Starting from Scratch: Maternity Leave is Over

 

 

 

Every now and again, you become aware of changes. Most changes happen without you really noticing. But there are a few that come around and you are so aware of them. Almost as if you see the inner workings and behind the scenes of life itself, a peek through the curtain that gives you a glimpse of what the next scene is going to be. That is how I have been feeling this week.

 

Change is definitely afoot! My maternity leave has come to a close and I had a little panic (more like full on breath taking panic attack) when it hit me that the business I relied on pre motherhood has all but died, meaning that I am going to have to start my career back up from scratch, going back into a salon to work as a senior stylist. So many emotions came up from this fact.

 

Guilt.

 

Ridiculous. Why do I feel guilty?! It’s not as if I have spent almost the past year sunning myself on the Riviera drinking mai tais?! It may be even more than that as I only returned back to work for six months between having Teddy and expecting George. I have been growing humans, birthing humans and then raising humans. One hell of a tough ‘job’ that receives no pay, no sick leave and no holiday time. But I feel guilty to myself for letting my business shrivel up. So many others manage to hold on to theirs in my position, why didn’t I manage it?

 

Don’t worry, that is a rhetorical question that requires no answer. I know the answer. It is simply that sometimes things don’t work out for some as it does for others. And drawing comparisons is completely useless and liable to make one go crazy with self loathing.

 

I also feel guilty for the fact I shall have to leave my babies in order to go and work to feed them. Of course, that is life and I’m sure they shall be none the wiser. I am just doing that infuriating thing mothers do: putting myself under unnecessary pressure. They will be fine. I will be fine.

 

Fear.

 

Have I forgotten how to do my job? After the majority of two years spent eating cookies and watching the joys that are Mr Tumble and Peppa Pig, has my brain shrivelled up alongside my client list and I worry: what if I have forgotten how to ‘create’? Have my hairdressing skills left me? Or is it like when you get on a bike for the first time in years, where you wobble a bit at first and then find yourself soaring along thinking ‘I remember how to do this!’? I shall soon find out, but deep down I know I can still create good hair and that the skills have never left me. They’re waiting for me. Like an old friend.

 

Excitement.

 

I am so excited to be having a fresh start! I find myself dwelling on the above and then have a word with myself and tell it to get with the programme and bloody well live a little! How lucky am I to have a trade?! A skill that shall never leave me, that can be built upon and worked with in so many ways and vocations. The idea of working with new people and having some structure to the day that doesn’t involve having to time in naps and snacks. To be able to pee in peace! To be able to have adult conversation and let go a little bit. Being Mummy is full time, 24/7 high on alert. Working shall be a holiday! I shall skip out of the door and enjoy not being laden down with a nappy bag. I shall wear clothing that is fashionable and stain free. And makeup! I will be wearing makeup again! I cannot tell you how thrilled that makes me.

 

Of course I am probably being completely over optimistic and far reaching with my levels of expectation. But, hey, a girl can dream can’t she?

 

Sadness

 

I’m facing what every other working mum has to face. I shall be spending less time at home than we are all used to and it is the end of an era. I’ve struggled with being at home at times, I’ll admit it. On the long days where I have felt alone and bored, I fantasised about this moment of being back at work and feeling a bit more like the old me. Gaining back independence. Gaining back my sense of self besides Being Mummy. But there have been some lovely days, where myself and the boys have had adventures or lazed about at home baking and watching telly. I shall miss their giggles and snuggles when I am away from them. But I keep focussing on how good it will feel to come home to them. They always give me the best welcome and they are what both myself and PB strive to succeed for.

 

Resentment

 

I do resent needing to work. I want to work. But need is very different from want. I haven’t been an employee as such for almost a decade either. That is going to take some getting used to. I’m getting used to the fact there are certain stipulations, such as set lunch breaks and clocking in and off times. I’m also finding it hard to accept the fact I am going to have to stop breastfeeding sooner than I would have liked to. I can express in my lunch hour and take it home but one hardly wants to spend their lunch break attached to a machine that, quite literally, moos.  I tried it during my trial day and managed to leave the bloody milk behind in the staff fridge. Way to make a good impression eh?! Nope, the boobs shall be retiring as I return to employment. Somebody has to tell George but something tells me he’ll be just fine about it. He’s quite happy with a bottle of formula now. I shall miss the closeness though. Might have to write a post about how to stop and when to stop and how it feels… all that sort of jazz. Shall takes notes on my findings!

 

Dread.

 

I’m tired. Tired to the bone already. The thought of having to be somewhere at a set time, come rain or shine, regardless of if I have had any sleep or whatever may or may not be happening in my personal life. Well, it just leaves me a bit flippy in the tummy. Will I cope not sleeping very well and then potentially have to go and stand on my feet styling hair for 9 hours? I shall simply have to, is the answer to that one. Mothers and fathers have to get to their work and muddle through a long day regardless of what type of sleep they got the night before. It’s called responsibility. Lack of sleep is one thing, but getting sick is my main uh oh scenario. I am useless when I have a cold. I have always admired people who have soldiered on to work when sick because I am so bad at motivating myself to do so. Secretly I think it’s silly to put pressure on people to work when sick as they are hardly at their most productive and then end up spreading it around to everyone else. But then, it’s that thing called responsibility again isn’t it? Needs must!

 

Pride

 

I have gone through so much in the past 2 years. I’ve grown and birthed our two baby boys. We have moved house. I have worked and then gone on maternity leave twice and sacrificed my business to be at home and care for our sons. They are healthy and happy. I have fought perinatal and post natal depression along with post traumatic stress disorder. I have learnt a lot about myself and the way the world works. I have studied and gained a teaching qualification and a makeup artistry qualification. And I am coming out the other side of my second round of maternity leave and landed a new job within 1 week. I’m always busy focussing on the task in hand and looking ahead to where I want to get to. I’ve just taken the time to reflect on my achievements thus far in my journey through motherhood and am fairly shocked at what is there! And then of course there’s this blog. Me, Being Mummy. The cathartic, creative, beautiful little bolthole that I have carved out to document it all. I’m proud.

 

And just a tad overwhelmed.

 

 

The Mummy Bubble

Motherhood The Real Deal

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