My First Month Back at Work Update

My First Month Back at Work Update


I can’t quite believe that I’ve had a year off, had a baby, celebrated his first birthday and I’m back at work already. I remember thinking (and stressing obsessively) about returning to work. To be honest I could just about manage work without a baby, and a baby without work … How I was going to do the two together seemed like mission impossible! I was super nervous about having a new boss as well as a new team. I’m often my own worst enemy where it comes to confidence. Some may coin the term “pessimist”, I call it being a realist (in an irrational kinda way). 

  

As if I wasn’t fretting enough, on top of all of the above, our cleaner also decided to go on annual leave for a whole month. 

PANIC. 

Big time. 

I’m just about managing with a cleaner. She comes twice a week and is an absolute God send. We have more bedrooms than we probably need (if you don’t count the vast amount of crap and clothes that I’ve collected over the years)! And we regularly entertain, so for me not having that help around the house seemed like a catastrophe! Yes I know in the grand scheme of things, I sound like a bit of a spoilt brat but it really did seem like this was going to go horribly wrong. 

I considered getting a temporary cleaner – but what’s the point, by the time she got used to the house, Jeta would be back. I considered switching to paper plates so we’d save on washing – what a waste of money and it wouldn’t be very green of us! I considered lots of options …

But I quickly accepted that I was just going to have to cope. I didn’t really have a choice. I’d just have to get on with it! I kind of wanted to too. Surprisingly I was able to not let my mind dwell on it too much. I have a habit of getting myself in to a panicked state! 

It’s been a month now. A month and two days. I’ve survived. I can’t actually believe it. I feel like some kind of superhero. I know millions of mums do it but I didn’t think I could. I’ve managed to take care of my baby, go to work, cook, clean, iron and entertain … all without Jeta … For a whole month! I feel like I’ve accomplished something major. And it’s been such an amazing month! Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait for Jeta to get back and help but I’ve proven to myself I CAN DO this alone. 

  

How have I managed? 

  1. Iron all our clothes on a Sunday evening for the next three days. 
  2. Clean the whole house on Wednesday evening after work so I can enjoy the next few days off with Arjun. 
  3. Meal prep something easy during the week to make my own life easier and to make the most of my time with Arjun. 
  4. Online shop routine: Thursday mornings and sometimes Sunday mornings.
  5. Clean as I go along! 
  6. Pack our bags the night before. 
  7. Routine for the morning – I wake up at 5.45/6, Preetam wakes up at 6.30 and gets Arjun ready, we leave by 6.50. I’m at work by 7.30. 
  8. I do at least one washing load a day. 
  9. Top up the house clean on a Sunday. 
  10. Do all the ironing once a week – my least favourite task. I hope it counts as cardio at least! 

Despite our initial struggles, Arjun has settled in well at nursery and is particularly close to two of his nursery nurses which gives me great comfort. I was so worried and consumed by guilt having to leave him in the care of others but actually I’ve seen such great benefits of doing so. I’ve seen him grow so quick this last month but by far it’s been my favortie month (13 month update).

He’s become a lot closer to me since nursery which is something I love – albeit for selfish reasons! The car journey from work to nursery feels like the longest journey ever (though it’s only 15 minutes). But the greeting I get when I reach there makes it worth it – he zooms towards me when he catches a glimpse of me through the glass panelled window on the door – it makes my heart burst with emotion … he waves good bye to his buddies with one hand while he has the other tightly wrapped around my neck beaming the biggest smile. He fights me to not get in his car seat after nursery as he just wants a few more minutes of cuddles while we watch the sky and the cloud sand the leaves rustling on the trees (which he finds hilarious!?).
  

 

Arjun’s nursery update: 

  1. He doesn’t cry when I pick him up anymore
  2. Often see him pottering about when I go to collect him, either playing with a broom, or with the construction toys
  3. He loves to play with bricks and the musical instruments
  4. He loves to eat at nursery! To be honest, his food sounds better than mine!
  5. He’s now walking
  6. He’s smiling and laughing lots at nursery
  7. He does the cutest things like lie his head down if he’s tired
  8. He shares his toys (most of the time) but pre warning, his snack box is still a no go zone for others!  

  

I love our Thursday morning snuggles – after three days of no morning snuggles, we make up for it on a Thursday! We have a new game, he’s turned peekaboo in to peekacuddle … it’s my favourite!

   
  
As nervous as I was about returning to work (a lot of my previous posts aired my feelings) is as much as I’m absolutely loving it. I actually can’t believe I’m typing these words out as I never thought this is how things would pan out. I’ve been pleasantly surprised and I’m so grateful. 

Why I love being back at work? 



