Today I worked the first Friday I’ve worked in over two years.
For the last few weeks Liv has been spending two mornings a week at nursery and she loves it. She skips off for her second breakfast as soon as she arrives (I swear she’s a hobbit) and barely looks back. This morning was no different for her. She excitedly hung up her bag and jacket and forgot about me as soon as she walked through that door.
Today wasn’t the same for me though. For the first time I was leaving her for a full day with people who weren’t family while I went to work. As soon as I left and the door closed behind me I started to fill up, I blinked and I squeezed my eyes shut and I told myself I wouldn’t cry in the playground but still the tears threatened, so I did what any grown up in my position would do. I phoned my mum.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and in a lot of ways I am looking forward to going back full time. It will be nice not to feel so out of the loop, catching up on emails in the middle of the day and remembering things I need to do that can only be done in the building. It is just that knowing I no longer have those Wednesdays and Fridays with my girl is starting to weigh heavy on my heart.
I’m reluctant to use the phrase “day off” when it comes to part time working. Having a baby at home isn’t a “day off” as people seemingly assume. In those days there is a mammoth amount of cleaning, shopping and washing to be done and that coupled with a needy baby or toddler makes these chores near enough impossible on a good day (if anyone fancies taking a toddler food shopping be my guest, it’s not great).
For all the difficulties though, I just wish I’d have known then how much it would mean to me when I had to give these days up. We need the money, and I know that is it right for our family but wow, it is hard walking away from that blissfully selfish time where it has just been me and her.
And now I sit here writing this with tears in my eyes, desperately trying not to let them fall as I think of the days I have had her all to myself. What a privilege it has been to be in a bubble of just me and my baby for two days a week for two whole years. How lovely it is that I have managed to properly watch her grow from a beautiful baby into such an amazing little person.
We have a house that we can grow a family in, I have a job that I love and a clever, funny little girl whose bond with me is so strong because of the time we have had. I am so fortunate to be so happy.
Yes, working full time will be so hard, but as I watched her fall asleep tonight I felt so lucky to be her mummy. Every single thing I do, I do for her.