Everyone always says they can’t believe they are going back to work after maternity leave. But you can’t. The time really does just fly. FLY! I’m coming the final weeks of my final maternity leave and this feels even more weird. My final one. To be fair, when I went back last time I thought that may be my final one. We were never sure we would have a third baby but we did.
It’s hard this time to put into words how it feels. It’s not only the end of an era but alongside it, is that sad feeling of having to leave my baby boy and not spend all week with him. Admit he will be moving towards being a toddler and not a little baby anymore. He is a little whirlwind and I think for the first time I will feel like I am having a little break when I am not with him. But I will miss his craziness, his cuddles, his slobber and cleaning him up after one of his messy meals! That little bubble you have on maternity leave will pop and it will be fitting life, work and everything else in again.
Things don’t feel as weird as last time, as there have been some changes in my plans. A few months ago, I wasn’t even sure I was going to go back to work! I seriously considered leaving my job and staying at home with the kids. Three children is a complete game changer and I just didn’t know how I was going to cope with everything and work three days a week. I felt stupid as well, as I know so many people do cope with it.
End of Maternity Leave – Plans
But things have changed and my plans are different this time.
I won’t be going back three days, the hours I was working previously. I have dropped my hours down to two days and will be working on a Thursday and Friday, as a dietitian in my current job. The little man won’t be going to a nursery; he has already started with some sessions with a childminder, who is literally around the corner. So far, he seems happy, which is great.
The little man will be going to the childminder on a Tuesday and Thursday, which will give me a day to do what I want! Tuesdays. I’m hoping to blog if the work continues to creep in! This was always my dream but I never knew if I would be able to reduce my hours at work. My blog always started out as a hobby and in some ways, it still is, as I’ve not quit my job to blog full time. I find it all a little unpredictable and prefer a steady income. However, I would love to have a day to work on it. Write what I want, even craft or cook a little more. Alone. With no interruptions. Maybe even in a cafe? That will be my Tuesdays whilst the little man and my middle girly are out. This is exciting and I’m looking forward to seeing how it will pan out.
My Mum will look after the little man on a Friday, which makes me very happy, as he will be happy. Also my eldest will not really have too much disruption to her school pick ups. I can still take her on a Tuesday and pick up and hubby will do a Thursday and my Mum on a Friday. She was so happy when she realised I was going to be off for a year when we found out I was pregnant with the little man. I didn’t want to disrupt things for her massively when I went back to work.
Coping with Returning To Work
I’m definitely not feeling as apprehensive about returning this time. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s only two days. It’s at the end of the week and it will be enough for me to work and have some time away but not too much time. Having the childminder and my Mum is probably helping, as both feel so personal and I don’t mind leaving him as much.
I struggled both time previously with anxiety and worrying and am ready for it to come back again. It’s understandable with a big change and even though it’s only two days, it is still a change. I always feel I need to work on building my confidence and feeling like I can do it again! I totally get imposter syndrome. I feel like I shouldn’t have my job. I’m too dumb. I can’t do THAT! But I can. I’ve just lost my nerve.
I feel sad when I think about the end of my maternity leave. I go completely bonkers with my three kids but I love the freedom of being at home. Being there after school for my eldest; for her to tell me about her day and make her tea. Being around my hubby who works from home too but I also like the independence of working and earning for myself.
I never expected a third maternity leave but I’ve had one and it’s been hard with our third baby but I’ve survived and will be raring to go, come the end of March.
Wish me luck! Will keep you updated.