Picture the scene, December 2014, me standing in my kitchen sobbing my heart out! I had just left Olivia off at her childminders for a settling in period and I had howled the whole way home. So much so in fact that when I realised I had to go to Tesco before I collected her again I panicked as I of course knew this would be the time I would meet everyone I know and they would think I was a lunatic!
The funny thing about this was had you asked me at the 4 maybe 5 month mark of maternity did I want to go back to work I would have yelled” YES” before you had even finished the sentence. At that age babies aren’t up to much and quite frankly I was bored, not every day but days seemed to just roll into one at times. That’s just me.
Even pre- baby I was up at 8am on my days off, had the washing on and was at the supermarket door at 9am for the weekly shop; I always liked to fill my day and was constantly on to the next thing and then on the next thing. I hated sitting about at home hence why I worked right up until a week before Olivia was born – the thought of sitting at home with my feet up bored me to tears (I regret this terribly now of course!)
Roll on a few more months and I literally didn’t want to be away from Olivia. She had her own wee personality. She was incredibility funny and had a thirst for knowledge – she was like a sponge; she took everything in and I didn’t want to miss a minute. I applied for flexible working in October 2014 and it was sadly rejected as my work was too busy so needed me back. When the letter arrived I remember sitting on the stairs in my hall crying my eyes out and Chris trying to comfort me, nothing could make me feel any better about leaving her. On top of that I had just got abit of my life back. I had got new friends who I enjoyed the company of as we had so much in common with our little ones; it’s strange when you become a parent especially a mum on maternity as it’s like being back at school and making friends again. You need someone to talk to and hang about with haha! I had also got into a routine of how to plan the days out and activities we could get up to together. I didn’t have time for full time work!
From receiving the rejection letter in October until the middle of December I had started to mentally prepare for going back to work. I, like most mums, tried to make the most of the remaining days I had at home with Olivia even though the guilt I felt about going back to work full time was heavy on my heart and Chris was fantastic through it all.
I literally didn’t sleep the night before going back to work. I had written 2 A4 pages front and back about Olivia for her childminder of all the things she loved to do, sing, talk about, eat etc etc. the list goes on. I then had to apologise to my childminder for said list and she laughed and said it wasn’t the first time she had seen it! I just wanted to cover all angles before heading into the office – again I cried the whole way there!
Fast forward to a couple of weeks into it all. I don’t know why I was SO worried. Olivia was getting on brilliantly at the childminders. She loved the company of the other children there and she was out and about most days. I had settled back into work and was so happy knowing that when I left her she didn’t have a care in the world – in fact as soon as she was in the door and into the toys most mornings I didn’t even get as much as a wave goodbye!
October 2015 rolled around and the opportunity came up to apply for flexible working again. In my workplace once you apply and it’s rejected you have to wait a year to apply for a 2nd time. I literally applied the day after my last application and at last….hooray… I got the thumbs up!!!
Moving to three days from five has been wonderful. I have even been fortunate enough that both my parents and now my mother in law is retired so I have had a few afternoon to myself which has been BLISSFUL! Its amazing just how much you can get done in an afternoon alone in the house, double the amount you ever could because now every move is at lightening speed, it’s just standard practice isn’t it?!
Getting the extra time with Olivia has been really rewarding and we are out and about as much as the weather permits us to be meeting up with friends and going to play groups etc. Its great to see things she does for the first time first hand as such and see how her language is developing daily. The flip side of this of course can be trying to think of different things for us to get up to so days don’t become repetitive. Olivia is brilliant at entertaining herself and such as luck would have it she loves to be doing ‘real life’ things like hanging up washing, pretending to Hoover the floors and helping upload the dishwasher…JACKPOT!
Its ace being a part-time full time mum 🙂