It feels like literally seconds ago I was writing about finishing work, excited to be starting maternity leave and the arrival of baby Arlo. If feels like seconds ago I was worried about how maternity leave with two children would go, coping to share my time and give them both enough. It feels like seconds, but at the same time it feels like the 9 months it has been. A wonderful, challenging, enjoyable, stressful, fun, relaxing, tiring and insightful 9 months.
This week marks the end of maternity leave though as I return to work on Monday. As with any change it comes with a huge mix of emotions. I am happy about going back to work but I am so sad about this time being over. We have gotten ourselves into a nice little routine this year, making new friends, attending some nice local groups, and enjoying time just us. A few of my favourite things have been:
- walks at the beach, always ending with an ice cream!!
- Watching films- our favourites have been Moana, Lego Movie and Trolls (all have good songs!!!)
- Making new friends – I’ve made some lovely new friends which I’m going to be sad about not spending lots of time with
- Spending quality time with old friends
- Walks in the forests
- Endless trips to Marwell Zoo- the giraffes are still our favourite!
- Walks in our village and playing football on the green
- Teaching Arlo to swim- he didn’t really enjoy it to start, but the week he didn’t cry make me so proud
- Making dinner and sitting down to eat as a family every evening
- Endless puzzles
- Sleepy cuddles
- Our amazing holiday to Ibiza
Some of these things have been so simple but, looking back, so enjoyable!
I had worried about Woody adapting to being a brother but he has done us proud and has been a great big brother! He adapted well to having me at home and not going to nursery as much, and has done well with this balance. I am now glad we stuck with the three days as it doesn’t seem as daunting now increasing them as I go back to work. I am still quite apprehensive about how he will adapt to this change, he loves routine and familiarity, but I’m probably not giving him enough credit, he will be fine!! And he has promised to look out for Arlo at nursery- even offering to drive him there if I needed him to!!!!
I am definitely viewing my mat leave through rose tinted glasses! It has been really tough at times! Toddler tantrums are hard work- the number of times he has been lifted up under the arm to removed from somewhere, or gone straight when trying to get him into his car seat as he protests about something. It really can be such hard work. Team that with a baby that is yet to properly sleep through the night, which leaves you feeling exhausted and irritable. He had grown 6 teeth before turning 8 months which didn’t come without some moaning. The days can seem so long sometimes. There have been many tears, but it’s all personal development isn’t it!?
So our new routine begins on Monday! I’ll be working 4 days a week until Christmas and then full time after. I’m looking forward to getting back to it. Since Arlo came along the longest I’ve spend without at least one child is an hour and a half (when Arlo had his settling in session yesterday!!!!), so I’m sure it will be quite odd but we will all get used to it, and it’s just the beginning of our next chapter.