Monday the 13th of November marks a brand new chapter in my life. Not only am I back to work but Robin starts nursery. As I write this now Robin is in nursery for 2 hours having a settling in session, whilst I munch on a pastry and drink a cappuccino in my work café. That in itself is strange, to be back at work but not. In less than a week I will be here but wearing my work clothes and in work mode.
As maternity leave comes to a rapid end I think back to people who said “make the most of your time off, it will go by quick” to which I used to think “oh my god looking after a baby is so hard can’t time go by a little quicker?” It is funny that I am now also almost at the end of that phase of my life, maternity leave.
If I am completely honest I struggled with the concept of maternity leave. Not working and being at home just didn’t sit right with me. Of course as the end of my pregnancy loomed and I was tired and swollen like a balloon I couldn’t wait for the maternity leave to start! Now that it is ending I have mixed feelings.
One of my friends said it is harder now with so many mummy’s having to go back to work compared to previous generations when no one went back or just didn’t work. But I had to disagree. Ok yes I feel strange about going back to work BUT fundamentally I want to go back. Yes I have been lucky to be home with Robin for the first 9 months of his life, but it is bloody hard. Quite frankly going back to work is the easier option!
I was always adamant I was going back to work but speaking to other mums you see everything from wanting to go back, to reluctantly going back to deciding not to go back. Everyone is different, however I feel more people don’t want to return to work than do. And that is where I feel like I am different. I do want to go back, but that just fills me with guilt. Should I not be at home with Robin looking after him? Would it be better if I did stop work? Truth be told even if I did want to stop work it just is not a financial option for us.
But you know what, I feel guilty. Like a lot guilty! But one mother said to me it is part in parcel of being a parent. You always feel guilt about one thing or another.
For me I feel guilty that by going back to work and indulging in this want for myself Robin will suffer. I feel guilty about being selfish. When you become a mother your life pretty much goes on hold. All those things you used to do just don’t matter or you don’t have time for. I feel now with Robin being almost 9 months I need to return to some normality. For me going to work is this.
It will be great to challenge my brain, get to be part of projects again, chat about things other than baby related topics and drink a hot cup of coffee. But even as I write this the guilt creeps in. There is that voice again, “what about Robin?”
Luckily we have managed to get Robin a place at nursery at my work meaning I am close by, so we can travel in together and go home together. I can even go see him at lunchtime if I want to. Work have also agreed for me to change my working hours resulting in me having a day off during the week. So Robin will only be in nursery for 4 days instead of 5.
I know that putting Robin into nursery will be fun for him. He is a social little boy and will get to do much more than he would at home. Still these past 2 settling in sessions have upset me. Leaving him with someone else just for an hour or two made me cry. How the hell will I cope on Monday? Of course it doesn’t help when this time I left Robin he started to freak out and shout a little.
Truth be told I will not know how I feel until Monday comes. Wish me luck I think I will need it!
Did you decide to go back to work after maternity leave?
Camilla- Erika x