Weeks old: 37
I like: Standing up in the bath, standing up in my cot, pinching mummy, boobs, slides
Mummy is learning: That even if I sleep in my cot, she can’t sleep because she is programmed to listen for me waking up
This week was my last week of maternity leave before I go back to work full time… on Monday. As I have mentioned several times in this blog, I have mixed feelings about returning to work but ultimately I know it is the right thing for me and for my little family. I love and enjoy my job and it pays me well enough to enable Mr O to work part time and share daily care of Little O with Mrs O Senior. Of course, I have become very accustomed to being Little O’s number one person and it is hard to imagine not spending the majority of most days with him or to manage my fear that I will become a secondary person in his life.
There are some things that I have done though that are helping me feel better about my transition back to full time work (spending almost £5,000 on my annual rail season ticket not being one of them) so I thought I’d share them to potentially help out any other mums in a similar situation.
Using my “Keeping in Touch” Days
For the past six weeks I have been going into work once a week and catching up on what has been going on in my absence, how my projects have progressed and familiarising myself with my new commute. There have been some changes in my organisation that would have been quite confusing if I just turned up having barely spoken to anyone in 9 months. It has also reminded me of what I enjoy about my job, let me meet new people who have joined while I was away and sort out all my admin – like all my passwords expiring, my iPhone dying and me somehow being removed off the holiday booking system. Also I got paid for them, which means I am not completely broke.
Making flexible working arrangements
Most companies have a flexible working policy so it’s worth having a look at whether you can shape your working hours in a way that suits your new life. Usually your employer will at the very least consider your requirements. I have opted for starting and finishing earlier and working from home on Fridays. This means I get to be home for bedtime, miss rush hour and save myself from my commute once a week. Knowing it’s all agreed before I start takes a weight off my shoulders.
Practise your childcare arrangements
Doing my KIT days has also given me the opportunity to leave Little O with Mr O and Mrs O Senior for the day. Although he is still a bit funny with eating when I am not there, I know he is happy and calm when he is with them and that I can safely go to work without panicking about him. It doesn’t make me miss him any less but it does mean I don’t constantly worry about his well-being. Nurseries and childminders offer settling in sessions so you can do the same with whoever your caregivers will be.
Of course none of this means I won’t be a wibbling mess on Monday… so wish me luck and I’ll fill you in on whether I survived next week.