I chose to go back to work full time, but I fit my hours into 4 office days and have Wednesdays at home with the littlun. In order to manage that I do long days in the office, at least 2 evenings at home after we have (finally) got her into bed, and some time on the weekend whilst Mr Riley has some quality daddy/daughter time. If my hours are dipping I can pop an annual leave day into the mix and it catches me up, but so far I have only had to do that once.
I also made the
Being a working mum has so many challenges. I feel really sad that 4 days a week I only have two hours at most of awake time with her in the evenings. We have been lucky that we chose a nursery that she obviously loves and thrives at. She spends 3.5 days there now (Friday afternoons are with nannan). I felt an enormous sense of pride when I dropped her off the other day and she gave her Upsy Daisy doll to a little girl who was upset, it really warmed the cockles of my heart!
I also feel really disconnected from my friends at the moment. Our wee girl is fantastic, but as per my last blog post, she is a terrible sleeper. For a long time it meant that evening activities were pretty much off the agenda, but she has turned a bit of a corner recently and will settle for Mr Riley, often more easily than she does for me, so I could leave the house... except that I'm working or studying or zoning out in front of the tv. It means that it has been such a long time since I made the effort to go out that I think people assume (and probably rightly!) that I will say no, so don't ask. I also feel that it's been so long since I was social that I've almost forgotten how. I have exactly two topics of conversation at the moment: my daughter and my career. Dull as mince.
However, I do feel like I have made the right choice. I really like my job, and with this qualification underway I am making it my career. I enjoy the challenges, the stresses and the interaction with colleagues. And payday. I loooove payday!! In an ideal world, I think I need to have a better work/life balance and I'll definitely take a bit of a break before embarking on the next level of my CIPS qualification when hopefully bedtime won't take so long and I'll be getting longer blocks of sleep on which to function. Being at work means that I try to make the absolute most of my time at home with my family. I regularly marvel at how stay-at-home mums manage to maintain the energy needed to entertain/chase/generally keep up with toddlers.
I think back to how much I was dreading returning to work after maternity leave. I worried about how the littlun would adapt to nursery, how I would get on in a job that I only started about 10 weeks before going off for 9 months. The transition, in reality, was actually pretty easy. I have occasional pangs of guilt when I drop her off in the mornings, but she generally runs into nursery and barely has time to look back and wave bye-bye to me.