the beginning of the end

For me this week marks the countdown to my return to work. I have only four more full weeks before I will go back to work for four days a week (one of those at home) and I have mixed emotions.

On the one hand I am dying to get back to work. I have certainly missed the creative outlet that my job as a designer provides, and yet I am going to miss the ‘crafty’ things I have been able to do while at home. We have done so much baking, making and exploring in the past eight months. 
My greatest worry is that I will miss out on so many things. At two and a half Scarlett is very creative and is always a pleasure to be around. She makes up stories and songs and is constantly dancing around in her own little world. She prepares make believe food and drinks for her family, and collects things which she arranges meticulously in unusual places around the house. She is idolized by her brother. 
As for my little darling Xavier, he is just a baby. Now is such an amazing time for him as he starts to babble, clap and tries to master crawling. I feel such a sense of guilt that I will be putting him in paid daycare for two days a week (which I didn’t do with Scarlett until a few weeks ago). I worry that he will find the separation hard and wonder if it will have any lasting effect on him as a person. Unlike Scarlett he has been much more reliant on me from the very beginning. A very cuddly little mummy’s boy.
I am certainly not looking forward to the stressful mornings and crazy evenings that come with being back at work and I am certain that the first few weeks I will cry regularly (in part due to exhaustion and in part due to my emotions), but before long it will become the norm.
Recently questions have come up about the choice to return to work. If not for the financial restraints that require me to return to work at this time, would I choose to? I would choose to go back anyway – I think.
Perhaps not right now, but definitely before too long. But as I don’t have that luxury, I will never know. 
As guilty as I feel about it, I know I will enjoy the time away from children to be an adult again. I will cherish the opportunity to go out for lunch without a nappy bag stuffed with toys, snacks and emergency clothing. I will be free to go shopping at my leisure (an hour lunch break without kids can seem like an eternity), and the 30 minute train ride to and from work each day – sleep, music, reading, eaves dropping – will be luxury.
At the end of the day, I knew that the time would come. I just didn’t realise how quickly it would arrive…
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3 thoughts on “the beginning of the end

  1. Oh yes, I remember how that felt. The spectre of returning to work just a tad earlier than I really wanted to.We had a week of 'practice sessions' where I left my nine month old in the local daycare and I walked off in the opposite direction, snivelling. Turned out the little mite LOVED it; and she was in there four days a week until it was time to start school.She loved her carers, the other children, the activities they did and the fact that she had to learn how to share, consider others and wait patiently for her turn. Teachers often say that they can tell the kids who have had some exposure to childcare because they adapt quicker.Perhaps none of this is helpful to you, because you'll cry too, but at the end of Sapph's daycare years, I cried again.

  2. Thanks Kath – it does help to hear that other people have come through it intact. I know I will, but I think the anticipation is worse than the event itself.

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