So this is it. This is my last week of being a full time mum, and as of tomorrow morning, I am officially, begrudgingly, going back to work after maternity leave. I can’t quite believe this is the end of my MAT leave, but I guess this day was always going to come.
I remember when I first went off I couldn’t even picture this day. It felt so far in the distance it almost didn’t seem real. After all, I had the birth to go through, then of course I had a baby to deal with. When you’re floating around in what’s almost controlled chaos, returning to work after MAT leave is the last thing on your mind!
My Last Week on MAT Leave
This past week I’ve been a little more irritable. I know part of it has been the fact Isabelle is still going through leap 6. As difficult as it has been, it has been a damn sight better than leap 4. I think babies lull you into a false pretence, just before a leap they start sleeping longer, maybe one feed during the night, then whoosh, you’re back to being up every 1-2 hours. Thankfully, we’re at the tail end of this leap, not that I’m counting. And Isabelle has started sleeping much longer again. But without a doubt I’ve mainly been irritable because I have to go back to work. It’s crept up so quickly and it’s always on my mind. I’ve been a little bit like this most of the week:
It’s All Going to End!
It’s been a crazy journey being off for this long with Isabelle. But it’s one that I’ve absolutely loved. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had our hard moments. Having a baby isn’t exactly the easiest thing in the world, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
But everything from here on out is going to be different. Whilst I was on maternity leave we could just up and go away. Ross could always arrange his leave so he had long weekends, and we could use that time to travel around the country with Isabelle. It’s something we’ve loved doing with her, and something we won’t be able to do as often. From here on out we’ll have to try and match our leave, and at times use some of it for childcare, at least at the beginning.
I’m not going to go into depth about the things we did, or the highlights of my maternity leave, if you want to read about that, then I dare say Ross has plenty of posts on here talking about that. I’m just here to write out how I’m feeling about the prospect of ending my time off.
Going Back to Work After Maternity Leave
I think the hardest part about going back to work after maternity leave will be the mere fact I’ve never actually been away from Isabelle for anything past two hours. And I’ve only done that a handful of times. I’ve pretty much been with her 24/7 since she was born. Have I made it more difficult in doing so? Possibly. Would I change it? Of course not.
I’m not going to lie, I’m dreading it! Not only is it going to be weird being away from Isabelle all day, but also being away from Ross too. Let’s face it, with his job – he’s a postman – we are pretty cushty and fortunate in how much time we get to spend together. Stupidly, you could say, I’m also diving into a new job. Well, I’m still going to be a nurse, but it’s going to be in a completely different setting with different people doing a completely different job. If you can’t tell by the number of times I just used that word, everything is going to be different!
The only saving grace with this is that I have to use all my annual leave by April. So after this week, which will be an induction week, so I’ll be Monday to Friday 9-5, I’ll be in just one day a week (albeit doing a 12 hour shift) until March. So it’s not as bad as it could be.
Feelings on Leaving My Daughter to Return to Work
I’m also a little worried about Ross. If you’ve read anything from this blog before you might know he’s had his ups and downs with Isabelle since she was born. Occasionally he does struggle when he’s having his bad days. But having her from 8 in the morning to possibly 6 – and that’s just my induction week – is going to be hard for him. After this week he’ll be having her for 13+ hours when I’m in. But he just needs to throw himself into it, and try to embrace the days. I want to try and keep everything as normal as possible and keep to her routines. It’s going to be hard enough for them both, without the added stress of being out of her routine.
The main change will be Isabelle also has to have breastmilk from a cup as I’m still breastfeeding. Although she has taken it on the very odd occasion from Ross, she will need to get used to being fed by just her dad for the whole day. This will obviously be a huge change for her.
I guess I’m just going to have to jump with both feet in the deep end, cry all the way to work, cry all the way home and try to embrace this new life that I’m going to be entering. Hopefully I will love my new job, from here on out I’m going to be a working mum, and not a stay-at-home one. Many women fight for their right to work after having a baby, but everyone is different. Personally I’d love to be able to halt my career until Isabelle starts nursery, unfortunately that just isn’t possible at this time.
Wish me Luck!
I don’t write very often, this is just my second post on this blog, but I will try and do the odd post from time to time. I know I should write one in a few weeks (or months knowing me) letting you know how I get on, but we’ll see. Anyway, wish me luck and let’s see how it goes! As of tomorrow, I’m actually retuning to work after maternity leave!
Well I’ve actually done it. If you want to read what it’s like being back in work after MAT leave, then you can read all about that here.
Maybe you want to read how Ross – the dad in all of this – got on during his first week with me back in work, then he wrote about it!