This week, I returned to work after 9 months on maternity leave. I had really mixed feelings leading up to the big day. I was sort of looking forward to using my brain and socialising with adults, but I was dreading leaving my lovely little Cub. In fact, the day before, I cried virtually all day. I was an absolute emotional wreck.
It wasn’t just the fact that I had to leave him that was upsetting me- it felt like the end of an era, a reminder that my baby is no longer a tiny little thing that sleeps, coos and smiles- he is nearly a toddler, full of personality, crawling around at light speed and demolishing everything in his path in his curious, clumsy, irresistible way!
My husband and I took him to nursery together on his first day. We gave him to his key worker for a cuddle and some breakfast, and kissed him goodbye. I thought it was best to keep it short, so we left, and he didn’t really seem to notice- too busy making new friends!
I thought about him all day at work. It didn’t help that I had no PC access set up and no work organised, so I had a lot of time to think. I thought of calling the nursery to check on him, but decided against it. I made tea instead. Then I thought some more. Then I had lunch. Then I missed him some more, and willed it to be 3pm. At hometime, I walked so fast to the nursery that I looked like one of those bum wiggling olympic walkers, but I didn’t care, I was just dying to see his little face.
When I went back for him, he was tucked up in a buggy, snuggled up in a bundle of blankets, fast asleep. He had just come back from a walk. We let him snooze while his key worker chatted me through his day- he had apparently eaten everything he had been given, and even made a bit of an attempt to take a bottle (I had been worrying that he wouldn’t take any milk at all.) He had slept a little, and played a lot.
And me? Well, work was ok. I’ve had a good catch up with my colleagues, but I don’t really have much to do yet, so we will see. In a way, it feels like a bit of a rest from full-time mothering. So far, so good.
I couldn’t have really hoped for a better start. I hope Cub will learn to nap there, as he only had half an hour each day in his cot, leaving him frantic and overtired at home! But other than that, he seems happy, and I’ve just about stopped crying. Hopefully that’s the worst bit over with.