Before I had Sam I told myself that I didn’t want to be off on maternity leave too long as I wanted to get back to my job and career.
Six and a half months later and I’m going back, using annual leave to ease myself back, 2 days the first week, 3 days the next and 4 days throughout May and properly back full time in June. I thought that getting back to work would be a breeze, stick the bairn in a nursery and carry on like the time before I was pregnant.
How wrong was I?
As early as February I began worrying: what if he hates nursery? What if they can’t get him to sleep? What if he cries every time I drop him off? Can I express enough milk for him? Will he eat/drink?
And the worries I had about work were just as relentless: what if I don’t remember anything? What if I mess up? What if I don’t like it like I used to? What if we can’t get to work on time?
Six and a half months later and I’m torn, whilst I want to get back to work and challenge my brain (related to my job) I’ve really loved watching Sam grow, making him the focus of every decision (consciously or not). I’ve taken advantage of the wide range of groups, classes and activities: tiny talk, baby twisters, baby massage and the birth and baby drop in. I’ve found the conversations with other mums a godsend…comparing notes, asking questions and sharing highs and lows of everything baby.
I went back on Tuesday.
It was strange. During my maternity leave my office had moved, my husband became my boss and some of my colleagues had moved on. The night before, after I’d got Sam to sleep, I got my outfit ready and my bag packed. I needed to express milk at work so I’d bought a special bag for that (any excuse for a new bag), and my pumping kit was sorted.
Sam woke at 6ish and everything went smoothly, dressed, breakfasted, and out of the house by 7.50am
We’d done 2 weeks of nursery settling in prep and Sam seemed really settled, I just handed him over and he took to it immediately, he won them over with his cheeky smile. I felt calm and relaxed about work, and knowing that Sam had settled and was being well cared for really helped.
So, we dropped off at nursery at 8.30 and was in the office for 8.55, I’d even remembered the door code!
The morning was spent catching up on things and a meeting with my boss about my role. And in the afternoon, although still catching up, began to do some real work.
I booked meeting room to do my expressing, but didn’t know what to put in the shared calendar for the name of the meeting??? I just put “private meeting.” The morning expressing was fine, 5oz, but the afternoon was slow and unproductive, only 4oz. It was 4pm and my mind was wandering, I couldn’t focus on work, I just wanted to see Mr Sam.
I took a shorter lunch so I could leave earlier and went at 4.45pm, I felt like I could cry, I just wanted to see my Sam.
At the nursery he looked up and gave a little cry, he was fine, and now I was too. I had my Sam in my arms and I just cuddled and cuddled him.
Lisa Vincent | Loopy Girl