I've been back to work now since 26 January and it's had a massive impact on my life. In some ways the impact has been harder than the impact of Oscar entering our world.
When I thought about returning to work I always knew it would mean I'd need to be organised but I thought I'd manage it quite well.
Honestly? I've not managed it half as well as I hoped to. I had uhhmed and ahhed about how many hours a week I should work and decided to only lose 3 hours a week but manage to have every Wednesday off by working 0830-1730 on the other days. Sounds good right?
Hmm this means I have to have little legs at nursery by 0810 at the latest. Some days he doesn't like to wake up before 0745, which means there's barely enough time to change his nappy and dress him, never mind give him a feed and breakfast and clean his teeth. Definitely no time to brush his hair. That's pointless anyway as short of washing it, I'll never get it to stay down.
The reality is that he gets woken up about 0715, he whines and grumbles while I get ready and then I do what I can with him before we have to go. I'm pretty good at finishing work on time and I collect him from my mum's house. She's usually done a pretty good job of entertaining/distracting him until I get there. But by the time I get to him, he's knackered.
Since he has his tea at half 3 at nursery and it's 6pm by the time we get home, it's a mad rush to give him some supper, bath and get him ready for bed. It's especially hard when he doesn't want to go to bed as he hasn't seen me all day and just wants to feed, cuddle and play. It's all I want to do too, but it can't happen. Initially I wasn't getting him to sleep until after 9 and he refused to use his cot. Now I can get him down for about half 8 and on a good day I get a couple of hours out of him before he wakes demanding my company.
I often find my thoughts drifting to how I'd love a second child. I honestly would but I know in my heart of hearts it won't happen by choice.
I enjoy going to work and couldn't imagine not going to work at least three times a day. Childcare is expensive but I'd be worse off financially if I had a second child. Either the childcare bills would cripple us, or I'd have to give up work and the outcome would be the same.
Some days I'm fairly OK with my lot but a lot of the time I miss little legs and I'm sad that I miss out on his milestones and don't get to be the one to say, "he's started doing xyz today ".
He's now walking (and falling), trying to talk to us all the time and I get so little time with him to really appreciate it. The short time I do get with him though is so precious, some nights I sit and stare at him as he drifts to sleep and I'm amazed. He's such a cheeky character and so inquisitive.
As I left work tonight I resolved to really enjoy my weekend amd just do what I can. Sod tj housework. Little legs are only little for such a short time.