It creeps up on you doesn’t it, I’ve been lucky enough to have nine months off with my youngest, definitely no complaints with the timing, but there’s still a bit of mental preparation. It’s not just our bub that has to adjust, it’s also our four year old, she currently has an emotional melt down when either myself or my husband leave the house without her. As my husband leaves for work at 7:30 am, she’s chasing him out the door screaming loud enough that the neighbours don’t need an alarm clock.
1. Leaving your children.
As hard as it is to leave your little ones and the Mum guilt often sneaks up (especially as you’re reversing up the driveway seeing your child’s tear streaked face), going to work is something that I never apologise for. The last few weeks especially, my daughter has asked me why I have to go back to work. I often reply with ‘Mum has a career and a job that she loves and it’s part of who she is’. I also explain that contributing to the household is a joint effort from both Mum and Dad and to live we have to work (she understands this as holidays, Birthday presents and babyccino’s).
2. Work life balance.
As a nurse, you’re basically signing yourself up for shift work. With my first born we managed it well, I’d come home from work at 10pm and she was sound asleep tucked up in bed, I’d sneak in and give her a kiss on the cheek and my husband would fill me in on their afternoon. My husband loved the Friday evenings, it became a tradition of sausage sandwiches and watching the football together.
Believe me when I say that not many nurses enjoy night duty. The hardest part I find is leaving the house when everyone is relaxed and ready for bed, because at 9pm I’m wanting to crawl into bed too. I make myself a cup of coffee and head off to work feeling a bit sorry for myself. It came as a bit of a surprise for my husband when I discussed with him the prospect of going back to work on nights. But like all good husbands should, he supported me with this decision and understood my reasoning for it. The benefits of being home for my biggest girl when she gets home from Kindy, having dinner every night as a family, I can settle bub to sleep and kiss my big girl goodnight before I go to work and I’m home in the morning before their day routine starts again. Not much will change for them and hopefully for my husband’s sake, they sleep all night!
Sure the pre night duty depression will get me every week and having to express breast milk at work isn’t exactly enjoyable. I happen to love my job however and I’m looking forward to having some adult conversation and challenging my brain again (although I feel like my baby brain is a forever thing).
3. We’ve got this!
So Mum’s going back to work, I get how daunting it is, we wonder how our little ones are going to cope without us. The reality is they are going to be just fine and they’ll appreciate the time we all get to spend together, even more. I just have to tell myself this tomorrow night, as I shed a tear on the way to work!