  1. My team are absolutely hilarious, the day passes by so quick with all the banter. 
  2. They’re super clever and I feel like I’ve learnt so much from them already.
  3. I love being able to feel like I can accomplish something outside of being a mummy (as much as I love it) – excel was one of my favourites and it’s been good to be reunited (Arjun’s party planning spreadsheet couldn’t be pivoted or macro’d!) as geeky as that sounds! 
  4. I feel like being back at work has made me appreciate and value my time with Arjun so much more. I value my time at work, and I value my time at home. I want to make the most of every single minute. I feel like though we have less time together, it’s quality time. 
  5. I feel like I have a new found energy despite the early mornings. Im raring to go on my days off and in the evenings. 
  6. I have a new found confidence with Arjun – I have no idea why but I love it. 
  7. Arjun has become such a confident little boy at nursery – I’m so proud of him. 
  8. I love hearing about what Arjun has been up to at nursery. 
  9. I love being able to have adult chat and talk about things other than just babies – I hope that doesn’t make me a bad parent? 
  10. I love having a routine – I’m a structure kinda gal and find I work best with a little bit of a routine. 

 

  

Some of the areas I find challenging since being back at work: 

1. I’ve found it really difficult to manage family and friends in fewer days. I need to still learn to put my own family first and not be scared to delay things. Arjun’s not going to be this little forever and it’s important we also cherish family time with him too. 

2. Early mornings – they can be a pain! But I’ve learnt that jumping out of bed as soon as my alarm goes off calls for a successful morning. The snooze button as tempting as it is is a no go for me. 

3. Blogging – I often have a brain wave and string together sentences in my head (that sound bloody brilliant at the time) but I’m too tired to write them down and forget by the time I do get around to putting pen to paper. Maybe I need to invest in a dictaphone?! I love blogging, so I guess I make time for it. But it hasn’t been easy. I’m often doing bits and pieces once Arjun is asleep (like now!). 

I’m eternally grateful for how my life has panned out – I was so anxious about returning to work but I’m so lucky to be enjoying it so much. The balance is perfect – and I’m eternally grateful to god that I’m able to work only part time as I know not everyone has that option. Its working so well for us. I’m generally in a lot better spirits and I feel like I have down days a lot less now. 

I’ve had a few really down days which have coincided with me being back at work but not necessarily because I’m at work. I think its an element of separation anxiety which I’ve suffered with since my car accident – namely from my parents.  I was having really sad thoughts about Arjun growing up without me. I’m not sure what the trigger was but I always struggle to divert myself away from those types of thoughts. Since I’ve had Arjun, my separation anxiety has been a lot better but when it hits, it hits hard. I bounced back within a few days with lots of love patience and reassurance from Preetam and lots of mummy cuddles from Arjun. Maybe it’s a reflection of my own insecurities as a mother!

  

“The most precious jewels you’ll ever have around your neck are the arms of your children”

All in all, my message to mummy’s worrying about going back to work – it WILL be ok. If you follow me on social media, you probably would have seen how stress/worried/anxious I was about returning to work. But I can honestly say it’s been the best decision for me to go back and like I said I’m eternally grateful that I’m able to go back part time. It’s worked out well for us and touch wood I hope it stays that way! 

  
Now to go make my count down chart (on excel!!) for when Jeta is back … 😉 

x

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39 Comments

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  1. 1
    Sharon

    It’s is challenging but a lot of women do it . A lot of women have worries so it was all normal . Not having a cleaner for a month to many is a small problem and a lot of people do not have the funds for a full time cleaner and in fact still cope and look after a house work and have to clean . Working and being a mum is a big job . It’s almost a second job . Anyone who does it is a super women .

  2. 2
    Harps

    I totally agree! All mummies are superheroes! I’ve always struggled with entertaining 3/4 times a week plus Arjun and the house, but I’ve proven even I can do it without extra help! Totally know its a tiny problem in my dramatic head x

  3. 4
    Absolutely Prabulous

    I LITERALLY have no idea how you manage it. I’m a SAHM and frankly I just don’t manage with the cleaning (no idea how you do it one evening!) and the laundry and the kids and the blog. I’ve been to hell and back with it. You’re either outsourcing your blog posts lol or there are two of you. I’m totally amazed. Seriously, I was wondering recently how you manage to do all the instagram and blog and work and everything. But then…so many women do. I’m just a rubbish adult. Lovely post. Well done my love.

  4. 5
    Harps

    Lol! To be honest, I’ve been doing the BARE minimum! Plus you have three – I don’t know how you do if full stop!! It’s true .. So many women do it (I’m just a drama queen!). It means though that Preetam often misses out as I get my priorities a little jumbled sometimes 🙈 x

  5. 7
    Jemma Chambers

    You’re very lucky really that you can appreciate how hard it is. We have a cleaner once a week when im back at work which means when im home i can enjoy being with the kids. how mums who work full time, blog, look after kids and dont have any help actually manage is beyond me… I love that superwoman feeling – its unique to you and what you have achieved. #bestandworst

  6. 9
    Julie

    The first month back at work for me was intense, and a total blur. Glad you are coping well, and coming up with shortcuts and a system for doing things at home really helps keep the sanity. Also, just letting the house go for a bit works too. I want a cleaning lady cause I so rarely clean the house these days.

