Heading Back to Work

When did “But I don’t want to!” stop working for me?
Because I’ve definitely said it at least thirty or forty times over the last few weeks and yet I still find myself here – preparing to head back to work!

So far I’ve had 9 KIT days, in an attempt to prepare me for my return to the classroom. I have made a massive effort to work stupidly hard on those kit days to get as much planning and work done as possible so that when I do go back the transition is as smooth as possible. Anyone who has worked in a primary school in any form, or has any links to someone who does work in one, will know just how much work is involved in being a primary school teacher. The work that needs doing in evenings and weekends is never ending and my biggest fear about going back is not being able to manage the workload. I know I need to reach a happy work/life balance that means I still spend as many valuable seconds as possible with Rory whilst still giving teaching my all. It’s going to be tricky but I’ll have to find a way! This not knowing how I’ll cope is one of the things that is making me massively apprehensive about my return.

Another of the biggest things my head is really struggling to deal with is that on the day I officially return to work and Rory has his first full day in nursery – Rory will turn 10 months. I am genuinely struggling to comprehend where those 10 months have gone. I really did believe people when they said it would fly by and that I should make the most of every single moment, but it’s still gone by so much faster than I ever thought it could. When I think back over the last 10 months I start to question whether I did enough with him, did I take him to enough classes? Did I give him enough experiences? I know in my heart that we have had the best 10 months but I suddenly start thinking of all the things I should have done with him and places we should have visited!

I think part of this feeling is that it’s dawned on me that I will never ever get those first moments ever again. We are both hoping to have another little one at some point in the future, however meeting milestones and experiencing all those special moments with our first born child will never happen again! A fair few people have asked me recently if I’m broody again and I can honestly say I’m not. I see a squishy little newborn and yes I coo and want to give them a cuddle but it’s not that I’m broody for another, it’s more that I want those moments and experiences with Rory back and with every step closer we get to his first birthday I reminisce that little bit more.

This apprehension over returning to work and feeling of wanting to do the last ten months again was only enhanced in the last few days by the fact that Rory had his first taster session at nursery this morning! Something that seemed forever away was suddenly here and very real. I’ve been building myself up to the moment I had to leave him at nursery for months. So many people had told me how hard they’d found it leaving them and that they’d sobbed as they’d left (that’s the parents not the children). I was fully prepared for being an emotional wreck.

But I wasn’t….

I didn’t sob.
Neither did Rory.
I didn’t struggle to walk out of the nursery door.
I didn’t feel like my heart was breaking in to a thousand little pieces.

To start with I felt guilty. I thought perhaps I’m just heartless and I should be an absolute wreck, but I’ve decided that actually I’m really glad that’s not the case and that there are in fact reasons for all of the above. Firstly, I am incredibly happy with our nursery choice, the moment we walked in there I knew it was the one and heading back today it still felt really right for us. Secondly, Rory was happily looking around and playing from the moment he entered the room and I genuinely felt confident that he would be completely fine. I am positive that he will love nursery and that he will come on in leaps and bounds when he has other children to watch and learn from. So, rather than feeling devastated, I am strangely excited for him to start and to have the opportunities that Nursery will offer him!

Whilst I am still really struggling with the concept of going back to work, how I will cope with my workload and how our new routine will work for all of us, I am so relieved that nursery is no longer on my list of worries. I know I’ll still find it hard on the first Monday after half term when we both have our first full day and I know we will all be exhausted until we get used to a routine. But in the long run I know nursery will be good for Rory and that, if I’m completely honest, being back at work will be good for my sanity too. I know that when I’m back I will be even more aware of cherishing and enjoying every moment I do get to share with him and will probably be a better Mummy.

So, as hard as I know it’s going to be, here’s to the new stage of our life together that is set to begin in exactly two weeks and three days! I will keep you updated with how it goes.

But first, it’s time for a week away at the beach to enjoy those last few days of maternity as a family.

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