It has been nearly 18 months since I went back to work after having my little boy, Little Man and also since Little Man started nursery. I had read all of the articles about separation anxiety, making the transition as smooth as possible, etc but nothing could prepare me for the morning when I dropped Little Man off. In we went, me checking the changing bag for the 100th time to make sure I’d not forgotten his bottles and him looking at this big exciting building eyes wide. I handed him over and then…he crawled off. Yes, he crawled off. Didn’t look back for the Mummy who had looked after his every need from the day he was born, not one look back or cry. I sat in my car outside not sure how to feel, I was deliriously happy that my confident little 10 month old had crawled into nursery not scared of what lay ahead, yet I was distraught that he didn’t even care I had left him.
Many months on and my little Little Man is more confident than ever happily (now) walking into nursery he goes to his favourite nursery nurse for a morning cuddle and settles down for his breakfast. I rush out of there, a swift kiss and bye and put my foot down on the M5 to make sure I get to work on time. I relish the adult conversation, the half an hour lunch break which is actually a break and come 4pm I race back down the M5 to find my little boy bright eyed and happy to see me.
I work 3 days a week and am home with Little Man the other two. I enjoy both parts of my week just as much and I think Little Man would agree. We have a lovely time spending quality time together but he obviously loves being with his little friends and his independence and I enjoy my ‘Rachel time’.
However, I still find myself juggling like a failing circus clown. I never seem to be catching all the balls and I never seem to have the time to make my house look reasonable, get all the washing done in time or live an organised life. My husband works away 4 days of the week and although this has always been the case it is difficult for everything to be on me. The childcare is just down to me. The bed time routine is down to me even when I am so tired I can barely face getting soaked at bath time. Even the tidying up after Little Man has gone to bed is down to me. The bag packing for the next day, meal times, being on call for when Little Man is poorly at nursery, the list goes on. The question is, do I mind? Not one little bit. I work hard as a Mummy, Wife and put my all into my job but some days one of those balls is dropped and I don’t always feel I have done the best job, be it stimulating activities for Little Man or checking every child’s reading level at work. Will it get easier? Probably not. But I will keep pushing on and bow down to every working Mummy out there, especially the ones who work full time and have more than one child (seriously I don’t have a clue how you do it!) and all the stay at home Mummys who manage to get everything done and look after the kids!
Those 3 balls are still being juggled and I love every frantic busy moment of it. Who said you can’t have the best of both worlds?