Happy Wednesday, all.
I read this post and I am transported back to June and that sick feeling about swapping my maternity leave for work, when my baby was so small she couldn’t even sit up, and my guilt at abandoning her at nursery. I don’t think it’s a decision that any mother makes lightly. Katy tackles that feeling head on:
I feel I should mark them, these last days. I feel I should be doing everything, seeing everyone we’ve met over the last almost-ten months, fitting in as much as possible. But we already have a busy week of nursery settling in, work settling in, last-minute baby classes. I think if I don’t leave ourselves some slack, we’ll do too much and be too tired for the big week when I start back at work properly and she starts nursery. Counting down. 10 days now.
I have loved this time far more than I expected. After 11 years of non-stop work (many of those years with 12 hour days as standard), I worried that I might need to do more with my time, that I might get bored with my time off. I haven’t. The quiet rhythms of our days together, marked by naps (far less fraught now than in the early days), feeds, meals, the huge grins when Daddy gets home, have sustained me. Boredom has been of the comfortable, reassuring kind. I have slowed down to her pace, calmed down since the early days of feeling like I needed to have an activity planned for every day and volunteering to help with baby groups to show I had done something ‘challenging’ (as if keeping a tiny human alive, warm, fed, happy wasn’t challenging. I am ridiculous).
My maternity leave coincided with being made redundant and so a lot of time has been spent preparing job applications and going to interviews. The juxtaposition of going from messy puree lunchtimes straight to putting my suit and grown up shoes on is an odd one, and one I will no doubt have to contend with a lot in the future. I worry that I have spent too much of this precious time with her worrying too much about work and finding a job. Life might have been simpler with a job to go back to. But I would have probably found something else to worry about.
I have spent so many hours looking at my phone this year. I blame too much twitter and whatsapp during marathon feeding sessions. Those endless hours in the middle of the night in the first few weeks and months, catching up on the whole archives of all of my favourite blogs and some new ones. Buying things from Amazon at 3am. Only rediscovering the kindle app on my phone when she was 6 months.
I spend a lot of time at the moment talking to people about my return to work (well, new job). I have been in one day a week for the last few weeks so I have an idea of what to expect, and it’s meant I’ve been away from her for whole days as practice. But I have a big lump in my throat as I write this at the thought of her being at nursery all day, learning how to do new things without me. Eating food I haven’t chosen. I know it will all be fine, as everyone who has gone before me has found, but I will miss this time, just me and her. It’s been ace.