Return to work, a return to me?

It’s been a busy week here at Save Mum’s Sanity. I made my post-maternity leave work debut on Monday and my little ol’ blog has gotten a slight makeover. Alot of changes won’t be apparent to the naked eye just yet, but it’s been moved to self-hosted wordpress which will give my inner-nerd lots of things to do this week. Expect a few more subtle changes as I continue to tinker away with things.

Anyway, back to the return to work. Continue reading

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The Final Countdown

Cue the 80s power synth – do do-do do, do do-do doo, do-do do, do do-do do – it’s the final countdown!

Whoo, feeling pumped. Just need to put on Eye of the Tiger, and I’m right there. I’m ready. One week to go until I’m back at work after 12 months maternity leave.

This time next week I’ll be prepping my outfit, getting my lunch ready, getting J’s daycare bag ready, setting the alarm and then going over the ins and outs of my ‘get to work’ schedule in my head. Hoping I’ve thought of everything. Well really I should be bed, trying not to think about if I’ve thought of everything.

I’m assuring myself this is ‘no big deal’ – it’s two days a week, Monday and Tuesday, 18.75 hours – it will be fine. I’m good at my job. Well I think I still am. There will be more money coming in. I will have non-mother problems to solve, deadlines to meet, the days will go quickly and then I’ll have all the rest of the week to spend with my boy.

But then all the great unknowns creep in, the fact I’m job sharing with someone else new to the position, the fact that J is still not fully settled into daycare after three months, the fact I have to get both of us up, dressed, out the door and on the bus by 7.05am – that’s if the bus decides to arrive on time!

Too much thinking! It will be fine. Repeat, this time with feeling. It WILL be fine. Breathe. Note to self: Enjoy this last week of freedom before the juggling act begins.

On procrastination and parenting

Photo by get directly down at flickr.com

Today I went to the dentist. It has been a long time between visits. So long in fact that I couldn’t even admit to myself how long it had been for fear of unleashing an unhealthy amount of self-recrimination that would only add to the procrastination and fear that’s prevented me from going all these years.

So bullet bitten here I am, teeth shiny and clean and save for a light lecture on the importance of dental hygiene, there was nothing to fear afterall. No fillings. No wisdom teeth needing immediate removal. No extra large bill. Just a ‘look after your teeth and come back in six months’. They even gave me a goody bag.

It has me thinking about how procrastination only makes things alot harder. Things that are routine and necessary become scary monsters that wake you in the middle of the night. One big ‘to do list’ that just keeps on growing. Continue reading

Teething turmoil

It’s not as if this is the first time. The first time I didn’t even know it was happening, he was not even four months old.

The signs were there alright, the hands in his mouth almost up to his wrist, drooling like dieter at a cake stall, whingy, clingy and his longer day time sleeps became 20 to 30 minute power naps. I just wasn’t expecting my little boy to get teeth yet. But there they were, two little white eruptions on his bottom gum – two at once! I was mesmerised.

Now here we are months down the track and he’s got six of them – four up the top and two down the bottom. He’s had this set of six for almost 3 months, and it seems he’s been teething on and off for almost that long, but still the bottom pair remain friendless. The last two weeks, it seems the pain has gone up a notch, but still with a quick feel around (if he lets me) I can’t feel a lump like the last few times.

During the last week he’s napped fitfully, his cheeks rosy, his fingers never far from his mouth. I feel they must be getting closer. They must. But still they hide. Just come out, come out wherever you are!

Rusks, arrowroots, frozen teething rings all provide comfort for awhile but his ultimate comfort are cuddles. I love my cuddly boy, as I know these days will end sooner than I think, but some days I feel all cuddled out!

I grow embarrassed every time I drop him at child care and they ask how the teething is going. “Still going, still unsettled at times.” I feel like a fraud, surely he can’t be teething this long. But they are understanding and today sounded relieved that it wasn’t just them, that he’s like that at home too.

I remind myself, that just like last time, as soon as those teeth poke themselves above the gum, it will all be over and I’ll forget all the ‘is he, isn’t he?’ ‘where are they, surely they’ll arrive this week’ angst. Well that is, until next time rolls around.

So J’s bottom two teeth, if you are reading this – feel free to make your entrance some time this week. We’re all waiting!

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Studies and the stay-at-home vs working mum debate

Photo by David Bleasdale on flickr.com

Another day, another study professing to have the ‘answer’ to whether the fact a mum works or not will have a detrimental affect on the lives of their child.

Today, news reports have picked up on a US study that has found that mothers returning to work before their child turns one does not have a negative effect on their babies’ development.

I always read the comments following the online reports of such stories, even though I know where they are going to go.

First there will be the those in the stay at home camp, who in this case will lambast the study as the biased work of a working mum who went to the trouble to conduct the study to make herself feel better. In this camp are stay at home mums themselves and older seemingly male readers who believe all women should be at home and if you can’t afford it, or (gasp) should you be female and want to work, then you should not bother having children.

Then there will be the those in the stridently working mum camp who will applaud the study as the ultimate truth and the long-awaited salve to working mother guilt. In this camp are working mothers and fathers who lament that they wish they could have the ‘luxury’ of staying at home but there are bills to pay and a roof to keep over their heads. Some wish they were ‘lazy enough to accept handouts like stay-at-home mothers do’ but others feel working is worth having additional luxuries for their child so they won’t go without.

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Reconnecting with B

I am starting to see how motherhood can be a series of small goodbyes. Saying farewell to different stages, only to welcome new ones as our babies gradually move towards independence.Question mark girl

A few weeks ago J started daycare two days a week. I am not due back at work for another two months so the plan has been to gradually ease him into a full day over the next few weeks.

The first day felt like a leap into the great unknown. Even though I’d visited the centre a few times and had met his caregivers, I was still nervous and didn’t know what to expect. Would he sleep there? Would he take his bottle? Would he be happy to interact with his caregivers? but with all the questions in my mind focused on ‘will he be okay’, I really didn’t stop to ask myself if I’d be okay.

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