I survived the first week of work, and so did Chunk!
On the first day I was greeted in the morning by Chunk having wet the entire bed, and amazingly I didn’t kick off due to needing to get to work on time. I was scarily calm, which is not like me when I know I have to get somewhere on time!
When I said goodbye to him I didn’t lose the plot or get hysterical- I went into autopilot and just focussed on making sure he had everything he needed and I hadn’t forgotten anything. It was only in the car on the way to work that an emotional song came on and I had a little blub, and that’s when the guilt flooded in. I should be looking after my boy, not other people!
I don’t think the guilt will ever leave, and to be honest it does help me to appreciate the time I do have with him. Whilst the work is hard, (as is the mornings and evenings each side of work!) it’s kinda nice to be seen as just me again for a few hours, and to not have to talk purely about Chunk’s eating, drinking, bowel movements and sleep pattern with other mums!
I’ve found that when I get home, I just want to be with my boy and things like my dinner and chores can wait! For the first time in a while I now don’t count down the hours until he goes to bed, because I feel like I hardly get to see him and I don’t want to miss out on too much of his precious, quick childhood 🙁
I imagine a lot of women out there recognise the feelings I’m having about it- I watched the film “I don’t know how she does it” recently, and it got it pretty spot on, and even though she predictably reduced her work hours, it did highlight that children are only young for a small space of time, so careers and money really shouldn’t matter for that period of time! I worry so much about having enough money to meet our bills and to provide for Chunk, but I need to focus more on how he doesn’t care about that, he just wants time to bond and be with me, especially as he doesn’t have a proper dad to also bond with.
Despite me not getting to be with him 3 and a half days per week, this is the first week where I have seen that he actually does miss me; When he spots me coming into the room his face lights up and he wants to hug me, and seeing that he does actually love me is the best feeling ever!
It reminds me that it is good for him to spend some time away from me, as long as it is with other people he has good bonds with in the family, so he gets his independence and learns that no matter what, I always return to him at the end of the day.
In terms of the actual work- wow my brain really has deteriorated in this year off! I think the main change is that my brain now has to store Chunk’s routine, our household routine/checklist, childcare arrangements and now work, so the memory is really being tested, as are my once brilliant organisation skills!
Today I forgot to pack any snacks or lunch for myself, and even worse I forgot to pack Chunk’s lunch in my mad rush to get to my GP appointment, but I keep reminding myself that this is the first week, so of course I am going to make a lot of mistakes while I learn how to juggle two very different aspects of my life.
Advice on how to juggle these things is always welcomed, but until then, I think I’m not doing too bad, and I’m so looking forward to having the next 3 days with my boy- not sure I will still be saying that by day 3 though!