Once again I’ve found myself tearful and upset over something that’s out of my control.
When I first found out that I was pregnant, my main worry was about how it would affect my career. I had just had my promotion and was working hard towards my next one. However I decided that if I had six months maternity leave, I would be able to ease myself back into work mode and work hard to get where I want to be.
My most dominant personality traits are that I am super competitive, ambitious, and determined. I’m also stubborn and love to prove people wrong so when someone says you can’t do something, I’ll work twice as hard to show them you can. So I thought I would have no trouble at all returning to work and letting someone else look after Luna.
However, I’m only working three days a week and I’m struggling every single day being away from Luna. Im struggling because I have no plans to give up breastfeeding yet, meaning I have to factor in an hour of my day to express enough milk for Luna and to keep my supply up. I then have to sit in the car after I have collected Luna and feed her for half an hour to an hour so that Luna gets her milk and I don’t explode. This then means it’s really late when we finally get home.
I have to battle with myself about letting someone else choose what is best for her, when I know my choice would be the opposite.
I have to miss her ‘firsts’.
I’m struggling a lot with weaning because I have been doing baby-led which really suits Luna’s independent side. She will not have anyone put a spoon near her mouth; she will grab it and try to do it herself. But on the days I am working she has mashed food and it’s not something I was planning on doing yet. For me, I have adopted the ‘food before one is just for fun’ attitute as she is so into her milk and growing healthily. It was always going to take a few weeks to learn to swallow so I was happy to do baby-led so she could wean at her own pace. I’m just a bit sad it’s not worked out that way.
The positives are that apparantly, girls whose mothers returned to work end up being successful later on in life. I have no idea how that is measured but it sounds like a good thing. Also, the nurseries I visited said six months is a good age to start nursery because they haven’t entered the clingy leap yet so they will settle in well – which seems to have happened easily for Luna.
Now I’m earning money, we are putting our house on the market and looking for our dream house. I want Luna to have a play room and a big garden to do cartwheels in, so going back to work is making that dream possible.
And finally, the stress I am feeling just makes me more determined to do well!
So I suppose, contrary to the title of this blog post, I’ve managed to turn my negativity around. I should really have written “why going back to work at six months instead of 12 months was the wrong decision for me” because I love being at work, I just wish I had taken more time to enjoy the things that I am missing and losing control of. But lesson learnt.