So, last night I didn’t win the lottery which means after 13 months off work on maternity leave it’s time for me to return to my office job.
As well as the teaching, writing and the other creative bits of work I do, I have a corporate job to pay the bills.
I’m very lucky to get the time off I’ve had but the time has come to return, and its scary as hell.
Firstly, I can’t remember how to do my job….
Seriously, I haven’t thought about it for over a year and pre Jasmine I would fly through the work, train others and answer any technical queries people had. Now the only technical queries I can relate to are the life and times of Peppa Pig.
I’ve been so busy keeping a baby alive that any skills or knowledge I previously had have yet to be remembered, I’m sure they’re festering somewhere in my brain behind the sleep, weaning, nappies, breastfeeding, leaps, teething, colic and other baby stuff.
In fact team members who I previously trained would now be training me.
Whilst I’m lucky to work with the nicest bunch of people, I’m a year behind on the banter, a lot of jokes go over my head and I have the feeling of looking in from the outside, like everyone is talking about a party I didn’t attend.
Oh and to add to the general feeling of panic I’m also worrying about Jasmine, will she be ok? Will she think I’ve abandoned her? Probably not, no.
On the plus side I get to drink tea without panicking where I put it down, get to pee when I need to! I get to have conversations with adults (well, mostly) and get to not worry about Jasmine for a few hours (except all I do is worry!)
I also get to engage my brain and be someone other than Jasmines mummy.
We are lucky as Dave will take over looking after Jasmine when he finishes work and I go to work! Part of me wants to pass her over to him shouting ‘TAG YOU’RE IT!!’ whilst running and skipping with excitement at my new sense of freedom, the other half of me wants to check every two minutes she’s ok….I’m pretty sure that feeling will pass.
I’m completely gutted that my new hours will mean I miss out on her baby groups and swimming lessons, although Daddy will still be taking her, it feels horrible that I won’t see her there, unless I book in some holiday on my first week back….too soon?
Realistically, it is going to be tough, the minor issue that Jasmine still wakes every hour and I’m up 80% of the night with her, then looking after her all morning, working all afternoon, doing the dinner, bath, bedtime routine and writing in the evenings. I’m tired just writing it down, I’ll then be teaching at weekends too.
So if you see someone at your work back after their maternity leave – be kind. It isn’t a year of sitting around in pyjamas watching ‘This Morning’ (although I’d be lying if I said that hasn’t happened at all this year) but for most of the time, it’s a lot more stressful that you could imagine. A huge challenge physically and mentally but I know it’s the right thing for my mind, my bank balance and my family now.
Wish me luck!