The flowers my very best friend sent me for surviving
the transition back to work. I also had texts, phone calls and emails
from all the people I love the best x
It was so hard to leave my chunky little cherubs this morning, waving at me over their breakfast bowls - and the mms I got when I looked at my phone at work nearly broke my heart: "Good Luck, Mummy!" attached to a picture of them on the couch at their Nana and Papas.
It has been a bit of a shock among my circle of mummy-friends. Indeed it was a bit of a shock to me, as well! There is nothing I like more than spending time with my kids, working to improve their quality of life, so to go back to a full load at work seems a bit out of character for me. BUT... it was time for a change and this opportunity was too good to pass up. When I first considered the idea, it seemed a ridiculous step to take, but slowly the pieces began to fall into place and I really believe that this is going to be a great step for our family.
I am DETERMINED. I have scheduled into the weekly routine a visit to the playground to catch up with Miss Piggy's friends (as she will no longer attend playgroup), a family outing for fish and chips at the beach - I work at the beach so this is totally doable, and while not the healthiest food, once per week aint gonna kill us. I've learned to cook quicker, I've stocked the freezer with heat-and-eats, so that I will spend less time in the kitchen and have more time with my babies. I've bought books that are specifically for reading on days mummy works (you should see Miss Piggy clamouring for the latest installment of the Faraway Tree books) and I will remind myself that I need to spend those hours between school and bed with my children... running around the backyard, chatting over snacks and playing boardgames... and maybe that way, they won't really miss out on quality "mummy" time at all.
This decision is made easier by a whole lot of things:
It means I will have job security - and be connected to a school where my children will be educated. I couldn't risk losing the opportunity to see them compete in sports days, perform school plays and just hard at work in their classrooms. Last year I worked the two days Mr Z went to kindy. The hours were tricky and I was rarely able to drop him off and pick him up. I really understood then just how important that regular contact was with his place of 'work'. It helped me to ask meaningful questions about his day so I didn't just get the response, "Dunno... don't 'member!"
It means that we can save for another overseas adventure and see some of my family members in the UK before they are too old to really play with the kids. My grandfather told me - last time I visited him - that seeing his great-grandchildren, getting to hold them and rock them to sleep, was an absolute highlight of his life. Now that he's gone, the memory of that conversation - had face to face over a meal - is so precious to me.
It means that the kids will get to see more of their Daddy who will be able to work from home and take more of an active role in caring for them while I am at work. He in turn can share some of the burden of being the breadwinner. Working for yourself makes you really worry about what would happen if you became ill or incapacitated. So we can share the worry about providing for our kids. Of course the kids will also love playing with Nana and Papa when we are both out at work.
It means poor Small Boy will no longer have to endure an hour plus in the car each day travelling to and from schools. I figure if I'm driving all that way down there each day, I may as well stay and be paid anyway!!!
However, it also means that I have had to say goodbye to all the lovely friends I've made at baby-music, playgroup and my study group. It will be hard finding time to get together outside of school hours and I'll admit many tears have been shed over this loss. It also means I don't get to kiss and hug my baby whenever I feel the urge. After 13 months spent almost exclusively together, going to work without him felt like going without an arm. I physically ached each time I thought of his cheeky smile.
It also means I've cut some other corners. I'll be giving up a few other things to make more time in my day (might actually give up blogger, too) but maybe the best thing I've learned about being a mummy is that making a sacrifice for the benefit of being with your kids, actively helping them to learn and grow, is no sacrifice at all. It is a privilege, and one I'm blessed to have been given three times over.
Wish me luck while I work this tangled mess out. I'm hoping it will teach me patience and organisation :) I hope I'll be able to find the energy to fit everything in and enjoy the ride!
Do you work full-time? Do you have any hints? Please, PLEASE, leave them below ;)