And so it’s here. The final month of my maternity leave. I don’t think a year has ever passed this quickly before. It only seems like a few weeks ago that we were with Rishi as a newborn, and now I can’t keep up with him, with the new things he masters and the happiness he brings us.
Everyone keeps asking me the same old questions (much like those ones when you were about to go on maternity leave) … ‘when are you back at work?” “How do you feel?” “Is he off to nursery?” And they respond with things like… “Oh, four days at nursery, that’s a lot… how do you think he will cope with that?” Yep… all great questions. The truth is I can only really answer the factual ones. Everything else, like I’ve found with having a baby generally, is a total unknown.
Maternity leave thing has blown me away. Yes, I thought I’d like it, but I didn’t think I would love it as much as I have. It’s not how I imagined. I’m yet to have a prosecco picnic in the park and I haven’t been baking a different cake every week. But my year has bought me so much more joy than I could ever imagine. I’ve gained a whole new friendship group of amazing women … offering me advice, prosecco, empathising with me on my bad days, and just saying don’t worry it’s crap here aswell. I’ve loved living in my new home. I’ve loved not commuting, not having to deal with the hustle and bustle of the city and most of all I’ve gained my tremendous little man who is my partner in crime and who makes me laugh and smile every day. I’ve also found myself more in love (if I could love him anymore) with my husband, I’m already totally head over heels but seeing him as a dad makes my heart fill with joy. Being there for when I need him … well he just something else.
But, sadly… it’s finally time for me to return to reality. Mortgage repayments need to be made and for us to provide for Rishi, I need to return to work. I’ve got lots of people assuring me I will love going back to work and how it will be good to get a bit of me back, having some adult time but I’ll be honest, having a baby has totally changed me and I have never felt more me, more fulfilled, than I am now. I’m sure there will be good things about work, some of my closest friends are from the office, and I will be able to spend more time with them and getting back to my career of 12 years in the making will be a good thing. I might even scrub up my baby brain. The tales of my epic baby brain failures are for another blog, for when I have got over how hilarious my bloopers have been!
I find myself in this time, reflecting on what I’ve done, what Rishi has done and how he’s changed and how my family has grown but I can’t really exerts out plain it all. It’s too hard. There’s too much I want to say, too much emotion wanting to burst out …. I want to enthusiastically talk about my stupid days or when Rishi did this funny thing or fun days out we have shared. Of course some days are hard, of course some days are long but I’ve loved my new job of being a mum and I find myself preparing for the return from the mat leave bubble where I take on another role, managing work and being the kind of mum I want to be. I have zero idea how it’s going to work, or whether I am going to enjoy it but as with everything I’ll give it my best shot and hope I can be happy doing it. Because I want Rishi to see me as a happy mum, not a totally stressed out frazzled mum and for me, I must keep that at the forefront of my mind. He is my gorgeous number one priority.
I’ll obviously have to adjust, I won’t be able to diffuse tense situations with nursery rhymes and flashing lights and a good nap might not improve a negotiation in meetings but that’s not what worries me about going back into work. I don’t want to lose this amazing part of me that’s grown and I’m so proud of. I’ve become a woman I never thought I would be, and I could not be happier about it.
So here we are… if you need me, I will be preparing myself for my next new normal, the next part of my adventures with Rishi.