Guilt: Returning To Work At 7 Months
Written by Amy Hignett for her blog, My Baby & Me.
I know it has been a while since I last blogged (sorry!) but moving house took a lot of my time and energy adjusting to the housewife life – and adapting to be fully alone with Leo and no mum there to just ‘watch him’ while I shower, nip out to the shops, go see a friend…
Leo is now 7 months (so I rarely get enough time to sit and write) and this absolutely freaks me out!! I remember leaving work at 36 weeks like it was yesterday and I’m almost going back… what!
A little info on Leo at the moment…
He is sitting up unaided all though it doesn’t last 2 seconds because he rolls on to his front straight away because that’s the way he likes being the most!
He is on 3 meals a day and still having 3/4 big bottles a day, he’s not a fussy eater whatsoever (yet). We are still on the stage 2 purees because he loves them so much & whatever I cook he will have blended too.
He does love the Ella’s Kitchen puffs which is really improving his hand eye coordination and enabling to feed himself,suck & chew – apart from when he is feeling lazy, he will happily let me hold it while he eats or but when I give to him he drops it and gets upset, little monkey!!
He is SO close to crawling! And for the first time a few days go he took his first little crawl steps! He was after the dog so I’m not sure if he realised he did or not because he hasn’t done it since but he really did it! I was absolutely bursting with pride and happiness. My little babe is growing so so fast. Mostly he puts all his weight on his little hands and knees and rocks for minutes at a time, you can see the concentration on his little face working out how to do it without falling. He either drops down, or does the correct movement with this knees and legs but doesn’t quite move his hands with them, it is the sweetest thing!
I feel like my baby boy has been robbed from me and time has disappeared. He is all of a sudden becoming so advanced, it’s scary.
He is generally the happiest little soul and absolutely anything will make that little one smile away, it is so beautiful. I can’t even walk down the street or do my shopping without being stopped constantly by people either seeing him and being mesmerised with him or he’s constantly people watching and once they catch his eye looking they can’t resist him especially when he starts smiling away and his eyes light up! He’s so sociable already, if that’s possible yet.
Leo has always been hit & miss with his sleep. I know some poor mamas have it so much worse than me & I’m moaning about him getting up at couple of times a night but it is still hard when it’s all you know and for me personally that is broken sleep and the longer it goes on the harder it seems to get. We are rarely feeding at night as he hasn’t done for months. Some nights we have bath, bottle, bed at 6/7pm and I don’t hear a peep until 6/7am the next morning. Some nights I am up constantly through the night which I feel is down to teething and maybe separation anxiety as when I put him in my bed once or twice or cuddle him he’s out like a light! Some nights I only get up once or twice for him wanting his dummy.
It feels like his pattern is so erratic and unpredictable and I can’t find anything to suggest why! If you have any ideas please let me know! It really does get me down because it’s always changing… My body gets used to sleeping through too all of a sudden being up all night and it really plays with my mood and patience. Some days I feel utterly miserable and angry because it feels like I will never sleep properly again. This is only the bad weeks but it really affects me. So any tips – comment below!!
So… back to work.
For a while I have been yearning to go back to work and feel like I have something else that makes me who I am without just being someone who cleans up sick, shit and cleans a house all day.
Some days (usually the lack of sleep days) I just feel as though I’m a little trapped… stuck in a routine… bored. I miss the active feeling of going to work and achieving things and socialising in a different light. I don’t mean for this to be negative because I LOVE being Leo’s mama, he fills me with happiness and motivation I’ve never felt in my life. I love cleaning his sick and shit 95% of the time. I am going to miss the days I sit watching him learn, think and achieve all day. I’ll miss the consistency of his presence every single day. It is going to hurt so much leaving him with someone else, especially people who don’t know him like I do and won’t know what he’s asking for or crying for.
It is scary putting your trust into complete strangers… I hope I’m not wrong, I hope you agree mamas! Despite all this I know how much going back to work will help me mentally because I will feel another purpose and new goals to achieve, it will give me another bit of my life that is just mine and it’s a place I can be just me, I’m thinking it might even feel like a break and a little head space? Who knows.
I feel a strong sense of guilt for wanting to go back to work so badly but it isn’t to escape Leo or motherhood. If anything its to add to my motherhood journey and for my personal journey and my mind. The majority of people I know hate/dread going back to work… Maybe I’m missing something here? I know there are going to be low days, it wont be easy and I know we will face many complications as a family with 2 parents working full time and a baby to try and cater for and arrange child care but also spend as much time with and try and fit in days for all 3 us as a family. But I want Leo to grow up and see both his parents working very hard and that even though it will be difficult, I want him to see you can make anything work if you want to! and You can have a family, home, a car and a career you want to pursuit… But you have to work hard to get it all.
I’m not scared by hard work or life getting hard… It is what builds us as people. I’m going to try and trust the process and let the down days be sad but let the good days be even better. This is just my personal view on the matter. I love that some mummies are stay at home mummies, it’s not easy by any stretch. Being a mummy 24/7 is HARD! I love that some mummies do part time so they get the best of both worlds. I love mummies who work full time too. We all make these decisions based on whats best for our families. I personally really want to pursue a career, get more experience and explore a little more but also be the best mum I can to Leo and teach him so many things! The whole thing is so daunting for me and I’m incredibly nervous, scared, excited, sad, happy. But for the moment its the best thing that suits our family which means the best thing for Leo… and what a better way to come towards the end my maternity journey than with our first Christmas, which was absolutely amazing. I am such a lover of Christmas and having a child just made it magical again even though it was just a normal day to him!
I’ll remember the days we didn’t stop all day out and about, I’ll remember the days we didn’t go out the house for days and I spent them with greasy hair, sicky t-shirts, dirty dishes, endless tears but endless laughs. My maternity has been an incredible journey start to finish. I love that I learnt so much; that I can do the hardest job on the planet, I am strong and patient, sometimes not patient enough, I can light up a persons face with one smile, I’m giving and kind but sometimes selfish with my time, having greasy hair 5+ days is definitely okay, it’s okay not to be okay and break down time to time, feeding ques? Never even thought they existed before, the cleaning & untidiness can wait…but most importantly I learnt to love harder than ever.
Those precious what will have been 9 months of building the most incredible bond with my little boy will never leave me, even thought he won’t remember, I always will. We’ve grown a bond so strong only me and him know! As each day has passed by since the second he was born I love him more and more. Going back to work feels a little bit like the end – maybe because it is the end… of my maternity and I will miss it so much, it makes me so so sad it is over and I wish I could relive it again & again. But here is to new beginnings in the new year and another chapter in my life.