364 days ago (exactly) I packed up my desk, ready to end work for my maternity leave. It was only 09:05 but I was making sure I was going to be ready to go dead on 17:00, no hanging around for me! I dithered about for the rest of my last day answering the question “Will you take the full year?” with an array of answers because honestly I didn’t know. Usually I replied “depends on how good he is. I might want to put him in nursery straight away!” I mean… It was a joke…
Once he was here I still didn’t have a clue and as I attended more and more baby classes/groups and other mums were going back to work the question kept coming up. I knew I was going to at least take 9 months. 9 months came and went… I’ll take 10. 10 was no good, it was too soon, I’ll definitely go back at 11.
Turns out I was taking the year. I mean it was great, I’ve had nearly 11 months off with my little monster (one month resting before he came and turned my life the right way round) and with that we’ve been inseparable and the bond we have is intense. But with that bond came a very hard day when we did have to be prised apart. I gave my start date as 20th June but was instantly convinced to take the first week of him being in nursery off so that I could
cry into a pillow be on hand if he didn’t settle in. That week came and went and now my impending doom was in touching distance.
I was so hard to think that I wouldn’t be able to have the freedom to do what I wanted through the day because I was going to be stuck in an office and not at the local farm/park/Tesco. An actual conversation in our house was something along the lines of:
Can you get more bananas on the big shop?
I’m not doing a big shop this week.
Because you’re making me go back to work!!
Worse still; I wouldn’t be able to have a nap every afternoon. That was the most terrifying thing, I hadn’t been weaning myself.
I dreaded it, my mood dipped and I tried to think of injuries that wouldn’t hurt that much but would mean an extended time off work. The first morning came round and I dropped River at nursery and as I got back in my car I realised I needed him more than he needed me. I wanted to stay with him and take care of him but he was happy with his new friends and being at nursery. I had given him nearly 11 months of love and care and he bailed on me for his new crew. I realised I had clung on to him and now I had to get back to my 9 to 5.
Actually… It wasn’t that bad. I remembered some of what I used to know about my job which was a bonus, I had some cups of tea. I even treated myself to some digestive biscuits. But I’ll tell you one thing – there is no feeling in this whole world greater than when you get home and have that first cuddle after hours apart from your little tyrant. That is the only thing on my mind now when I drive away from his nursery.
Oh that and “why the hell am I still listening to Mr Tumble when he isn’t even in the car?!”