Welcome back to my little mini series where I am looking back over our family memories, if you have missed one you can pop here to catch up.
It’s nearly four years ago that I became a mummy to Alice and started my maternity leave. We had planned for me to take a year off work and then I would return part time…Anyway things didn’t go to plan!
Whilst I was on maternity leave my job role changed and it became a job that I would not be able to manage whilst being a mummy too. I had lots of difficult conversations with my employer at the time and I went through a particularly difficult time, where I dreaded to see an email from them. I spent far too much of my maternity leave worrying and having to talk to them whilst jiggling Alice on my hip. It was just impossible to concentrate on the conversation when your daughter needs you too.
It led to lots of conversations with Andy about what we would do. We got to the stage where we knew that I would leave my job, but would I look for something new or stay at home with Alice? We decided I would stay at home with Alice, a decision that we were both happy with.
Two weeks after Alice turned one, I had a phone call from my friend asking me if I wanted a job. A job working alongside her, part time and it was only a six month contract. It was tempting…
Taking this job would mean that we could use the money to move house, something that we wanted to do, but didn’t think we would at this moment in our lives. It would also mean that if we were blessed with another baby, I would be able to get statutory maternity pay. This was a big decision!
While we were looking at the different options, both our parents said that they would love to look after Alice for us. Covering the three days I would be at work between them, how lucky were we!
This was deciding the factor for us, I would be able to go back to work for three days a week, while Alice was being cared for by her grandparents and I would get to be with her for the other four days of the week…plus I would get to spend the three days with my lovely friend. In the end the decision was very easy on a practical level.
It was just the emotional side I needed to work on, leaving my baby girl. I knew that she would be well loved and looked after, it was just that mummy guilt kicking in.
I was due to start work five days after our holiday, which also happened to be when Andy would be on a stag do. This was not great timing, as I was already panicking about how I would get me and Alice ready in time to leave the house, to drop her off and then travel 45 minutes to work. It just all seemed too much.
My mum came to the rescue again and offered for me to stay overnight with them the night before my first day. Then all I needed to worry about was getting me ready and to get to work. Phew!
My first day was what you would expect, spending every minute checking my phone just in case mum needed me. But I did survive and it was quite nice to enjoy a hot cup of coffee and go to the toilet on my own. I even had a lunch break and no one wanted something off my plate.
We all settled into our new life of me working really well, Alice loved going to her grandparents and when she was with my parents, she also got to play with her cousin as they looked after my niece too. The relationship that Alice has with all her grandparents is one of the best things to come out of me returning to work.
It turned out to be the best decision we made…
Next week I will be back with being pregnant for a second time.