Hope you’ve had a fab week and have had a good start to your weekends! 🙂
Given I’ve been going through a rollercoaster of emotions about the changes that are going to be happening over the next few weeks (like all mum’s returning to work!), I thought I’d share. I always find that getting my feelings and thoughts down on paper (albeit a virtual one via Microsoft Word), I feel so much better. It almost helps me untangle my web of thoughts and rationalise them. The advice I often get in response is also so helpful – so thank you to those that have shared their experiences and advice! x
When I went off on maternity leave, I was fully aware that my existing job wouldn’t exist when I got back. It was a projects type role and I’d managed to close off all my projects prior to my temporary departure. Although change always makes me very anxious, I almost welcomed the change in this instance as it’d push me to explore a new area of the business or area of accounting although I knew it’d be a challenge – especially coming back after a whole year. A part of me hoped I’d at least go back to the same team. So they knew what I was capable of.
Having been on maternity leave, and the closer I’ve got to returning back to work, I’ve felt more and more anxious. While on maternity leave, I’ve often doubted my capability as a mother – what you don’t always see on instagram or facebook is that I still lack huge confidence as a mum which often makes me feel like a complete failure. Did you know I’ve only ever given Arjun a bath alone once? Yep. I wonder if such a mother even exists elsewhere?! How can it be that I’m too scared to bathe him alone? To me, in my head, it feels like a HUGE task that I simply can’t accomplish alone. What if he slips under the water? What if I drop him while taking him out? What if he gets upset?
It’s strange that as I’ve gotten closer to returning to work, my confidence as a mother has increased. Although I still haven’t given him a bath alone again, I feel that overall my confidence as a mother is far greater than my confidence as an employee, as an accountant, as a finance manager.
“Baby brain” is no myth – I’m a prime example of it. I don’t even remember what happened yesterday, let alone how to do my job! I’m feeling pretty nervous and scared about returning to work. Excel used to be my best friend (yes I know I’m a geek!), but even trying to put together bits for Arjun’s party using it has proved a challenge! How on earth am I going to go back to macros, vlookups and advanced formulas?! I’m not the most confident person in general, but this has definitely been a huge knock to my confidence. I’m guessing most mothers feel the same as I do when it comes to returning back to work after mat leave.
While I’ve been off, I’ve barely thought about work. But when I have, it’s been pretty intense. I’ve maintained regular contact with my old team/boss just to keep a constant reminder of the reality that I will be returning. A few nights, I have been really restless as I’ve been filled with panic and fear over returning to work. Who will I be working for? What will I be doing? What will their expectation of me be? Will I ever remember anything? How will I manage work and a baby? I feel like I just about manage to be a half decent mother, I just about managed to be a half decent employee, and now I’m going to have to do both together as well as manage a whole house! The thought overwhelms me and makes me want to just go to sleep. I’[m a born worrier (incase you hadn’t noticed!) – I always assume the worse and work myself up. It’s actually pretty annoying being me.
A part of me has had glimpses of excitement when thinking about returning to work – it’ll give me some “me” time, a chance to find myself as something other than just a mummy. It’ll give me more structure and routine. It’ll give me the chance to get dressed and feel good rather than spend half the day mooching in my PJ’s – though I’m really going to miss that!
I’m going back three days which I’m grateful for. It’ll mean I get to spend some time with Arjun on Thursday’s and Friday’s and catch up with our friends and family during that time.
It’s strange and I almost feel guilty, but a lot of people assume it’s my fear of leaving Arjun at nursery that is what worries me. To be honest, it’s been more about actually going back to work. I hadn’t thought about leaving Arjun so much before my meeting at work – maybe because I’m in denial. I don’t know. I know I’m going to be a wreck. I just don’t deal with change great. It also sucks that you have a baby, only to leave them with someone else 🙁
On Thursday, thankfully Preetam took half a day off to take care of Arjun so that I could go in for my meeting. I enjoyed getting dressed and feeling good – I’ve always believed in the look good feel good factor. I felt confident and ready for it. I felt positive.
The meeting went really well. My new boss is absolutely lovely – I know him from before (which is a huge comfort for me) as we used to sit opposite each other in a previous role so often had banter. My new role sounds just up my street and it seems like it’ll be something I can be phased back in to. I felt really happy and almost excited when I left work that day. My new team is full of super clever people which is a little daunting but is also brilliant as I feel I’ll learn lots from them. I know I’ll face some challenges at work, especially where it comes to my memory. My ability to remember thigns was impaired when I had my car accident but it’s gotten a lot worse since I had Arjun. Going tback to work will help re train my brain again though I feel.
Going back home to my little man was lovely, Preetam said he hadn’t had his nap but he fell asleep a few minutes after we cuddled up in bed. It was perfect. I felt so happy and content. I felt calm and blessed. God has always been so good to me. I also felt very sad at the same time – how am i going to cope with leaving him elsewhere? This was the first “proper” time it dawned upon me that I’d be leaving him to go to work. It didn’t really feel real before I went in to work that day.
I know it’s going to be a huge huge rollercoaster of emotions where it comes to leaving Arjun at nursery. I hope my baby is ok. I hope his key worker is patient with him. I hope he receives cuddles when he needs them. I hope he doesn’t feel scared or alone. I hope he doesn’t miss us to the point of despair. I hope someone helps him to fall asleep at nap time – is that something I’ve done wrong as a mum? Not prepared him for falling asleep independently during the day? I hope he’s excited to go. I hope he enjoys the food there.
Just thinking about that has reduced me to tears – I’m going to miss him so much. We drive each other crazy at times, but he’s the closest thing to me. He’s my life. The thought of him crying at nursery and me not being there breaks my heart. The thought of missing out on some of his firsts also saddens me. It’s going to hurt so bad but I know that I’ll cherish the time we do have so much more.
But still, I know I’m very blessed to be able to go back part time and that not everyone has that privilege.
The next few weeks brings with it a huge change in my family’s life – but it’s a change that most parents with children go through. I know it’s going to be a testing time too where it comes to things like Arjun waking at night. Currently I predominantly manage the nights but once I’m back at work it’s going to have to be shared – a huge change for Preetam. I’m going to also have to find a way to manage my tiredness – broken sleep with a teething baby, early starts, being at work, coming home and cooking plus managing Arj’s social life means I’ll probably be wiped out by Monday evening! Haha. I was exhausted even on Friday after going in to work for just a few hours on Thursday. No idea how I’m going to do it, but we don’t have a choice and I know we’ll find a way. Being woken up at 6.30am three days a week and being dropped to nursery is going to be something Arjun is going to have to become accustomed to. I feel so guilty for that – waking him.
I guess it’ll involve lots of meal planning, prioritising where it comes to socialising, sticking to a routine (even though at times it may be fluid), compromising, general organisation and sharing tasks and generally taking a chill pill.. as well as lots of caffeine!
My little monkey is currently napping, I think I’m going to go join him. Our snuggle time is going to be reduced in just a few weeks! 🙁