Neither of us can quite believe that it’s come around this quick, but on Monday morning Rachel will go back to work after nine months of maternity leave.
And first up for her, a full week of induction. For me, that means Rachel will be out of the house, Monday to Friday, 8 till 6. As you can imagine, Rachel isn’t too happy about the prospect. I can’t even imagine quite how she feels. The most I’ve been away from work is 6 weeks, that’s nothing compared to her time. Suffice to say, she’s been a little bit like this:
As for me, this means it will be the first time I’m going to be left with Isabelle for a prolonged period of time, which, if I’m totally honest, is something I’m a little bit worried about.
So What? You’re Her Dad
I see your point, even if you weren’t the one making it, but I know what people will be thinking. And there is of course a big part of me that thinks it’s going to be fine. But there’s also this other, albeit smaller part that’s worried that I’m going to struggle. You might already be aware that I don’t always cope all that well, so being the main carer for Isabelle for roughly ten hours a day is going to be tough.
I know that’s probably stupid, but that’s just how it is. I wish this came easy to me, I wish caring about people and spending time with them was something that I enjoyed more. But that’s not always my reality. I’m pretty good in short bursts, this will be a little bit more full on than that.
First up, Isabelle is going to have to be happy with the fact that boobs are off the menu. Instead, she’s going to be faced with slightly warmed breast milk being delivered via a cup. I have a funny feeling that when it comes to feeding time, and she notices the cup instead of the boobs, she’s going to look a little like this:
And I can sympathise with that, a cup of milk is not the same as a boob! I wouldn’t accept the swap, so I wouldn’t blame Isabelle for her disappointment.
She’s also quite a hard baby to look after in the sense that she’s at that stage where she has no concept of danger. You put her down, and two seconds later she’s managed to find herself on the brink of being in mortal peril. It’s fun at times, but having to follow her around the house to ensure she doesn’t end up hanging off a book shelf, face planting the patio door, or being half way up the stairs is often a draining endeavour. Here she is half way up the stairs. Bad Isabelle.
Ultimately, I hope, and think, I’m going to be fine. At the end of the day I’m off work for a week looking after my daughter. That’s hardly a bad thing, and it’s a thing I just have to embrace and try not to run from mentally.
I usually get more stressed with Isabelle when she’s a little more demanding at a time where there’s something I want or need to do. But for this week, I’m going to take a little bit of advice I read by David of Dadvworld, and that’s be either ALL IN or ALL OUT. When I’m with Isabelle I’m going to just be with her. No checking my phone all the time, no writing and no blog related stuff. When she naps, then I’ll get my stuff done. But I have to have that separation in order to cope.
And if I do find myself struggling, I can always turn to this blog in the nights and write my thoughts out to help myself feel better. Just not whilst she’s trying to slide down the stairs backwards. I might also try making some videos each day and possibly either vlogging each day, or just get some stuff to do it at the end of the week. I do really need to get back into that. If you want a preview of something that’s going in a future vlog, here’s this:
Well, I guess that’s it. Monday morning our life is going to enter a new stage, one where Rachel becomes a working mum rather than a stay-at-home one, and a life where childcare actually becomes a real thing. I give Rachel four months before she wants to get pregnant again and have a ‘lovely’ 12 months off. Watch this space.