In a couple of weeks time, I return to work. This is my last maternity leave. The last time I return to work and oh my, it has gone so quickly.
I’m pretty used to maternity leaves, this being my 4th one! There’s less of the anxiety this time round about leaving the children. I know our little Archie will be fine, he is with our parents for two days a week and at nursery one day. Orla loves being at home with her grandparents and I know that they are all lucky to have that time with their grandparents on a weekly basis. Although I feel worried that our parents will find the 4 kiddos too much like hard work (I mean they are fun and adorable but 4 of them at a time is ……..oh-such-hard-work!)
I am relieved to be returning part time, I’ve tried every different combination of working and part time you could imagine! Flexi-time, late starts and early finishes to take the kids to school but I’m hoping 3 days will achieve that elusive work-family balance and still have time to spend with the children. Properly spend time and not constantly be on the phone or work emails or have my head still in work when I’m at home.
But the usual anxiety is still lurking, of how we will all manage ‘the juggle’. How will we manage to function as a busy family – always rushing out the house and back in the house? How will we ever manage to do up our ‘project house’ to be like we want it to? How will keep finding the time to record memories here.
Sometimes, even being on maternity leave, I have felt so stretched. I go to bed sometimes and am not sure I listened to Elodie properly about her friends at school or I regret not playing with Fin and his lego because there was dinner to be made. And I wonder if adding work to the mix will stretch us too far but then I remember that we’ve done it before. There is an adjustment period but we do all survive normally!
The inevitable guilt is there. Always. I don’t know a working mum that doesn’t have it but I know that not working would also bring about guilt. Guilt that we couldn’t afford a house big enough for the six of us or a big garden for the kids to spend hours in. Guilt that the kids wouldn’t be able to have holidays or do the activities that they so enjoy.
I do wish there was a job that seemed a little more compatible with being a mum. I am a teacher and so the hours are long and the work is never-ending but there I haven’t found anything that earns a similar amount whilst still having all the holidays off with the children and that time is priceless. I know I am so lucky to have the holidays with them and I am lucky that my job is reasonably creative so that I can do things like plan children’s festivals whilst marking essays?! I never clock watch, the days are just too busy and I don’t have a moment to be bored but I do wish there was a way that it all felt a little bit more manageable.
So here’s to making our last full week of making memories with the children. Thankfully, we have a busy week visiting friends to look forward to and to take our mind off the returning to work madness! Have a lovely week everyone!