I have not had to think about work for over six months now but I feel like it is looming like a skeleton in the cupboard. I don’t actually go back to work until mid February but that feels like it is just after Christmas and Christmas is only a few weeks away, eek!
The last half year of my life has been occupied with falling in love, sleepless nights, pooey nappies and speaking gaga. Most of all though there have been no time restraints or daily commitments other than keeping a baby alive and the odd coffee date here and there. This time has been so far from anything I have ever experienced before and has changed my life so much that it is hard to comprehend going back to work and having a normal structured day without a baby to watch every second. On one hand, before starting my maternity leave I couldn’t wait to put my fat pregnant feet up and not have to think about work for nine months but on the other I was worried about not having work. It sounds ridiculous I know as everyone would love to have nine months off. Don’t get me wrong I have LOVED having time off but going to work gives your life structure which is something I have discovered over the years I need to keep myself sane and I was scared of not having that anymore. It turns out though I was crazy to be worried as being a parent is by far the hardest job I have ever done and I have been so busy getting to know my beautiful daughter I haven’t had a chance even if I wanted to to think about work, well that is until now.
Although not going back until mid February I had to go into work to discuss with my team leader my hours that I will be returning on and which shifts I will working, as childcare is something we have to consider. If I could I would take the whole year off to spend with Elbie. I know we will never get these precious moments back but if we want to try and keep ourselves from going bankrupt and have some sort of fun I unfortunately need to be earning some money again. It makes me sad that it comes down to money but I suppose that is what life consists of. So it’s back to the grind to pay those bills. Although money is the sole reason I am having to return to work after nine months I’m not completely sad about it.
When I arrived at work to meet my team leader I was all doom and gloom, then a little part of me suddenly felt excited. I saw some of my work colleagues who I haven’t seen since I left and felt the buzz of the unit. I have missed it a little. I have missed the adult interaction and conversation. I’m sure I wont be feeling it when the time comes but I think by February I will be ready to go back to work. I definitely wouldn’t be saying this though if I knew I was having to return on full time hours and have to do those dreaded six night shifts every four weeks but having the knowledge of going back part time makes me happy. I am extremely lucky that we are in a position that allows me to work part time and I will have the best of both worlds. I won’t be away from Elbie too much and I also get some baby free adult only time.
Being a mum doesn’t mean that I’m only mum either. I have worked and studied hard for my job. There have been occasions (notice plural) where Eddie and I have met new people post bringing a child into the world who have asked Eddie what he does and completely skipped the question heading my way. Why do people assume that just because I am a woman looking after a child that I couldn’t possibly have a career too! It has infuriated me on every instance. My brain may be a blob that doesn’t quite function the way it should do at the moment but that is because I have a six month old baby who has sucked my ability to think like a normal person.
So I’m looking forward to discovering my full brain function again, I’m hoping it’s all down to sleep deprivation. By the time I need to go back to work Elbie will of course be sleeping through the night… hopefully… she better be. Instead of feeling sad about having to work again I’m seeing it as just another chapter of motherhood. The chapter where I’m not just mum but I am mum with a career.