I recently posted here that I am not looking forward to going back to work VERY soon and that I would love to be able to be a stay at home mummy and look after Luca everyday until he goes to school. At the point of writing that post I genuinely thought most of my negativity was related to leaving Luca for 3 days a week. I do not relish the thought of handing my son over to another person to raise and care for 3 days a week despite them being absolutely lovely people. In my eyes he is my son and that is my job, however it is also my job to provide for him the best life possible and this means returning to work. Yet as my first day back creeps ever closer I have realised that is only one of a few reasons I am not looking forward to returning to work.
There is the fear, the fear with work thrown into the balance I will lose balance. I have just about managed to find a nice routine to our days where things usually tick over pretty smoothly. Everyday I keep my little boy happy, entertained, clean(ish), healthy and fed. I also manage to make sure that as a family we all have clean clothes to wear, food in the fridge and a clean tidy house to live in (ok not always but most of the time). I do all of this but sometimes only just. Until your a mum I don’t think you fully comprehend just how much work this entails and some days are a struggle just to get through without squeezing in household tasks as well, for example teething days. I am genuinely fearful that once I am working three full days a week that this balancing act will just fall apart.
One of the first things I realised is that mornings will no longer be a leisurely, fun affair that they are currently. No, instead I will attempt to make myself look clean, tidy and presentable for a day of work whilst feeding my 9 month old who has now mastered the art of making a mess with everything before dressing him in hopefully matching clothes and bundling him into the car and off to the childminders with his favourite toy in tow.
I then will have to work for a whole day on very little sleep as Luca still wakes numerous times a night usually because his dummy has escaped his grasp. This I am dreading and if I think about too much makes me feel physically sick. Sleep deprivation is a b***h at the best of times without having to actually function and think during the day.
After work I will then have to collect Luca from childminders, get him home, make tea and do whatever needs doing for next day, pack ups, ironing etc before getting him ready for bed.
I know I’m not the only mum in the world who will be doing this, and I am very aware how lucky I am to only have to have this battle three days a week instead of daily but until I have thought about it, I had never really thought about it, if that makes sense. I have so much respect and admiration for working mums who seem to sail through a day without batting an eye and I secretely hope that under that cool calm surface they too will be paddling like hell just to keep floating just so I’m not alone. I realise that makes me sound like an awful person but I honestly cant seem to envisage how I am going to manage all of these things all I do know is somehow I will have to.
I am sure we will eventually find a new balance, a new routine and things will once again tick over relatively smoothly but I am terrified of the fall out before that new balance is found. So to all you lovely yummy mummies out there doing this and doing it well I salute you. Please feel free to leave me your top tips to make things easier.