So I’ve done it! Week one of back to work is complete. Phew!
I wanted to update the blog for those of you who read my last post because a few of you got in touch to say you were about to go through similar and were dreading it.
I’m not going to lie, nursery settling in days have been extremely tough on us all. We started with an hour, moving upwards from there but unfortunately we didn’t even get to a half day because Adam was so upset. It was awful. He would be fine going in and then go in to meltdown. All credit to our chosen nursery though, they phoned me to come and collect him when they really couldn’t comfort him. This has given a lot of faith in them that they have his best interests at heart. After that particular session I was all for quitting my job, moving to a one bedroom flat and getting rid of the car just so that I could afford to not work! I felt so so bad and like the worst Mummy in the world. Questions I was asking myself were:
Is he too young for this?
Is all the crying and upset going to damage him in some way?
Am I being selfish for going back to work?
And that last one is crazy because although I enjoy my work I have to go back for financial reasons, otherwise we would have to seriously downgrade our life and that’s something we’ve decided we don’t want.
So you get the jist – not good!
However the last two sessions before New Year went really positively and I think he finally realised that nursery wasn’t so bad. We only had the tears when leaving him and then he was fine. And that I can handle. Changed times
So fast forward to this week, I started back on Tuesday with a bang! I had been so caught up in nursery worries that work worries hadn’t even featured in my head. Probably a good thing. The work part of this whole equation has turned out quite well. I’m already really busy and have picked right back up from my maternity cover colleague and honestly I’ve slotted right back in by just getting busy.
On Tuesday and Wednesday Adam was in nursery, I worried all day long and stuck myself right in to work to distract myself. Nursery phoned to let me know he was doing really well. He had two positive days and that has made me so happy.
My advice to anyone about to go through this is this:
1. Be organised. Organise the hell out of the next morning the night before. We are getting up at 6am and getting ready before getting Adam out his bed at 6.40am, feeding and changing him and then we are out the door at 7am. That’s because we’ve prepared breakfasts, lunches, nursery/work bags and clothes the night before.
2. Try to get stuck back in to as much work as possible. It really does act as a distraction.
3. Try to have faith that your child will eventually settle wherever they are going for childcare. I probably need to take my own advice! Talk to friends and colleagues who might have settled their children before and get different, honest perspectives. It’s helped me a lot to realise that Adam is normal and what I feel is normal.
4. Don’t expect anything to have changed at work. It probably hasn’t!
5. See it as a new chapter, not the sad end to the first chapter. I’m focusing on the positives, I like my work, I like chatting and reconnecting with my colleagues, I love being me again and I also LOVE picking Adam up – that smile and his outstretched arms to get a hold of me – melty!
I’ve only done week one, but it’s amazing how quickly it just becomes normal.
That all being said, I blooming miss my boy. All day. That won’t change, and I’m not expecting too much of myself on that front! Do I still feel guilty? Absolutely. But when will Mums ever not be? I’m learning to live with it.