So today is my first official day back at work from 15 months off maternity leave.
Many people have asked me how I feel about returning to work, and whilst it is hard to give a simple and succinct answer, I will address my feelings and thoughts in this post.
In short I feel a hell of a lot of emotions , and to sum it up they are very bitter sweet.
I remember my last day of work before I started maternity leave like it was yesterday.'
There was a sense of excitement and also relief as my last months of pregnancy were pretty taxing on the body for various reasons. But more so the constant worry of making sure I was being sensible and not doing too much to put myself or the baby at risk. After all , after waiting so long to get pregnant the anxiety of what could happen even after pregnancy doesn’t stop.
More so, despite finally having Sebastian, I am still on a journey of faith, that baby period didn’t last long at all. I just blinked and fast forward , and I mean FAST forward 15 months . I’m getting Seb ready for nursery and then myself for work .
I must admit there is always a fear that I didn’t take in and appreciate all the moments enough, just in case this is my only chance. But deep down I KNOW ,that God will bless us again if it is his Will...
It feels surreal that the time has finally come for me to return to ‘the Rat Race’.
I thank God that I received a timely email from 'Propel women', a Christian organisation I have followed for a while . I love the encouraging messages they send through to their subscribers and today’s was such an apt message to affirm my mixed emotions.
I reluctantly laid in bed anticipating the day ahead. I battled with the idea of taking my 11 month old son who has a cold (and it begins) to nursery whilst I work.
I imagine how our new family dynamic would be , working full time , getting home from work and probably only being able to spend a few hours before he goes back to bed and does the same thing over again.
Will he forget all the things I’ve taught him?
Will he start to get more sick regularly from the nasty bugs at nursery and is that my fault ?
What if he doesn’t cope with the new routine after I’ve worked so hard and persevered to get him to a place where he can finally comfortably sleep through the night?
What if another person’s child is mean and scratches him? (NEVER LOL)
These are just some of the questions and thoughts I had, and I know some of you experienced parents/ mums are already probably answering my questions in your mind - and thinking; “it will all be fine” , to which I do believe.
However, the thoughts and feelings go slightly deeper and I thought to write a letter to Seb to explain why:
“To my beautiful son, If you could understand and read I wish you could really feel from the depths of your heart, why I write this. It’s the only way I can express how I feel as we transition into a slightly new phase of life.
Some may feel that is public display of affection and anxiety is a tad bit extra but the waves of feelings I have is not just about me and ‘Dada’ going to work and leaving you in nursery. It’s about the journey we thought so hard to be on that now feels is almost taking another route .
Before you came into our now perfect world, we dealt with so many emotions of loss , grief , pain and confusion, and then we finally were blessed with you, our rainbow baby.
Even those first few days I wondered is this what newborns and motherhood is really about ? If so, can I have a refund? (we will save that for another post)
After overcoming the hurdle we then went through months of thinking , please stop growing , and here we are now having to watch you grow and develop so beautifully and transition to nursery, whilst we work and make sure we can continue to look after you and live a comfortable enough life. After all, you are our most precious human and you deserve the best , hence why I have anxiety and doubt myself for handing that to someone else who will never understand or appreciate why this is such a big deal for me and your dad.
I guess I can end this letter by saying that all the doubts , fears and questions I have, have been answered thanks to that timely email. I can’t necessarily ‘have it all’- I completely understand that this is a debatable idea/statement , but I do realise that having the job of my dreams, the good salary , family -life , work-life balance , does exist , but that’s not what ‘having it all’ is like because there comes a time in your life where the more you have, the more you want, which contradicts that goal.
For me my priorities are to recognise that everything I have to date is enough , I have joy that I’ve made it this far . Well we both did (another testimony to follow) .
I am grateful that whilst I don’t have my ‘ish’ together I’ve done a damn good job with the help of ‘dada’ and family and friends.
And so I am going back to work because I want to make you proud , and set an example for you. I hope you will be proud of us one day son, because this is all for you “