|My new boss: specialises in raspberries.|
But then before I knew it, it was Christmas, and D-day (that's decision day) was looming ever nearer.
The decision in question was whether to return to work at the end of my maternity leave. I was in the very lucky position of having the option of staying home with my baby, and this was what I'd presumed I'd do when I was first pregnant. However, in trying to come to a decision, I hadn't bargained on the feelings of guilt I'd have. Guilt that I wasn't returning to my classroom. Guilt that I wasn't returning to the children and my colleagues. Guilt that I was lucky enough to have the option of staying at home when many mums have no choice but to return to work. I almost felt embarrassed when people asked me what my plans were at the end of maternity leave. I began to feel that I should be returning to work, even though the thought of it felt so horrible to me. But after an embarrassingly tearful meeting with my boss, I knew that home was where I needed to be and what was right for us as a family. So as of today, April 16th, I'm officially a stay-at-home-mum.
After all the to-ing and fro-ing in my mind, I feel that I've made peace with my decision now. I'm SO happy that I'm going to be at home with her. I feel like I've now got the best job in the world. Yes, my new boss sometimes calls on me rather early in the morning, likes to pull my hair, and can be rather demanding. And yes, there may be times when I'm envious of people that can drink a cup of tea while it's still hot, eat lunch without a small person trying to steal it, and not have a baby attached to them, koala-style, all day. But my new boss has such a sweet face, and I could spend all day listening to her laugh as we waltz around the kitchen.
In writing this, I feel I need to make this point explicit: I do realise how utterly, utterly blessed I am. I try hard not to take any moment for granted. To savour everything, no matter how dull and day-to-day. I know there are so many mums that are desperate to stay at home with their little ones, but can't due to financial reasons or career issues. I have friends that resent their work for all the moments it takes them away from their child. Perhaps my guilt lingers on, but this is the choice that works best for our family.
Now I know I'm not returning to work in the near future, I do feel I need to do something with my brain. Something to get the old grey matter firing up once more. To give me something else to talk about to R and my pals, instead of feeling like I'm a baby bore. I'm getting itchy fingers. I'm not sure what shape this will take yet, but it's exciting to think that I could do something else.
So, stay-at-home mums, please share your tips & tricks! How do you make sure you stay sane day-to-day when you've mainly been conversing in baby babble? (Is the answer always wine?!) Did you find that all your mum-friends went back to work and you had to find a new 'gang'? (That's probably my biggest worry). Did you return to work once your babies had grown up a bit?