I left him crying. I let the nursery nurse take him from me as we both cried. He’s a baby. He doesn’t understand?
For so long I’ve been harping on about how you sort of lose your identity when you become a mum. But I’ve realised that IS my identity. I don’t want to be anything else. I just want to be Arjun’s mummy. What’s wrong with that?
I arrived at work 25 minutes earlier than when I planned on meeting my boss. So far I’ve had what feels like a million mishaps already.
It felt really weird pulling up in to the work car park. Almost felt unfamiliar. I grabbed my pass and decided to grab a coffee.
I placed my pass in the top up machine to check how much credit I had. £2.10. That would be enough for a coffee but it wouldn’t be enough for lunch. I reached in to my handbag to grab some money. I couldn’t feel it. I panicked. Where the heck was my purse. Crap, I must have left it on my dresser last night!!! What am I going to do?! I text Preetam in a panic. He reminded me there was a note I’d left in the car the other day. Phew!
I quickly rushed back to the car and topped up my card and grabbed a coffee.
I made a quick call to Arjun’s nursery to see if he was ok and felt instant relief when hearing the friendly voice at the other end of the line. She said he was ok and had finished off his breakfast and was now playing outside. I felt calmer.
I reached in to my bag to email my boss to let him know I was here. WHERE IS MY BLACKBERRY!! Oh my goodness, what a terrible first impression I’m going to make! I’d left it on charge at home and forgotten to pick it up on my way out.
At that same moment the lady at reception asked “are you Harps?” Turns out my boss had asked her to look out for me. Phew.
I can’t believe it’s only 12pm. I feel exhausted. I’m just taking a quick break whilst grabbing lunch. I had a further mishap earlier – my laptop wouldn’t start despite me keeping it safe and out of Arjun’s reach for the past year. Grr.
The morning in general hasn’t been too bad. I’ve had three meetings and feel pretty positive about my role. My new team are all lovely and two of the others have also recently have had babies. My boss has been great at making me feel comfortable and has tried to walk me through things from a top level over view to not confuse me too soon!
I called Arjun’s nursery. They said Preetam also called. They must think we’re crazy! They said Arjun has been really good and he’s had two lots of lunches (that’s my boy lol).
I feel so tired. I want to sleep. Arjun went to bed at 7.30pm. I hope he sleeps through the night.
The rest of my work day was pretty similar to the morning. I managed to lose my pass (it was bound to happen) but found it again thankfully. I think my team think I’m pretty ditzy. I felt like a bit of a loon.
I had a few more meetings, managed to get my laptop sorted and cleared my inbox as well as do a few admin bits.
I couldn’t wait to collect Arjun but the drive there felt so long especially as I struggled to keep my eyes open!
As I walked in to his room, I could see he was nodding off. He was sat with a member of staff who was patting him on his back to put him to sleep. I watched him for a few minutes as he lay there peacefully. I then crouched down next to him and as soon as he recognised me, he shot up and came crawling over at full speed and cried and cried and cried. He hugged me so tight. It felt so nice to have my baby in my arms again. I held him tight to reassure him that i wasn’t going anywhere. The staff said he had a really good first day and that he seems to be settling in well and has formed a special bond with Becca (one of the nursery nurses) – he played with her and cried when she left the room but was comforted when she cuddled him on her return. That made me feel better – I thought him forming an attachment with a member of staff would upset me but it didn’t. I felt comforted. I felt happy that he felt he could trust someone there when I’m not around.
The staff were incredibly sweet – Becca had put together a collage of pictures from Arjun’s first day with cute captions. It meant so much to me that they’d go to the effort of doing that for us. A perfect little keepsake of Arjun’s first day at nursery.
I tried to put Arjun in to his car seat but he cried frantically every time I did. I patiently took him out and cuddled him a few times. I wanted him to feel reassured that I’m there for him. I felt extra sensitive to his feelings.
When we got home, Arjun and I played. I found the energy from somewhere. I wanted to make the most of every single minute I had with him.
My mum came over to drop dinner as I was too exhausted to cook. Thank god for mums. She’s my saviour. Arjun was excited to see his Nani and played peekaboo with her. He embraced her tightly too.
When Arjun heard his dad walk through the front door, Mr Speedy Gonzales shot to the front door and embraced his papa like I’ve never seen. He kept cuddling him and burying his head in his neck and then lifting his head up to keep checking that it really was his daddy. It made me well up. I could see how emotional Preetam was too.
The two of them played with a football for a while before Arjun had his dinner, bath and milk. He fell asleep within a few minutes of me cuddling him.
All in all I had a rocky start to my day but it soon brightened up. I hope as time goes on it’ll get easier at all levels – I hope Arjun feels more and more confident at nursery, I hope I feel more and more confident at work, I hope Arjun begins to sleep through the night, I hope I feel less exhausted. I hope I still find time to blog!
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