And like that my maternity leave is coming to an end. I have been so privileged to be able to have the last 12 months off with Amelia and watch her grow in her first year of life. I have loved every single minute of it.
As some of you might already know I was made aware that I was going to be made redundant during last month at work, and actually on Amelia’s due date last year I was given formal notice. As you can imagine this was quite a concerning time for me but I work for an amazing company who agreed I would take my maternity leave as planned and enter into my consultation period upon my return from maternity leave. This was quite a weight off my shoulders and being 40 weeks pregnant when the official notice came through it took away the stress I obviously didn’t need. It of course opened up lots of questions about the future but I went into a newborn bubble.
As I have crept closer and closer to the end of my maternity I have taken a lot of time to think about what the future holds for me. Do I go back to work? Do I go back full time? Do I look for something in my current company? Do I look elsewhere? The main question that kept coming up was “do I want to go back to work?”
Now this last question has been quite a tricky one for me. I loved my job before and as I wasn’t going back into the same role or team it threw up a question to whether I wanted to be a stay at home mum or try or go back to work at all. My heart was really torn on this for a while and to be honest it still is. I could totally see myself being a stay at home mum and spending all my time with Amelia but it would mean literally living hand to mouth and I wasn’t sure if I had the choice I wanted to live like that.
So fast forward to now and I have made the decision to go back to work. The role is with my current company and it is a great opportunity for me with the ability to work from home. Lots of challenges to overcome and projects to really get my teeth into. It’s not all completely new as I am working with some of the same people which will be a nice reassurance after being away from a working environment for over 14 months. Although it is only a maternity cover for a year I am really hoping that it will go permanent so its hands on for the next year to show my boss and the team that they want me to stay. The role kind of landed into my lap and played to all my strengths so I felt like it was the universe telling me that this was what I was supposed to be doing. A big thing about going back to work for me was about leaving Amelia. I have no problem being away from her but I didn’t want a stranger to spend more time with her than I did. When the opportunity came up I messaged my very good friend Katie who is a childminder. As you might remember I mentioned Katie in my “It takes a Village..” blog a couple of months ago as being someone who I wouldn’t be able to survive motherhood without. She helped me through my breastfeeding journey, has given us countless clothes or toys from her girls and in all honesty has been the best friend not only the last year but for the last decade pretty much. There are very few people that I would trust with Amelia and even more so leave with on a regular basis, and Katie is one of those people. I was over the moon when Katie had a space and it matched my working pattern. Again it felt all too good to be true and it screamed out that it must all be for a reason.
So Amelia starts her settling in period with Katie this week, and next week I start back at work officially working 4 days a week. I am feeling all kinds of emotion about it all. Leaving Amelia brings so much anxiety, nervousness and pang of mum guilt. I trust Katie 100% and I know she will love it playing with the other children but to not be with her day in day out and not know everything minute by minute of her day makes me feel sad. I am obviously excited about going back to work albeit a little nervous that I won’t remember anything, and anxious that I want to do a good job. I am excited to have something that is mine outside of being a mummy; something to challenge my me and my skill set. I am going to miss her like crazy and I am a little worried about how I will cope being a full time mummy alongside working, especially the weeks that Steve is travelling but this is a good thing.. for me and for her. I have to keep telling myself that otherwise I can’t see me dropping her off next Monday and logging onto work.
I can’t bring myself to talk about it without crying and I absolutely keep putting off packing her bag ready for Katie’s next week. This week is all about our time to spend together doing what ever we want. It is about my final week of being a stay at home mum. My final week of not having to think about anything other than being a mummy. It is my final week of just us during the day. I am going to soak this up before we both move into a new “normal”; our next chapter…