So you might remember hearing from me earlier this year – I’m Reading Mummas Sister (younger by two whole minutes!). To recap, I have a highly strung 3 year old B1, and a laid back 1yr old B2.
Being 1yr post baby, I’m now back at work (going on 8 weeks now). I am actually enjoying having another important role to play, in fact I even returned to work 6 weeks before the date I’d originally planned – because my happy 1 year old seemed ready and I certainly felt ready for a mental change of scenery (and money is a good motivator too !)
Returning early led to massive mother guilt issues and i kept thinking things like – why wouldn’t I want to stay home as long as I could? Why not enjoy it while it lasts? To be honest, and I’m sure I’m not alone here, second time around, parental leave was actually quite different to what I remembered. While Being at home with two kids 24/7 is extremely rewarding, the reward is only all the more emphasised because of the freaking hard work!
- Social outings had to occur around two kids nap times that of course never matched up
- my nappy bag was barely big enough with one child, let alone two
- supposedly fun swim classes were a precarious balance of moods (not just that of my kids !)
- the daily dawning realization that b1s nap schedule meant she would definitely be awake during b2s naps was almost soul destroying.
I knew I’d reached a point where I was ready to make a change, for my own sanity, and to get myself back to paid work. It sounded simple. Everyone settled into the daycare routine. Work faces were happy to see me.
Since then, our household has been plagued with sickness. It is literally like ground zero- I have a call in to the CDC to suggest they use our house to formulate all future vaccines for the next year at least because we’ve literally had everything here. I’ve also proposed a frequent patient card to get stamped each doctor visit – pay for 5 get the 6th for free (patent pending of course!). Sometimes we all get hit at once, others one at a time, rarely does it act like a tornado and skip our house.
While I thought my biggest problem with returning to work was going to be time management – it pales in comparison to the feeling that I simply can’t seem to keep my family healthy. The negative self conscious (AKA mother guilt) sitting on my shoulder is constantly telling me this is all because I decided to go back early. Maybe I should have stayed home until my original return date? Is this a weird way for karma to get me and punish me for making the decision to go back to work early?
The logical self conscious sitting on my other shoulder tells me to wake up and do a shot of vitamin C – it’s just winter and it’s a particularly bad virus season. Or so the doctors keep telling me. To be honest the jury is still out. All I can say is bring on the spring sunshine and the pleasant hayfever sneeze – not the flu sneeze I’ve become unfortunately so accustomed to.