My first week back:
Here I am, the night before I start back at work. Everything is laid out ready for the next morning, Oliver’s outfit, his bag for the child minder packed, my clothes laid out, massively unappetising salad lunch prepared and horrendously early alarms set. I’m still anxious about Simon’s role in the morning routine, but he assures me (relentlessly) that it would all be fine.
Remarkably I slept well. Much to my annoyance, Simon was right. He’s up in plenty of time and he and Oliver are ready and waiting to go at 6.50am. Ok, so he may have been right but it only worked because of my organisation . . . I can’t let him win. We walk Oliver round to the child minder together which is not what we planned but I’m secretly pleased about being able to carefully convey all of the information to her, which I didn’t trust Simon to remember. I am a control freak – this will become clear if it hasn’t already. As the door shuts behind me for a fleeting second I feel sad to leave him and hope that he misses me, but then I quickly remember that I have to get moving to get to work in time and I don’t have time to be too sentimental.
First challenge – turn off my out of office. I don’t want to! It’s been like a protective blanket for 9 months and now people will know I’m back. Or will they? Maybe I should tell people I’m back.
I’ve made it to mid morning and I’m going ok. I’ve engaged in conversation and even had to help members of my team therefore proving that I’m not useless! Then a text comes through from the child minder, Chloe. It’s a picture of Oliver. This is a massively bitter sweet for me as I’m so pleased that he’s having a lovely time but it’s also a big fat slap in the face to remind me that I’m not with him.
So somehow I make it through the day, engaging in conversation and being somewhat professional. It’s home time and I NEED to see Oliver. I decide to engage in a secret race with Simon to get to the boy first. I lost. Simon knew it was a race, he probably cheated.
I’m so excited to see my boy, but after such a busy day he’s exhausted and super grumpy! So straight off to bed and he’s out like a light by 5.45pm.
All that’s left to do is lay everything out for the day ahead once again and feed ourselves. Day one complete.
First office hurdle – working flexible hours and starting super early meant that the office was in fact still locked. Never mind, when I finally do make it in to the office, I get to enjoy a lovely cup of team in the peace and quiet.
By mid morning I’m totally buzzing! I have purpose again and a job to do and something to organise which doesn’t need to be dictated by sleep routines and baby-led weaning!
Did not want to get up today. Feeling really tired. Am now realising that a bed time past 10pm (thanks to a She’s a working mum planning meeting) is a stupid idea and my body is punishing me for it. On the plus side I’m now really excited about tomorrow – my first day back with Oliver, all to myself!
My Oliver Friday! We made it! All week Oliver has remained asleep until we’ve woken him shortly before 7am, so I’m optimistic about enjoying a little extra sleep. Nope! He’s wide awake at 5am . . . little tinker (or words to that effect). Never mind, the rest of the day is ours to enjoy together, we’ve earned this time and we’re going to make the most of it! But before that, I need to clean the house, change the beds and do all the washing.
Another early start. I’m now beginning to realise that the weekend is not about recuperating after your long week. There is just as much to do and now there’s a crawling 9 month old who also needs entertaining – in the space of 3 days with the child minder, Oliver has cracked crawling – feel slightly concerned that I must have failed him in some way for him not to have conquered it on my watch. I begin to get slightly concerned about the potential for a downward spiral of exhaustion.
Oliver is sick. He’s been in childcare for less than a week and we’re already developing his immune system! He was awake all night so we’re all exhausted. Now having to decide what to do tomorrow when the working week starts again. Can he go to the child minder? Who will stay at home if he can’t. I don’t feel like I can, having just been off for 9 months, it seems ridiculous to go back for 4 days and then need a day off because Oliver is sick. How on earth is this going to work?! This is when it starts to get hard. This is when it starts to get real. Bring. It. On.