There’s this thing that people will do all the way through your maternity leave and that is ask you “when do you go back to work?” It’s constant and consistent and it’s always said with a twinge to their face. It’s the dreaded question.
4th September 2017 in case you were wondering.
I have had the best 13 months of my life, 11 months and 3 weeks of them have been spent with Evie Pops and they have been more incredible than I could have ever imagined. But when I embarked on maternity leave I knew that it was exactly that; a period of leave. I’ve always known I’d be returning to work for financial reasons like 99% of the population I can’t just give up my job to stay at home with my child. If you can then you are super lucky. We have a mortgage to pay, we need food on the table and clothes on our backs. I’ve tried to cherish every day of maternity leave, from the days where we go on adventures and eat cake to the days where we sit in our pyjamas and watch CBeebies. My god some of those days have been testing and some days (most*) I breathe a sigh of relief when Daniel walks through the door but nevertheless I’ve tried to cherish it all.
I love my daughter beyond words; I genuinely think about how much I love her and realise there are not enough words in the dictionary for me to describe it. However that doesn’t mean I have to be surgically attached to her until she turns 18. As much as I adore being a Mum, which I honestly do with all my might, I also love being just Emma. I honestly believe that me returning to work will benefit the both of us! It makes me all sorts of anxious at the thought of leaving Evie and her trotting of to nursery after spending near on every day together for the past 12 months but as I mentioned in my Instagram post the other day I’m also quite excited. She’s a sociable little soul and she thrives off being around other children. You can see the excitement in her eyes and those swirling wrists of hers when she interacts with kids whether they’re 6 months old or 8 years old! I’m excited that she gets to spend two whole days a week at nursery being stimulated, learning new things, being creative and making friends (in all honesty sometimes I feel guilty she doesn’t get enough stimulation when I’ve got to clean the bathroom, hang the washing out and nip to Tesco). It’s scary that she’ll have this little part of her life that I’m not a part of but in the same way I’ll have a little part of my life that she’s not a part of. No one at work will expect me to wipe up their shit bum (or at least I friggin hope not), I will be able to go to the toilet alone, eat my food without sharing (being snarled at) and swap Mr Tumble for meeting minutes.
It’s okay to be a mother but also want a bit of ‘you’ time; to continue to focus on your future, your career, your goals. My career path has changed dramatically since having Evie because I made the decision to go from being full time to part time and therefore it has closed a lot of doors. But I’m more than okay with that. I have chosen to give up a small part of my career in exchange for a larger part in my daughters life. That’s my choice but some people don’t even have the choice. I feel lucky that I’m able to go back part time. Some mothers don’t return to work at all, some mothers return full time, others work weekends or night shifts and you know what . . We’re all doing the best we can. We’re all doing what works for us. There is no right or wrong.
I got slated on a certain “website” for returning to work after having a baby and I quote “it seems madness for them to have children and then need to go back to work. She’s going back to work in a few months and her little one isn’t even one yet” I honestly couldn’t believe what I was reading?! There are so many things wrong with this statement I wouldn’t even know where to start!!!! All I will say is YES I’m returning to work as I am contractually obliged to all thanks to occupational maternity pay (which I’m unbelievably grateful for) but also because I WANT to. How about that heyyyyyy? P.s. I return to work one WEEK before my daughter turns one *eyeroll.eyeroll.eyeroll*