Written by Carly W
So the anxiety kicked in when it hit January 1st 2019. Not because I was going to work that month but because I knew that I was going to work ‘this year’ and that seemed too close for comfort. I had to book plenty of holidays as ‘milestones’ was whilst on maternity, to throw me off the thought of work. We booked a holiday to Lanzarote in February, trip to Windermere in March and then work in April followed by a trip to Newquay in May. Ever since January 2019, I had a go of the lottery almost every week as I had it in my head that I would win and not have to go back. It all seems a joke now, but literally, hand on my heart, I honestly, thought, I would have done so. I even had a go at a competition to ‘win a house’ (no lie). As you may have guessed, I didn’t win. I was enjoying maternity leave that much I was doing anything I could not to actually think about work. So, our holidays happened and it became closer and closer to ‘D Day’. In my friend group, I was the last mummy to go back to work, so I watched all my friends go back and gave them the advice I couldn’t take myself ‘it will all be fine’.
The night before ‘D Day’..
We had a terrible weekend as my daughter was poorly from her trial day at nursery. She seemed to have caught a bug which left us housebound for the whole weekend. I had lots of plans of making the weekend memorable but nothing comes between a poorly baba and cuddles. The night before ‘D Day’, it was touch and go as to whether my daughter was going to nursery, adding to my worries..
Wondering what will happen?
Who will look after her when I go to work?
Will they look after her the way I do?
What happens if she goes and is sick?
What happens if she goes to nursery and doesn’t drink milk?
What happens if they swap her milk accidentally to cows milk (she has a cows milk protein allergy)?
I prepped our bags reluctantly, made sure she had a change of clothes, plenty of milk, nappies, wipes etc. And crossed it all off my list.
I even had to get a new water bottle and mug for my own work to make me feel better about going.
Surprisingly, I slept quite well that night.
The day finally came, Tuesday 23rd May 2019. My first day of work. My daughter was still poorly so my husband decided to delay his work and take her to the doctors first thing. I think that made me feel better, knowing she would be looked after on my first day back. Knowing that I wouldn’t have to wave goodbye walking out of nursery for the first proper time. I think that was generally my biggest fear. I got to work, my colleagues had put up banners for me ‘welcoming me back’ and all my worries disappeared when I sat back on my old desk chair. Within minutes, it seemed like I never left and got back into the swing of things dealing with my 1600 emails in my inbox. Everyone asking questions about my daughter; how old she is, is she good, does she sleep etc.. made me think of her and eagerly awaiting home time to have lots of mummy snuggles.
Daddy took her to the doctors and they said her illness was practically due to teething. So, around 11.30am, we made a decision to let her go to Nursery for her first day. My husband took her to Nursery and made sure to write them a note explaining of her illness and lack of feeding. He said that was really hard and had to hold back the tears as he walked away. Anyway, our Nursery was amazing and they have an app that updates us after nappy changes, feeds and sends us little pictures throughout the day. I think I spent my whole first day at work checking the app for updates. I was so excited to finish work to pick her up. I raced to the Nursery to find out that she had a great day and settled in really well, despite being unwell. That was the most memorable part of my day and we had lots of snuggles when we got home.
If I could go back and tell myself a few things about my first day at work, I would tell myself this.
It’s all going to be absolutely fine. Work is great when you get there, it’s good to have adult conversations and there is no better feeling in the world than picking your daughter up from nursery. Also, work is the only time you get a hot cup of tea!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would tell myself that Nursery is going to be amazing; seeing all the different types of food she’s ate, developing her tastebuds, letting her play with other children and different toys. Yes, she is going to catch bugs but that is just human nature. It is developing her immune system. I am sure that lots of people have told me all of this before, but I realised that you don’t take it on board until the time actually comes. I am now so excited to see her grow and develop at nursery and looking forward to getting back into a new routine. I can now officially say, I am a working mum. And I love my weekends even more.