Yesterday – Tuesday, 2 January 2018 – was my first day back at work. After thirteen months away. It was both difficult and easy; sad and happy; challenging and liberating. To say I had mixed emotions is an understatement.
As the day drew nearer, I began to get very nervous about an array of things. Mostly, the thought of leaving my little man for entire days at a time (even though he’s being minded by his grandparents, rather than going to daycare); but, also, returning to a much-changed work environment, as well as wondering how I’d manage to fit everything I have to do into even less time. The list goes on, and you can read the rest in my post 10 reasons why I’m nervous about returning to work.
That morning, I woke a few minutes before my 5:45am alarm. I’d gone to bed as early as humanly possible (11pm, after getting as much ready as I could, to avoid rushing around in the morning), and we’d both fallen asleep again after J’s 1am comfort (boob) feed (for teething). I snoozed the alarm a couple of times, then breastfed him properly. He soon fell asleep again; I put him back in his cot, and started to get ready. I’d washed my hair the night before, so I showered and styled it with my “drying and straightening brush”, and put on a new dress. I’d gone on a shopping spree at DFO a couple of months earlier, as I wanted to have a work wardrobe that made me feel like a “work person” at work, rather than a mum or someone who just threw on a t-shirt and a pair of jeans every day. Amazingly, J slept the entire time I spent getting ready. By the time he woke up again, I’d popped his fresh food in with his snacks, served myself some pre-made salad to take in for lunch, and packed everything (like, a boot-full of stuff) into the car – ready to drop him off at his grandparents’ house.
We were on the road fifteen minutes later, after changing his nappy and dressing him smartly (to match Mummy!). After going back by the house to grab the frozen expressed milk I’d forgotten (the only thing I’d forgotten, amazingly), we we well and truly on the way. J hates being put into his car seat most of the time, but he had calmly plopped in and admired himself in the mirror (that I use while driving to make sure he’s still there!), then watched me buckle him up. ‘We’re gonna go, we’re gonna go!’ I’d said, as I usually do, to encourage him to be happy rather than stressed at the impending closing car door. He’d smiled serenely, and I’d ducked around to the driver’s side.
I did my best to remain calm and happy, for my sake as much as his. He seemed to know something was up, because he made an effort to stay awake the entire trip, when he’d normally fall asleep at least halfway there, if not five minutes into the one-hour journey. When stopped at a red light, I looked at him through the rearview mirror (into his mirror) and he waved at me. Such a sweet little boy. We arrived on schedule, but he didn’t want to go with either grandparent, he kept holding on to me, and I nearly lost it. Abuelo eventually managed to convince him to go and look at the dog, and I nervously explained to Abuela what to give him for lunch, etc. Then, as he squirmed and cried during his nappy change (as is often the case), I snuck out so he wouldn’t see me leave.
I got in the car and drove off. At this point, I still hadn’t cried (as I expected to do). I thought to myself: Where are the tears? It wasn’t until I texted Christian (his daddy) ‘Just left him.’, that it really hit me. The tears came – not very many, but just as full of ache as if they’d been sobs. I didn’t wipe them away. Christian called me, and helped me focus and feel better; when I arrived at the office, I felt sad, but had a sense of cautious anticipation. This is the start of a new chapter for me, I thought, in more ways than one.
Aside from my boss staying home (and largely offline) due to being unwell (and contagious), my laptop not being ready, and my teammates still being on leave, it wasn’t an unproductive day. I blogged on my iPad while I waited, seeing as I literally couldn’t do any other work; and I got started as soon as my laptop was ready. I was pleasantly surprised at how easily I could remember what to do (one of the things I was pretty worried about). It wasn’t a particularly difficult task I was doing (there are some doozies, let me tell you), but it was nice to know that I’ve still ‘got it’. And it wasn’t so hard being away from J when there was work to focus on. That’s not to say I didn’t miss him like crazy, but it didn’t hurt like I expected it would. And that’s a good thing.
When 4pm rolled around, I stuffed my superfluous bits and pieces into my newly-assigned locker, and this-close-to-bolted to my car to go and collect my little man. I was a bit nervous about what his reaction would be. Having spent a few hours with his dad the previous day, before coming home (so I could get my stuff together for work), he seemed miffed when he got back – he actually ignored me for about ten minutes! This time, though, he lit up when he saw me; he crawled as quickly as he could to the edge of his playpen, and stood as swiftly as his chubby legs allowed so that I could pick him up. He gave me hugs and kisses (he’s only 11 months old, so you can imagine how cute that looked), and patted me on the shoulder repeatedly (something he does when he’s particularly happy with me).
Just like that, everything was okay. And I knew I could do it again.
Mini Mummi Blogger 🌺 #workingmama
Mini Mummi Blogger is a first time mummy to a beautiful baby boy. Currently on maternity leave, she is looking to put her writing/publishing experience to good use through her blog, helping other mummies navigate through the wealth of often conflicting (and, sometimes, even discouraging) information out there about pregnancy and motherhood. She believes that every mummy knows what’s best for her own baby – even first time mums!