Returning to work: I’ve missed you…
Some of you might have noticed that I’ve been a bit quiet over the past two weeks.
I do hope you’ll forgive me!
I’ve been going through a period of adjustment.
Back to work adjustment.
After 14 months at home with my baby it felt like a big deal.
A big deal to leave the little girl I have been with everyday, for her whole life; a big deal getting my head around leaving her in the hands of others; and a big deal psyching myself back up ready to conquer the world of work again!
I have always been a planner. It’s not like me to not have a plan. But when Elsie came along I soon realised that not everything will go to plan; nor will everything be able to have a plan.
Frankly, I just needed to go with it and ride the wave of parenthood.
One day at a time.
So I decided to concentrate on being a Mum, forget about work, and deal with a work plan when the time came.
I didn’t know whether I’d go back to my consulting business or whether I would start something completely new. I had no plan. It felt pretty odd.
I had no maternity leave countdown to get used to the thought of going back to work, it just happened that something came along and my gut feeling was to jump at it.
I had actually considered transitioning my career to do more blogging and freelance writing from home, for the ultimate flexible job.
I know some really successful bloggers and writers who love what they do. Blogging opened up a whole new world for me, full of really talented and interesting people.
I even made some friends!
(Well I like to think so)
There is a world of opportunity out there for a hard working blogger. I thought, if I set my mind to it, I could do that too… I’d enjoy it.
But then I had a moment of clarity. I was reading an article on LinkedIn (in my field of change, communications and engagement) and it reminded me how passionate I was about my work; about people; and about helping businesses improve how they engage with people.
I remembered how much I actually cared about my career; what I used to do; I was good at it.
I was reminded, I have a ‘particular set of skills’.
[Can you name the film that matches the quote?]
So I made the decision.
I found a new contract. Then suddenly had a small panic.
I have a baby!
I was delighted this job came with a shorter commute than I’ve had in years, but still, we all had to be up, dressed, breakfast eaten, packed lunch made and out the house by 7.45am.
That stressed me out more than starting a new job!
I remember the days when leaving the house in that sort of routine would have been almost impossible.
Parents- remember how long it took us to physically get out the house with a new baby and all the paraphernalia involved? Sometimes to the point of thinking, ‘Bollocks to that, we’ll just stay at home today!‘
I had to get super organised with the shopping. Have meals planned, wine in the fridge (obvs!) and basically do all I could to prepare us at home, in advance.
I certainly wouldn’t be able to just say to the husband shall we go out for dinner tonight, it’s been a hard day at work.
We have a baby now. We don’t go out!
I was amazed when we achieved our new routine on the first day, then the next… and was pretty chuffed with the parenting team-work of our household. ( I literally couldn’t do this without my husband. Thank you Andrew)
I’ve had to emotionally adapt to the change too.
I had no idea that leaving for my first day back at work post-baby would make me feel like my heart was being ripped out. I shed a few tears on my way out the house, and then took a lot of deep breaths.
My friend, Pats, said to me: “Try not to cry in the office. Do all the crying quietly in the car, or the loo and we’ll call that a successful day one”.
Thanks Pats. It made me laugh.
I got to work, got in the zone, and thoroughly enjoyed being at work.
Importantly, it gave me a break from feeding time at the Zoo: food being thrown everywhere by a little monkey. Feeding time at the Zoo has the potential to be the ticking time bomb that will one day lead to my insanity.
Being with your baby 24/7 is relentless. It is hard work. There is never a break. It is probably the most challenging job I’ve ever had in terms of testing my patience and resolve.
Going back to work gave me a sense of freedom I’d previously never considered.
I missed my baby, yes. I couldn’t wait to see her when I got home to give her a big cuddle. But I also got a little bit of me back for a few days. And it was worth it.
I’ve spent these past two weeks getting into the new routine, getting into my new job and adapting to the new world. I’ve been dealing with the new emotions, the busyness and the change.
We all have.
My next adaptation is finding some time amongst it all to keep writing my blog.
I may not be able to write as often as I used to, but I’d love to carry on our conversations.
I’ve missed you too!
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