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.
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?
- Iron all our clothes on a Sunday evening for the next three days.
- Clean the whole house on Wednesday evening after work so I can enjoy the next few days off with Arjun.
- Meal prep something easy during the week to make my own life easier and to make the most of my time with Arjun.
- Online shop routine: Thursday mornings and sometimes Sunday mornings.
- Clean as I go along!
- Pack our bags the night before.
- 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.
- I do at least one washing load a day.
- Top up the house clean on a Sunday.
- 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:
- He doesn’t cry when I pick him up anymore
- Often see him pottering about when I go to collect him, either playing with a broom, or with the construction toys
- He loves to play with bricks and the musical instruments
- He loves to eat at nursery! To be honest, his food sounds better than mine!
- He’s now walking
- He’s smiling and laughing lots at nursery
- He does the cutest things like lie his head down if he’s tired
- 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?
- My team are absolutely hilarious, the day passes by so quick with all the banter.
- They’re super clever and I feel like I’ve learnt so much from them already.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- I have a new found confidence with Arjun – I have no idea why but I love it.
- Arjun has become such a confident little boy at nursery – I’m so proud of him.
- I love hearing about what Arjun has been up to at nursery.
- 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?
- 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!
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 … 😉