I have now been back at work for a month, and I know that the question I get asked the most is ‘are you enjoying it?’. My answer on the most part is a firm ‘yes’. I was pretty apprehensive when I went back. I was going from spending 24/7 with Oliver, to leaving him for 2 days a week. These 2 days aren’t your average 9-5, I leave the house at 6:50am and I’m not usually home until 8:30pm or even later. Most days that I work, I don’t see Oliver at all. This was a huge change for me. I was afraid that I would miss him terribly. That my mind would be elsewhere. That I would be wishing the day away so I could get home and see him snuggled up in his cot.
But this hasn’t happened. I do bloody miss him, of course I do, but it’s not in the way I expected to. When I went back I thought I would spend every 5 minutes thinking about him. Wondering what he was getting up to, what I was missing. But to be honest, I don’t get the time to even think about him. People are always asking me about how he is, whether I’m missing him. My answer is usually, no, not really, it’s nice to have some me time!
I love my job, and working as a nurse, you’re always busy. I can’t spend time thinking about the world outside of work when I’m there. My head’s got to be in the game for the entirety of my shift, otherwise things get missed. When people’s lives or wellbeing is in your hands, this isn’t something you want to do. So Oliver is pushed to the back of my mind for 12.5 hours, 2 days a week, and my brain gets to be used!
Being at work is good for me too. As much as I would love to be a stay at home mum, the adult interaction is so refreshing. Of course I get adult interaction at home, but it’s usually whilst trying to drag Oliver away from climbing on something he shouldn’t! Mummy chat’s main topic is of course babies, we do talk about other things but our babies are always at the forefront of our minds! So it’s nice to talk about normal things, not spending my day discussing poo, snot and other bodily fluids. Actually scrap that, I work on a ward that deals with your waterworks and bowels, so I do spend a lot of my day talking about bodily fluids! But at least it isn’t my baby’s!!
I now look back and wonder what I was worried about. I was so worried I wouldn’t remember how to do my job, but in handover my first day back it all came flooding back! Of course I do still ask my colleagues how to do things if I feel unsure, but as the weeks go on my unsurety reduces. I worried about Oliver. About how he would settle in at the childminders and whether he would nap for my mum. But he’s fine, he always seems to enjoy his days without me.
Of course, I am very lucky that I could go back to reduced hours. I’m lucky that doing 23 hours is only 2 days a week. Oliver seems to be happy with our routine for now, so I am happy too! It’s not the perfect situation, I don’t see Oliver at all, for 2 days a week, but it works for us for now.
How did you feel when you went back to work?