This time a few weeks ago, I was feeling anxious. Only one more sleep until my first day at work. Another step into the unknown, not knowing if I was doing the right thing or not. I had spent 17 months previous being there for Emma, watching her every move, cramming in the housework amongst playing with her, trying my best to get it right. So many people told me that I’ve got to do what’s right for me, and as I lay there unable to sleep, I think to myself ‘this is what I want’.
I had started to get a bit emotional about it all, breaking down a few days before as I told my other half that I would miss her too much. I’m knew what I was feeling was a loss of control, and perhaps a good measure of guilt too. I didn’t know if this was normal, I mean is it normal to burst into tears when someone asks you if you are excited about starting your new job? My tears shocked him and he told me that I don’t have to go back to work. I thought seriously about what he said, but I had to do what was right for me now – I needed to give it a go.
On my first day, I was a complete bundle of nerves. I was almost late for work as in the 19 months I have been on maternity leave, I had forgotten that trains are evil. How could I forget to allow time for delays…there might be a leaf on the track or perhaps the driver just couldn’t be assed to turn up for work that day. As the train went at 5mph, I could feel myself getting boiling hot…the basics of commuting after all those years of battling the rat race train journeys had somehow flown out the window!
A few weeks has now passed and we’re doing fine. But there’s no doubt about it, my days are different now. Now, as it approaches 7am, I’m longing for her to wake up so I can see her before I head off to work, instead of praying she sleeps and sleeps. I seem to be running everywhere, instead of keep as calm as I can when we get from A to B..what does 10 minutes later matter? Now 10 minutes is the difference between giving her the bottle before bedtime, or being able to give her breakfast before I go to work. It matters.
There are also hard days – when all I want is to stay with Emma and be Mum instead of the Mum who runs around juggling childcare, work and train timetables. And there’ll be tougher days to come, when I am delayed because of work, or the trains…when I can’t see my girl before she goes to bed. But for now, I’m going to focus on the positives – time for me to be me again, to get back into the job that I loved to do and meet a new set of people. I still haven’t managed to have an entire hot cup of tea or coffee (true story) but there’s still time to work on that!