I’ve started writing this post numerous times, trying to come-up with some vaguely witty introduction. But this morning I decided to just get to the point. Being back at work is actually quite good fun. But working part time and juggling child care is hard – harder than I thought it would be. I’ve been back for 3 weeks now (which now I am part time is a grand total of 9 days!) and it’s been a mix of highs and lows through that relatively short space of time.
More than anything, I have enjoyed seeing my colleagues and friends again. It’s nice being back in an adult environment and enjoying a bit of sarcastic banter rather than being hit on the head with a plastic cup for a few hours. Whilst some faces have changed, a majority of the people I knew best are still there and it was as easy chatting to them on my first day back as it was the day I finished for my Maternity Leave. One of the most important things for me at work is having great people to work with and I’ve always been lucky with that.
But when at work one must also do work. The role I’ve been given is great and I have no complaints. But, as I predicted, I’m already finding it hard knowing that what I can take on it constrained by the amount of time and the flexibility I have. Things happen on Mondays or Fridays which I often can’t get rescheduled. Some pieces of work require more time than I can give them. This was something I struggled with this week because there are loads of things going on which I want to get involved in, but don’t have enough time. Of course, given some time I might be able to get involved in some longer running pieces of work, but listening to some discussions going on around me earlier this week I just felt a bit envious I wasn’t a part of them.
Then there are the logistics of juggling work, commuting and motherhood. The first couple of weeks, everything ran smoothly with Sam dropping H off and me picking her up. Then on Tuesday this week there were train issues – as in I was sat on a train at Kings Cross to go home when they cancelled it and closed THE ENTIRE LINE. After issues with the barrier swallowing my ticket, not being able to get through to Sam, a run across to St Pancras to get the train to St Albans, my phone crashing and taking OVER 30 MINUTES to reboot, I ended up getting in a taxi from St Albans station back to Welwyn GC. I had a headache, was stressed beyond belief and worried in case Sam hadn’t got my messages. Ultimately he had and was on his way to the nursery. In the end I got there first anyway! I handled the inevitable train issues worse than even I expected I would.
The way we settled H in to nursery also helped me adapt to being away from her for the day. I see her for 5 minutes in the morning for a quick wake-up cuddle and then I try to get home to spend an hour with her before she goes to bed. Being a little late in the evening is irritating but I can cope. The thought of not seeing her at all though is something that I really can’t entertain. I’ve never missed her bedtime, ever, at all, since she was born. Sure I will at some point but I don’t want it to be due to train delays or meetings which, quite frankly, could wait.
On my non-working days I enjoy my time with H. It reminds me why I changed to do my job part time. But I need to have goals and a focus; That’s something I need to figure out and decide where I want to go. But I also need to remind myself that it might take a little more time than I’ve given it!