Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Time is running out

It is five weeks and five days until the end of my maternity leave.  The luxury of spending each and every day with The Baby is about to end. 

Time is running out.

My mind has suddenly become very focused on making the most of these free and easy (?) days.  Soon, I won't be able to set the pace and decide on what we shall be doing each day, changing our plans as the fancy takes me.

"How are you feeling about going back to work?" is the question I am being asked increasingly frequently.

I have mixed feelings.  I shall, of course, miss The Baby.  It will be hard to leave him even though it will only be for two and a half days a week. I'm also a bit anxious about how he will be without me.

He currently refuses to accept a bottle or cup, only happy to drink from the breast as and when he chooses.  Thankfully he has a healthy appetite for solids now so I guess he can snack in between his meal to ensure he doesn't go hungry.

And then there's the sleeping issue.  The Baby HATES being in his cot for more than the five minutes it takes me to nip to the loo leaving him to explore the cot and leaving me knowing he is safe.  There is no way he would sleep in there. No Sir-ee. No sleeping in the cot for The Baby. We've indulged his preference. Co-sleeping at night and letting him nap on our laps or in his pushchair during the day.  But with me at work, will the people looking after The Baby be quite so generous in indulging these sleepimg tendancies?

We're hoping that due to the generous offers of support from our families that we will be able to avoid needing to use a nursery.  Which leave me both grateful, and, with a number of concerns.

How will The Baby respond to being with different people each day?  Will we be consistent - ie. do things in the way that I do them?!  I know that The Female Parent (aka my mum) may find this a struggle, preferring her own way to the inferior ways of others.  Ahh , so that's where I get it from...

*pauses for moment of self realisation* ;-) 

*considers world-war-scale possible fall out from potential clashes with The Female parent over parenting issues*

Will the (aging) Parents really be able to cope with The (headstrong) Baby who is constantly on the move, into everything and really quite demanding of attention?  Is it fair to ask them them to help us out in this way?  It's hard to say 'n'o to isn't it so should we even place them in that position?

Maybe a day (or two) in Nursery would be good for The Baby?  Friends have shared very positive experiences of the Nursery we would choose to use - although I'm guessing we may struggle at this late stage to get a place in the immediate future.  Is The Baby missing out if he doesn'tregularly go and mix freely with other babies?  Or can this wait until he's older as it did when The Eight Year Old - and he's turned out alright.

AAAARRRGGGGHHHH  my head may explode!!!! 

IT'S A MINEFIELD!!

And breath.

Looking at the positives, I am really looking forward to baby-free lunchs with friends.  The luxury of regularly having the opportunity to relax and chat over a lazy latte whilst putting the world to rights is a very appealing prospect.

And although I'm not someone who would ever get bored of being at  home - so many things I like to do to occupy more hours than there are in the day - I am looking forward to getting my brain back into a different gear and mixing with more of the adult population again.

If only I knew the job I'll be doing when I return then I'd almost be looking forward to it.  Unfortunately, my  previous job, the one that I really enjoyed, got 'swallowed up' in a reorganisation that took place whilst I had my head in the baby-clouds. I didn't come out of the whole thing particularly well.  However, I'm facing that one head-on.  I have an interview next week for a new role that I'd really like to do so wish me luck!

Either way, I'm only going to be working for two and a half days a week and a person can do anything for a couple of days a week right?  And working part-time creates a nice balance doesn't it?  At least it does if you overlook the feelings of not doing your job properly and not fufilling your role as a mum well enough.

I shouldn't even think about complaining really.  I have a decent, interesting job that pays relatively well waiting for me offering me a working pattern to suit my needs and enabling my family to eat.  When you look at it like that...

In the meantime I am doing my best to avoid a long drawn out version of the  'Sunday evening back to work tomorrow' feeling.  I still have over five weeks left before I return to work and i plan to enjoy every moment!

So tell me, any  working parents out there who returned to work after being a 'stay at home' Mum or Dad?  How did you feel about going back to work?  Any advice for me?


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