Yesterday I started back at work after having 2 months maternity leave, and I wanted that bit of normality back in my life because I absolutely love my job. But what I hadn’t realised was that my normality had changed.
What had become normal for me was the 9am wake up gurgles from Leo, the very wet nappy change and the 8oz bottle in a morning. Playtime, naps, more feeds, more changes, then bath time at 9p.m. and asleep within the hour. That was my normality now and how my days always went.
If I am being honest with myself, I don’t think I was prepared to go back to work, especially for the busiest event of the year. A sell out concert with minimal staff wasn’t the ideal event to start back on, but I knew work needed the staff so I didn’t want to let anyone down.
I’ve never been away from Leo longer than 4 hours, and I’d never missed bath time and bedtime before. My mum came into work with me so I could say goodbye to Leo properly, but I didn’t want to let him go. She was helping Dylan for the night, not that he needed it. Leo cried as I passed him over (until I was out of sight and apparently he was full of chatter then!) and I couldn’t help crying too.
17:00 – I left Leo and clocked in.
The next time I had chance to check the clock it was 19:30, we had been that busy I barely had chance to message my mum and ask how Leo was. From the minute I started, the night was just going south, and I’d forgotten how hard and tiring the job could be at times. None of us even had chance to sit down until the end of the concert and until we were cashing up at the end of the night (which was 12a.m.).
I checked my phone and noticed I had missed calls and texts from my mum and Dylan. They were worried because I hadn’t had chance to text them in the last 2 hours because we were so busy and we had a couple of issues.
I didn’t finish work until 12:45a.m. and I cried in the taxi home. I was drained. I missed Leo and hated being away from him, and I just wanted to be home with my family.
Technically, I never had maternity leave as I am on a 0-hour-contract, so returning to work was optional. I’m still trying to recover from the lack of sleep in the first month of Leo being born, and my body is still recovering.
I admit now that I wasn’t ready to go back to work – but after having a baby and life changing massively, when is the right time?