As I sit writing, I am just a couple of days away from my return to work and to be honest I’m not quite sure how I feel about it!
With Thea, my return to work just made sense. We knew we were hoping to expand our family and so really, in lots of ways, it was a logical decision to go back to work at least until baby 2 arrived. And arrive she did.
Having spent the last year completely dedicated to the girls (some good timing meant I had a year off for the price of 10 months thanks to the summer holidays!!), I can’t help but look back on all the incredibly fun things we have done. Yes, we have done some huge exciting things like music festivals and holidays, but we have also made some amazing memories just at the park, or in the lounge, even just having a sandwich. I’ve met some amazing new people, rekindled relationships with old friends and generally feel like everything is in a very good place at the moment. In fact I would perhaps go as far to say that I am happier now than I have ever been, and that’s a fairly bold statement.
At the start of the year I set out to remember who I was before I became a Mum. The truth is I remember who I was, but actually I much prefer who I am now (I don’t think I’ve changed too much, but just appreciate who I am a little more?) In some strange way perhaps being a Mum has brought out a side to me that I just never knew I had. A bit more confidence both in myself, and my ability to do anything I set my mind to has given me the biggest gift of all. Yes I’m perhaps a little less patient than I was this time last year, but really who has more patience after dealing with a toddler all day!? I really am very happy with my lot at the moment.
And now to upset the balance.
Believe it or not, I am actually really looking forward to going back to work. I know it may not sound like it, but I love my job, I love my colleagues and I love the challenge that teaching gives me every single minute I’m there. But I can’t help but feel very sad that this might be the last time I have an extended time off with the girls. I feel safe in the knowledge that they will be so well looked after by their incredible nursery, but I feel so sad that I’m going to have to miss out on a lot more.
It’s the biggest emotional pull. Work makes me a better mummy in lots of ways as it gives me a chance to remember what else I love doing, who I was before the girls came along. Believe it or not teaching teenagers all day actually is a welcome break from motherhood some days but the fact I won’t be around for every drop-off or pick-up, breakfast or bedtime story, unstoppable giggles or even (yes really) toddler temper tantrum makes me feel just a little bit sad.
What I have to remember is that the girls won’t hate me for going back to work, and one day I hope they feel proud that Mummy went and pursued her career too. Hopefully by teaching 3 days a week I will still retain some of that balance with being able to enjoy the time with the girls whilst they are little too. It also means that I have a couple of extra days to pursue some other exciting things – more on that later!
In the meantime, I have just a couple more days before I go back to work, days which I fully intend to make the most of. And ultimately, I actually only have to work for 5 days before the summer holidays so really this is just dipping my toe into the water before the real return in September! Then I’m sure it will hit me!
How do you fit work into family life? Any tips for my return in September? Let me know, I’d love to hear what you think!