Returning to work after maternity leave

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Eddie is now one. He is officially no longer a baby!!! We had a fantastic weekend celebration for his birthday at our house, in the garden with close friends and family. The sun was shining, the bbq was out and we hired a bouncy castle and soft play equipment for the kids, which they all loved. We then spent his actual birthday at playgroup in the morning celebrating with his little friends and then went on a lovely trip to lake Windermere in the afternoon for lunch and a walk.
I have found it quite difficult to get my head around the fact that Eddie’s first year of his life has passed. It has been an amazing year, full of emotions and I have grown as a person so much. But I cannot believe how fast time has gone!! I tend to find that I don’t sweat the small stuff and I just can’t tolerate peoples petty BS any more. I seriously just do not have time (or the space in my brain) for it.
So with Eddie turning one, my return to work is literally a couple of weeks away. I was feeling very anxious about this. I wasn’t looking forward to working shifts and weekends, especially Christmas days and worried about child care for when I was working until 10pm. In all honesty I have a completely different outlook on life and these next 12 months are going to be full of big steps and decision making. Most of all I was dreading having to leave Eddie with somebody while I went to work. I felt jealous that somebody was going to be spending the time I should be with my little boy while I was slaving away trying to earn enough money to pay bills. Unfortunately it just isn’t an option for me to not return to work. We just can’t manage on one salary. So I managed to get myself a new job where I won’t be working shifts and have cut my hours down to 4 days per week , this has given me quite a pay cut, but its manageable and totally worth it as my anxiety has reduced significantly plus I get an extra day with Eddie. I am no longer dreading going back to work, but looking forward to a new challenge. Don’t get me wrong, if I happened to win the lottery or come into money in another way, I wouldn’t be rushing back!!
I have been very lucky to have had so long off for maternity leave. I have had 12 months plus 9 weeks of annual leave I built up, which I have appreciated completely. A lot of people told me I would feel it was too long and that I would be itching to get back to work. I did wonder this myself. I was very much career focused. Work was my baby. In all honesty I think it was the perfect amount of time off. I have been able to watch my baby grow during the first year of his life. I haven’t missed any of his first milestones, which is what I was dreading. I had visions of his childminder telling me he had taken his first steps with her, but I got to see him do it in my parents living room while sat next to my husband. Such a relief for me. But again I can’t believe how fast it has gone! It feels like only last week I was sat at home with a new born baby, wondering what on earth I was supposed to do!!
I really am going to miss our daily routine. I never thought I would be a mumsy mum who went to play groups and had coffee with other mums. I had a student nurse when I was heavily pregnant who used to tease me about it. We would be driving to a patients house and see a mum pushing a pram with 2 other kids walking next to her and he would point and say “ooo thats going to be you in a few years” and we would laugh as I said “oh hell no”. Oh how things change!!! I took Eddie to our usual Tuesday play group yesterday and felt sad knowing the next time I go it will have to be when I am on annual leave! I have got to know most of the people there and I look forward to going for a chat and a coffee. Eddie will still be going as his child minder goes every week (it’s how we met) and his dad is brilliant and will take him on his days off.
As I prepare for my return to work I think of ways I can make the most of the rest of my time off. We have been blessed with lovely weather too which has helped. We have been playing in the garden, going to the park and having picnics. I know these happy times will keep me going when I am sat in a sweaty clinic wishing I was at home!!

Please tell me about your experiences on going back to work. I am interested to know how you are all getting on and if you have any tips or advice. Any words of wisdom are appreciated!!!

Thank you all
Mrs Ormerod

xxx

Please don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @thistiredmum

 

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