I have now been back to work for eight weeks. In some ways it has flown by.
I really thought a part of me would look forward to getting back to work. Even though last year I fell out of love with the charity I work for and for the job itself in some ways, I knew that I was returning to a great team, and a job that I knew. Both key things when all you can think about is the little person who has been attached to your hip for the last nine or ten months.
I debated over what to do for so long and actually put off making any kind of decision. We then realised in January that we could not put it off any longer. We decided to ask for my return to start in mid March, at 21 hours a week, over three days. After much to and fro-ing. We came to an agreement that meant both parties making a compromise, but I fortunately got my 21 hour/three day request granted (which didn’t look hopeful for some time).
So how are things going now I’m back?
Well there are good days and bad days. I do enjoy my grown up time and use my lunch breaks to run errands that are easier done without a baby in tow.
I feel confident that Wilf is in safe hands with his grandparents and nursery. He seems really happy on his days without me and I love that he is interacting with more people and babies/toddlers. And also he will be doing lots of things that we wouldn’t necessarily do. And I have a plan for the two days I spend with him to ensure we still fit in lots of out of the house time.
But work wise I am finding it hard to be passionate. I have put myself forward for extra projects as I need some exciting tasks to be part of. I am finding job sharing a little tricky, handovers are often rushed or information is left out. The thing that keeps me going are my colleagues. I have such a good rapport with them all and they make the days so much easier.
I find that working part time is fitting in well. By the time my working week has started, it finishes, which reduces my mum guilt. Although the flip side of this is that I find my days at work are crammed with meetings and catching up on emails, leaving little time to actually get stuff done. I think the recent swathe of bank holidays haven’t helped. A two day week does not allow much time to get everything done!
All in all I am glad I returned to work, I am glad I returned to a job I know surrounded by supportive colleagues I know. But I feel that I need to think about a change at some point. A change in career to bring some passion back. I also feel that I could work an extra day now I know how settled Wilf is at nursery.
Getting my head around the thought of returning to work was so, so much harder than the reality of it. If you are in this position talk to your partner or your friends or your parents and even your boss. (After an initial difficult conversation, my manager has been very supportive and phased back my return, ensuring that no pressure or responsibilities were put upon me for my first few weeks. I’m sure there are many not so lucky as this.)
I was not prepared for how crap I would feel when I finally had to face up to the reality of leaving Wilf. It was totally shit and I just had to do it. It has definitely got easier as the weeks have passed by. And I am confident that we are doing the right thing. It just appears to be something that gets easier with time, once a routine beds in.
Returning to work was also an excuse to buy some new clothes, so there is that…