Today is my first day back at work! In the last two weeks I’ve been making an effort to meet up with my mama friends/ Milo’s baby friends. I actually took some pictures of some as well, now that he’s old enough to interact with them, and thought it might be fun to share some of them.
In others news, everyone kept asking me about how I felt about going back to work. Pretty much it seems like a good time. Milo’s very mobile now, and he’s interested in stuff and other babies/kids, and it’s difficult for me to keep him entertained, and the options for taking him out when meeting up for coffee are more limited now he needs to move. I guess if I was off longer, I would just have to take him to loads of baby groups, but I actually find the socialising with other mums you haven’t met before quite hard work. The way you just end up having the same conversation over and over again (‘This is Milo, yes it’s an unusual name, he’s 9 and a half months, yeah he can crawl/stand, no he doesn’t sleep through…’). I guess if you went to the same group consistently you would meet the same mums again and you would move beyond the introductory stuff, but for me the timing was a bit bad, I just started going to a couple once Milo was a bit more awake, and then they had a massive three months summer break, and then I was going back to work so soon anyway. It didn’t help that I’m finding it really hard to make myself leave the flat when the weather is bad, as it has increasingly been!
Anyway, Milo’s settling in visits to the nursery have been a complete success so far (the last one’s today), he went straight to roaming around like he’d been going there all along. He hasn’t had the stranger danger or clinginess thing at all yet, he’ll be totally fine! And he’ll still have more days with his parents than in the nursery (we’re both working four days and taking Monday and Friday off respectively), so I don’t think he’s going to forget about us.
I also think going back to work will be good for me. Having done these two promotion boards was weird because I was really thinking in a lot of detail about all this work I had done at least a year before, and I was getting pretty sick of it, it’ll be nice to think about some new work. Plus it has knocked my confidence a bit (I didn’t get the stats one either, though I got very close, so actually feel better for having done it), and going back will build it back up because I can actually DO something rather than just trying to sell myself, which I hate.
I actually thought I might enjoy doing home makery things while on maternity leave, cooking exciting meals and baking cakes but to be perfectly honest, I probably did no more cooking than before, and definitely less trying out of new recipes. I really enjoy cooking new exciting things when it’s the feature of an evening, and Dave and I do it together instead of a night out, or at least are in the same room. But doing it by myself during the day, then it’s just another chore. I really enjoyed not having not that much to do at the beginning, but it did eventually make me pretty lethargic and I didn’t always do as much with Milo as I would have liked to. I think I’ll use what time I have with him from now on more actively.
And I do miss the feeling of completing a work project, and knowing I’ve done a good job, it’s just a completely different kind of satisfaction. That’s the theory anyway. There’s always a chance that the sleep deprivation (we’re still on waking up twice a night, plus sometimes one for the cats as well) will make me completely unable to concentrate. But hopefully not!
The other thing is that my perception of what the right thing to do is totally steered by what I’m doing. If I wasn’t going back to work til Milo was one, I’m sure I’d think that was the perfect time. My thoughts on this have changed so much as well. When he was 4 months old, I thought how wonderful it would be to never have to go back to work, at 6 months I thought actually it would be quite nice to do something adult and thinky every now and then, at 8 months I was having major fear at my return to work date being only two months away, and now I’m at the acceptance state. We will see what I think once I’ve actually done it!