Last month I went back to work for the first time since having my son. I went on maternity leave 17th December 2019, I was original meant to go on maternity mid February 2020, but started it early because I was having daily injections which were causing a lot of bruising and pain. Plus, I had terrible sciatica. Until then I worked throughout my entire pregnancy, cleaned, ironed, cooked and other chores. I lived with my grandparents, so I did get help, but they were away holidaying some of the time. I was also in charge of prepping my sons items, room and taking care of my own space.
We got induced with Bambino and it was an intense experience, a lot of injury and healing required. I think that made me closer to my son and partner. Gray managed to have four months paternity thanks to COVID. During that time we moved homes, in with his family. It was a great move for us and was for essential reasons. (Disclaimer this was done COVID safe and with the support of the midwives/ professional medical opinion). It wasn't due to family issues and we will leave that there. Whilst living here, it is my job to keep our room tidy, bambinos room tidy and I tried to do the ironing during the week when I had chance.
Also lucky, I got to spend amazing time with my son. We have had the odd day where it's been tough. There was one day where all he did was shout and cry at me. Anytime he had his injections he got extremely unwell, but vast majority of the time it was amazing. At 8 weeks we cot trained him, which the health visitor agreed with. He was struggling to stay asleep at night unless held, despite us constantly trying to put him in his crib or Moses basket. Once we did that he slept much better and within a couple of weeks he was sleeping the whole night through. I learnt to knit and crochet.
I've seen many of his milestones, taught him new things almost daily. He's become my little bestie. He has had most days, full on attention and input, then to stop and go to work is a shock to the system. We made the decision not to send him to childcare due to COVID risks. He is looked after by his grandparents (Gray's parents) that we live with and mine. Honestly I miss him a lot and can be difficult working upstairs and him crying or making noise downstairs, not going to him. Soon as I finish work, I go downstairs and take over looking after him.
My biggest fear about going back to work is losing that closeness I have with him or him not wanting me because I leave him three days a week for hours at a time. So far, that has not happened. I go and see him on my lunch breaks, as soon as I finish in the evening and he is so happy to see me and acts normal.
One thing I have been asked a few times is about guilt for going back. I don't at the moment, I try to think about it in the terms of, I shouldn't feel guilty for choosing to set a working example for my son, its not a bad choice. He has the care and attention he needs, his father and I make up for working in the evenings and weekends. Then in September I will be pursuing a new career, setting the example of following dreams in a responsible way. Parents shouldn't feel guilty for that, but proud.
I work to earn money, to help look after him and his dad. His dad does the same, vice versa. We want nice things like a house, a wedding and holidays, teaching our son to get those things, you have to work hard. Like he has to be good during the week to get a reward on Friday evening, at the moment its his favourite type of book, when he is older it will change to pocket money.
My advice, whatever example you chose to set for your children, make sure you are proud of it and will be proud to explain it to them later on in life.