Returning to work after 9 months off was never going to be easy, but I’m surprised to find that I’m actually taking it quite hard this time. When I went back to work after having Dylan I felt excited, I was able to embrace being me as well as being a mum, it almost gave me part of my identity back. I think the difference this time is that having been a mum for so long I have learnt to balance Hannah time and Mummy time. I don’t need that time alone now to feel like an adult; I might sit on the floor most of the time and watch children’s programs so often that I sing Peppa Pig in the shower, but I’m fine with that being part of who I am now.
My stomach sinks every time someone mentions their plans for the weekend or a new place we should take the kids, all that I can think is that I am not going to be able to experience these things with my children. I know I only work weekends so compared to parents who go back to work full time I have no reason to complain, but I’m so disheartened at the thought of missing out on quality time with my husband and children.
Maternity leave with Dylan was completely different, everything was new and he was my sole priority. Yes it was scary but with family members and friends having babies weeks apart there was always someone to save me when I was going out of my mind.
This time I feel like I am starting afresh, I have forgotten everything and am constantly worrying that Ben isn’t developing as fast as Dylan, even though I know Dylan was a quick learner. A lot of those family members and friends have moved further away and with working around school runs we don’t meet up as much as before. When I had Dylan I could stay in my pyjamas all day and just play with him, now it feels as though I am constantly getting Ben in and out of the pram. I worry I haven’t spent as much time with Ben or given him the attention I could have if he was my first. I feel like there is just so much more for me to do.
But who knows, I might come home of Saturday and feel like I’ve been stressing over nothing. Let’s hope so.