I wanted to write a post before returning to work telling you all about how anxious I was feeling leading up to that dreaded first day back, however life happened and the laptop remained hidden at the bottom of a massive ‘to do’ pile for what has felt like an eternity!!
So instead, I am now writing to tell you all how it went…
IT WAS OK! It wasn’t great, it wasn’t easy… but it was OK!
So on Monday 17th July I set my alarm for 6am, but let’s face it, with a 9 month old I really shouldn’t have bothered. At 5:55am I was abruptly awoken by the sound of Ivy crying and my husband rushing out of the bedroom (the crying, very normal….the husband darting into her room, not so normal!) to tend to her. Turns out Ivy had thrown up EVERYWHERE! As you can imagine, my anxiety about leaving her rocketed and I felt like the World’s worst mum as I rushed around getting her bathed before quickly getting myself ready and leaving for work.
Once I was there- I managed to keep myself busy, luckily the nature of my job as a primary school teacher is non stop and very active so I was able to easily keep myself distracted from what was happening at home without me. I was also very lucky that I wasn’t leaving Ivy with strangers or people she doesn’t know well… I was leaving her with her Daddy! However anyone that knows me personally will probably know already that I am a bit of a control freak and I like to take charge, especially when it comes to Ivy, so even though I trust Rob completely in every way, I hated the thought of not being in control.
As the first day came to its end I was feeling pretty proud of myself for making it through the day without any tears, without constantly checking my phone, and without too much stress and worry. I got home and had the biggest smile from Ivy as I walked through the door, a huge cuddle and you know what, I actually felt really satisfied with the day and I felt good about the fact that I had once again earnt some money to support our household.
Fast forward to Friday and I was really starting to feel it now, with Ivy no-where near sleeping through and 5 full-on days at work I was exhausted. There are no words to describe just how tired I was feeling and the lack of Ivy time was starting to upset me. I found that I was using up all my patience and good manners at work and then getting home and losing my patience an awful lot quicker than usual. Patience is actually one of my attributes and usually something I am proud of so this was by far the hardest element of the whole experience. I felt like by the end of the week I was into the swing of work and being a good teacher, but as a result I was no longer being a good mummy. I had no patience at home, and for the very short time in which I was with Ivy before she went to bed. I was rushing, hurrying her and didn’t have the time and energy to entertain anything but good behaviour. I was feeling stressed, and of course that was causing Ivy to become stressed and therefore she was presenting difficult behaviour that I was struggling to deal with in my usual calm manner. As soon as she was in bed and I finally got 2 mins to myself, all I could think about was what a horrible mummy I was being and how much I was missing my time with her.
Luckily for me, that was the worst it will ever get and I knew that I had 6 more weeks at home with Ivy before having to do it all again. It is now the last of those 6 weeks and I return to work again next week…I know it won’t be the same as I am now on a part time contract, therefore I will only be working 3 days a week, but I can’t help but worry that I will find the adjustment difficult and that my parenting will again deteriorate to something that I don’t like. I know that it will be very hard to juggle everything together and do it all well, but I would like to think that I am strong enough to ensure I am always the best mummy possible. I am hopeful that I will learn to adjust and save some of my patience for my most important pupil, my daughter!
How have you found the return to work? Are you yet to return and worrying about similar things? Get in touch and let me know….