Returning to Work After Maternity Leave

  
I’ve now been back at work, in a new job, for just over a month (with a weeks holiday inbetween!) and although I can’t say it’s easy by any means, it is easier than I thought it would be. 
We had planned for Pippa to go to a Childminder when I went back to work however with us going away on holiday the first week of August and the Childminder herself away during July, we agreed that Pippa wouldn’t start fully until this week, 9th August. 
Therefore during those first 4 weeks that I returned to work, we arranged for 3 half ‘settling in’ days at the Childminder and the other days Pippa would be looked after by either my mum, H’s mum or Harry who had taken time off especially. 
  
Pippa’s very first half day at the childminders went really well, I dropped her off and snuck away so she wouldn’t see me leave as she would normally be hysterical if she did see. I wasn’t back at work at this point so took the morning to do some bits around the house and it went surprisingly quick and I didn’t feel upset it any way. Until I picked her up. I welled up as soon as I saw her little shocked face that I had returned to get her and then cried pretty much the whole of the afternoon and evening! I don’t think it had really hit me that I would be leaving her like that for 3 days a week from now on and the guilt and sadness over the fact we no longer would be spending every minute together really got to me.

However when my first day did come around the following week, I was slightly calmer. In a way having family look after Pippa for this first month has actually made it much easier for me as I haven’t been constantly worrying that Pippa is unhappy and I know that whoever was looking after her, knew her well and she was comfortable with them. 
It turns out I really enjoyed going back to work and I don’t think I’ve ever settled so well into a job. It’s a lovely team and I discovered that having some time away from being ‘mummy’ was a breath of fresh air and allowed me to be me again, not to mention getting to sit down again, finish a hot cup of tea again and go to the toilet in peace again! The balance of working 3 days and the fact I am just 15 minutes away from home has been brilliant and I definitely couldn’t do anymore days. Knowing that I have a 4 day weekend with Pippa to look forward to at the end of the week is a great feeling.

However even working just 3 days has come with challenges and a distinct lack of even more time! I now have to supply lunch and dinner for Pippa so evenings are spent cooking and planning meals for not only myself and H but Pippa too and I’ve realised I need to be quite organised in order to give Pippa a varied diet but in freezable transportable portions! Mornings are also hectic when trying to get myself showered and sorted for a day at work alongside getting Pippa ready and packed for a day at the childminder’s whilst she wants constant attention. There have been a few days where I have turned up to work starving and realised I’d forgotten to have breakfast!

  
This week Pippa has done her full 2.5 days at the Childminder (the other half day my mum has her) and I think the fact that I am fully settled at work and Pippa is now used to me leaving her 3 days a week meant it has gone really smoothly. I have felt fine about leaving her and although I can’t call my mum at lunchtime to see how she is anymore, the Childminder does send me photos and videos which is amazing! She even has an app that she updates at the end of every day with all the photos, videos and a little diary so it’s all stored for us too see with our own personal login.

Pippa still cries every time I leave but I know she’s having an absolute whale of a time and our time apart just makes our time together even more special.

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