Returning to work – the worries

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On Monday 9 June 2014 I will be returning to work.

I have a lot of questions:

  1. What will it be like to get on a tube train for the first time since April 2013?
  2. How will I get into the building as I can’t find my ID card and can’t remember who to ask for?
  3. Will I still be able to do my job?
  4. What is my job…?
  5. What if I can’t log onto the computer?
  6. What if my clients don’t take me seriously because I haven’t worked for 14 months?
  7. Will I have time to finish my work before I leave (an hour earlier than I used to…and then some) at 5.15?
  8. Will the baby miss me?
  9. Will my SAHD husband become the favoured parent?
  10. What will we eat?

I need a good slap, hundreds of people return from maternity leave every month and presumably they all manage.  We are in fact lucky in many ways that we have decided to try Jem staying at home with the Turk full time rather than having to juggle additional childcare.  Although this is difficult in some respects it seems to be the best financial answer in the short term.

In terms of the Turk taking on a full time parenting role, there is absolutely no reason why this can’t work, my worries about this are:

  • The Turk didn’t spend any time with Jem for the first 6 months of his life;
  • I can count on one hand the number of occasions the Turk has got up in the night to settle our son (which will now become his role…hopefully);
  • This morning Jem was choking on a deodorant lid  whilst sat next to the Turk in bed…he didn’t notice;
  • On two occasions after the Turk has put Jem into his high chair he “forgot” to strap him in and he fell out (…onto our tiled floor…the second time I caught him, the first I managed to lessen the impact but spilled a cup of tea over him in the process – no damage done but that’s not really the point);
  • The Turk thinks it’s acceptable to take the baby around the supermarket in the bottom of the shopping trolley, I don’t agree;
  • The Turk does NOT do routines;
  • A couple of weeks ago I found the baby up 2 flights of stairs in a room we keep building materials in whilst the Turk was looking after him as I got ready…

Our Turklish family is about to undergo a huge change, and mummy is really not very prepared for it.

It’s really important that I “let go” and allow father and son to develop their own bond and have confidence that they will cope and find their own level…

…but that will be hard.

Maternity leave…take it or leave it…?

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It’s not that I don’t love my son, when he’s in a good mood (or asleep) he’s genuinely delightful.

Although I like my job it’s not the most glamourous or interesting job in the world and working for the Government is not the highest paying or most rewarding of things to do in all honesty.

I have lots of things I would like to do with my time off, I had grand plans a few years ago to do yoga teacher training should I ever end up with a year off.  I love to knit and (recently) crochet and (even more recently) blog.  The issue is I am finding after 11 months of maternity leave, I am not getting to do any of these things, and to be frank I’m bored.  On the face of it there’s no reason why I can’t spend my days knitting to my hearts content, or finishing the numerous cross stitch projects I have started over the years, this was always my impression of maternity leave.  But I find that the boy’s attention span is such that by the time I get started on something he has lost interest in whatever he’s doing and is demanding that I put down my wool and play with him/feed him/put him down/stop him doing something dangerous.  Now you may think that this is just an issue since he has been able to crawl and coast, but truth be told even before that I had my hands full as he fed near constantly until 8 months and screamed blue murder if I ever let him out of my arms.

Why does it matter I tell myself, the purpose of maternity leave is to be maternal.  Jem should demand all my attention and come above and beyond everything (even FB or Twitter!)  I should want to play with him and entertain him, and I do…just not for 12 hours a day.  I also have the benefit of being off work for 14 months (the boy was 2 weeks late so the first month I was in fact just bored and heavily pregnant) much to the envy of friends and colleagues both parents and non-parents.  But when I spend so much time gazing around at all the fun things I could be doing, but am not, it feels like way too long.

I am reaching the stage where my NCT friends are returning to work, so my baby social circle is reducing rapidly, and I fear our daily whatsapp conversations may be about to become a thing of the past.  Although the sun is returning, after 11 months I’m pretty sick and tired of exploring the local area avec buggy.  I’ve also started to have a strong desire to make sure we’re at home during nap time (baby free time in the house is a rarity and therefore precious).  Even more surprising, I’m bored of shopping…although this could have something to do with the lack of money.

I’m not actually complaining (though it may sound like I am) I appreciate that this is a one off opportunity for me and Jem and I will regret not making the most of every second in a few years.  I wonder if it’s something to do with becoming an accidental mother, at an age when I am far too selfish to want to do things someone else’s way.  I wonder whether it’s because I am an only child.  I wonder whether it’s because Jem and I are too alike for our own good…I wonder lots of things…it helps to pass the time…