And just like that, on the 19th November I returned to work after just over a year off..
This blog post is a follow on from my previous blog post Back to work as I hadn’t actually returned to work yet when this was written. I want to tell you all about exactly how I’ve been feeling, the emotions I’ve had and how I’ve found it settling back in.
As I have wrote in my previous blog my job is not an issue to go back to. I absolutely LOVE my job! So I just want to set that straight before anyone thinks I’m going back to a job I don’t enjoy. I was so lucky to find my job, and honestly hand on heart I am so passionate about it.
However, things have changed slightly since I first started this job a few years ago. I now have a little human who is apart of my life. He plays the biggest role in my life now to be honest. He is now my priority.
At first I was feeling so excited to go back to work (although still nervous about leaving Freddie). I was quite excited to get my own identity back, rather than being just mum. I was excited to have an adult conversation again. Let’s be realistic here, as amazing as motherhood is.. it can be pretty lonely! Some days not leaving the house and not having much adult contact! I felt it was going to give me a lot more structure back into my day. Going back has done that, but also much more..
People always said to me and still do, don’t worry it does get easier leaving them. I really wish this was the case for me. If I’m being completely honest, so far it’s got nothing but harder. That mum guilt has been hitting HARD. Freddie’s becoming more aware when I leave him at the childminders now. He just looks at me and screams. Having to leave him like that and shut the door holding back the tears myself, it breaks my heart. I never want Freddie to feel like I’m leaving and abandoning him.. I’m his safety and security! It’s been so hard.. saying this, by the time I’ve reached work I’m greeted by a message from the childminder of a photo of Freddie telling me he’s settled in just fine. That’s always what I need to make me feel better. Otherwise the guilt eats away at me all day.
I have literally gone from not being away from Freddie.. to suddenly not being with him 30 hours a week! It’s hard. Yes I still get to see him every evening and put him to bed. That’s not the same as being able to spend all day with him, going to the park, going out for lunch, having pj days.. the list is endless. Considering he is only 1, I feel we have built so many memories together, because we had the time to do them.
I feel that time is just not on my side now I’m back at work. That saying of ‘not enough hours in the week’ seriously.. tell me about it!!! I need to work 30 hours, be a mum, be a girlfriend, cook tea, keep the house looking at least a little presentable.. on top of trying to have your own time, and the weekly challenges you get thrown at you. A lot of people might be thinking why doesn’t she do less than 30 hours then. The bottom line is money. Isn’t that the bottom line to most of our decisions? I just can’t afford to do less. I want to be able to spoil Freddie, and plan things. I want to make the most of my weekends and do things, I feel if I dropped my hours I wouldn’t be able to afford that.
My top tips for starting back off at work are:
1. Make the most of your maternity- as your maternity is coming to an end, enjoy it! I found I was doing less and not enjoying my final days because I was too worried about going back to work. Instead.. leave it on a high, do lots of things before you go back so you can hold on to those memories.
2. Organisation- (I’m still working on this one) Organisation is key when you’re back at work. It’s time to start planning your spare time! I’ve never been great at organising myself, but I really need to start. I know what I have to do in the week then and when I need to do it.
3. Keep on top of stuff– I find it so easy to just sit on my arse and ignore the house work. I have been at work all day! And on my days off.. why shouldn’t I enjoy it. It then gets to the point though where it takes me a day to get back on top of things. If I just did a little each day I wouldn’t be doing it for so long!
4. Energy- I have found it hard being back at work with a child who doesn’t sleep through.. you may need some coffee, coffee and a little more coffee? I HATE coffee!! So sometimes the chocolate just has to come out…
5. Don’t loose yourself- even when becoming a mum it’s easy to loose yourself, throw work into the mix and sometimes your days just vanish completely! Take some time out for yourself, you need it.. and you deserve it! Even if that’s a bath once a week.
6. Try and not let mum guilt take over- I keep telling myself I’m doing a good thing for Freddie! I’m giving him the best life I can possibly offer him. He has also come on leaps and bounds since being with a childminder! I know it’s good for him. Once I am out of sight, I do know deep down he’s having an amazing time.
‘Mom is wow upside down’
I honestly believe we all do an amazing job! You’re juggling plates, with not enough time.. all for your children! It’s hard, but worth every second. Some days are more challenging than others, but there’s also those rewarding days.. where you just know your doing the right thing 🖤
I’ve wrote this blog in collaboration with Lucy, so head over to her blog and see how she’s found it being back at work.
This blog post is written in collaboration with the Mother Hen Club! I am now a Mother Hen and will be creating blog posts for them 🖤 check them out on Instagram @motherhenclub or have a look at their website!! Mother Hen Club 🖤 It is an amazing place for mums and mums to be to offer them support and advice.