So it’s arrived. I always knew it was coming. Looming like a thunderstorm. Ok maybe that’s a bit dramatic, maybe not but it’s how I feel. My time has come to return to work and since I haven’t won the lottery in the last 14 months and work aren’t going to carry on paying me to not go to work it sucks to be me.
My maternity leave has been a bit of a rollercoaster. Joy, exhaustion, happiness, depression, excitement, anxiety. Probably much like anyone elses I imagine, except some of my lows were lower than normal. I feel that the post natal depression took some of the joy away for a few months of my leave, when I was at my very lowest and for that I feel really sad.
I think people think when you’re on maternity leave it’s just like taking a long holiday but some of it can be really hard (the exhaustion), some of it can be really tedious (the endless bottle washing and baby shark on repeat) but most of it is an absolute joy. The depression took the colour out if some of my days and the anxiety sometimes made me too restless to really enjoy being in the moment with my baby.
I have enjoyed hanging out with my mini bestie for the last year. He’s been like my little side kick. And his always smiling face has kept me going through the tough days and brought me extra joy on the regular days. I have done this once before with my first son but somehow it feels so much harder this time. Maybe because I feel a bit cheated out of my leave by the post natal depression or maybe it’s because the munchkin is at an older age. I’m sure it probably was this hard first time round but I can’t remember.
I’m very fortunate to be able to work school hours so I hardly miss any time with my 6 year old. When he’s in school I’m in work. And I can take a reasonable amount of time off for school holidays.
Now don’t get me wrong I love my job! I am very good at it and it gives me a huge sense of achievement and enjoyment. It really gives me a sense of self worth. I have really great hours as I have already mentioned and my team is fabulous. I just wish I didn’t have to miss out on anything.
I am really hoping that my brain will be up to the task as I think baby brain #2 has really ruined me ha! My memory is dire so lots of post it notes will be needed.
Other positives are that I may actually get to finish a hot cup of coffee. I will get regular adult conversation and I will get to eat my food with 2 hands.
What have I learned about myself in the last year? I am not the same person I was a year ago. I have learned that I’m stronger than I ever imagined. That the hubster is an absolute superhero in supporting me when I can be particularly difficult. That I have friends who support me when I need it. That my children will always give me joy to see me through the tough days. There is nothing I can’t handle without the support of my village. That not all friends need to be living next door and that there are people on the internet that can be so kind and give you support when needed.
Most importantly I have learned that time is one of the most precious gifts we have. That I am sorry I had to waste a single minute in the grey. That I am glad I made every moment that I could count. I intend to absorb every moment I can with my family.
They say the days are long but the years are short. There is nothing more true.
Wish me luck guys. Love and peace xx