After the excitement of going on maternity leave at the beginning of September and the joy of having my second daughter at the end of September last year, my maternity leave is now coming to an end. It’s been 12 months of being mummy 24/7 and I have mixed feeling about it coming to an end.
I was lucky enough to be able to take the full year off. With the agreement of my husband, our savings have dwindled to nothing but I would not change anything. I could only have 5 months off with my first and honestly I don’t know how I coped. This year has not all been wonderful, floating on a perfect cloud cuddling my perfect baby. My second daughter took longer to sleep through the night, I had the joys of potty training my first with a new born baby, the guilt of not spending enough time with either child and the list could go on.
However, now that it is coming to an end in two weeks, I can see definite advantages and disadvantages about going back to work.
Of course the hurdle is leaving my baby. Although she is now 11 and ½ months she still looks too small to leave for 2 ½ days a week. I’m well aware I am not the only one to feel like this. And I am lucky that she will be spending those days split between her grandmothers so will be able to develop the same strong relationship that my other daughter has with them. However, knowing that she will be in good hands does not make leaving her easy. I am not one of those mums who has never left her baby, she has spent nights at her grandparents. But the thought of leaving her for 2 ½ days every week does make me feel sad.
Having said that, the thought of not having the constant whinging and whining, the crying, the permanent shadow is quite exhilarating. The realization that I will be able to go the toilet on my own, finish all of my lunch and all those other clichés is very exciting.
Setting a New Rhythm
Throughout this year I have known it will end. At times it’s not been able to come soon enough at others time is going too quickly. Either way I have known from the moment that I started maternity leave that it was not a permanent state. I am a planner, I like knowing what’s happening and I find the unknown worrying. I am looking forward to starting a new pattern. One that will continue until my youngest is at school, which thankfully is a few years off yet. It feels like a fresh beginning, partly because I am starting a new job but also because I get to go out and do things for me.
As you start to look towards going back to work your mind naturally starts thinking about what’s changed. Keeping in touch days are a great way to get you back in to the working mind set without your maternity leave actually ending. And the best thing about them is that you get paid for them! 10 days full pay without having all the stresses and worries of being back to work full time. My Kit days have mainly been meetings and reminding myself of how things are done.
Baby is Older
Yes my maternity leave is ending but it also means my baby is very nearly one, an age I love! She is becoming more and more interested in the world around her. She is desperate to walk but still working out how and she is able to communicate what she wants (ok not in words, but pointing and screeching seems to work for her). I love watching the little person she is becoming and that is only happening as she gets older.
Always important! Having the whole year off has meant we have no savings left. We are now strictly no spending until payday. It has been hard balancing entertaining the children and carefully watching the pennies. I think we have done pretty well but certainly feeling the pinch now. So the biggest advantage to maternity leave ending is that, once the credit card has been paid off, we’ll be able to enjoy a few treats!
One thing money can’t buy is that feeling of being me again. Yes I love being mummy to my girls but at times it is a pretty thankless task. I am really looking forward to being known for my profession. Not just as maid, nurse and general dogs body to my children.
I’m sad my maternity leave has come to an end. I’m going to miss my babies when I’m at work and I’m sure I’ll be the irritating one with the hundreds of pictures on my phone. However, I am excited as well. I’m excited to be me, that my baby is growing up and life with her is getting that little bit easier every day. I’m excited about getting into a new rhythm. But most of all I am unashamedly looking forward to having more money!!!