  7. 11
    Michelle

    I remember the first time I left my little ones at daycare. It was heartbreaking because they both cried, which made it harder to leave them but once we got into the routine, it turned out to be great for all of us. Thanks for sharing! Visiting from #babybrainmonday

  8. 12
    Zoe dunn

    It’s always hard when you first go back to work but sounds like you have things sussed. I especially like your list of tips which will come in handy for any mum returning to work. Great job well done! #BabyBrainMonday

  9. 13
    Cheryl @ Reimer and Ruby

    Juggling work with household chores and looking after kids can be very stressful…. Initially, I thought I won’t manage it myself but when you’re placed in a situation, it’s actually doable although knackered but you’ll feel accomplished at the end. You seemed to be well organized with your list! Thanks for sharing! #BabyBrainMonday

  10. 14
    Emma's Mamma

    It’s great you’re doing so well! I think leaving our babies as mothers is always hard but it’s also important for us to have our own lives. It sounds like he’s doing so well! Bless him! Love the quote about the most precious jewel being our kids around our necks – so true! #BabyBrainMonday

  11. 16
    Becky, Cuddle Fairy

    You both are doing awesome! The routine is definitely key – great how you are cleaning, shopping, etc at set times each week. It sounds like so much work but amazing you are managing it all! Congrats on such a successful month #BabyBrainMonday x

  12. 17
    Stacey Leigh Nunwa

    This has made me tear up, what a beautiful post. Great advice and a great balance. You have a beautiful family and you are managing it so well. I see you dinners and no way the nursery have better food then you cook haha 🙂 xx

  13. 19
    Suz

    Aww what a lovely post, im glad that its all sorted itself out. You will cherish the time you have together a bit more now. Take care love! Suz x beauisblue.com

  14. 20
    Mudpie Fridays

    Hi Harps – I was exactly the same! I found the whole process of going back to work more difficult than actually being back at work. I have always needed to return and I really enjoy it so it works for us :). Plus on my Fridays with Monkey I always have things planned to make the most of it. Plus its amazing what you can squeeze in after nursery once they are a bit older – we go swimming on a Thursday 6-7! 🙂 As for housework – meh!! Congratulations on surviving the first month xx #babybrainmonday

  15. 24
    Lauren (The Helpful Hiker)

    Really great post. i can empathise with a lot of your worries. I’m already dreading returning to work and wondering how I’ll fit everything in. I need to get organised and then I’m sure I can deal with anything. Oh-and I’m getting a cleaner, not spending my precious time cleaning when there’s cuddles (or blogging) to be getting on with!

  16. 25
    Helen C

    Well done on getting through your first month. It can be a shock to the system but it sounds like you’ve been super organised, despite your cleaner not being around. I worried about returning to work but it turned out to be a good decision. We soon settled into our new routine and I love having that time to do my thing.. Hx #BabyBrainMonday

  17. 26
    CocoCana from MyTalesFromTheCrib

    Your little guy is absolutely adorable! I think all mom’s suffer from mommy/mummy guilt at some point in their motherhood career! I know I have for sure. I think it’s so amazing you were able to have a year off and return with complete job security! This is how maternity leave should be everywhere! It’s not like that at all here in the US. Most moms are lucky if they get 6 weeks off. The woman who cuts my hair was only able to take off 2 weeks for each of her 3 children. Can you imagine? TWO weeks! Then she returned to be on her feet all day after having a c-section. But it was either that or loose all of her clients. It’s a shame. I enjoyed your post from #BabyBrainMonday. Here’s mine! http://mytalesfromthecrib.blogspot.com/2013/08/why-im-deleting-facebook-day-my-child.html

  18. 27
    Su

    So beautifully written. “The most precious jewels you’ll ever have around your neck are the arms of your children”. I don’t think I can ever write something as beautiful as this. Congratulation on making it throw on returning to work. I know it is so hard. But you are doing great! & I really love your photos with Arjun too. He is so adorable! Xx #babybrainmonday

  19. 29
    Harps

    Thank you lovely! I agree – all mum’s I’ve spoken to have been through similar. I’m definitely so grateful for being able to have a year off. I can’t believe 6 weeks is deemed to be lucky in the US! That’s crazy! Especially with things like PND. and oh my goodness, I was in excrutiating pain after my labour and c section, how on earth did she physically cope? Poor lady! 🙁 x

  20. 31
    Harps

    Hey Lauren, you’ll be surprised with how amazingly you’ll cope – it all just sort of happens! I agree re a cleaner – she’s a God send and I’m so glad she’s back! x

  21. 35
    Harps

    It’s amazing how we manage to work ourselves so mcuh so that we’re drained for the big event right?! You plan the most amazing things for Monkey! I’m planning on football and swimming for Arjun but just can’t seem to find the energy at the moment to organise let alone actually take him xx

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