It's hard to believe, but I've been back at work for three weeks now. It's even harder to believe that it hasn't been as bad as I'd feared!
Little Bear has taken to nursery better than I could ever have dared to hope for. True, she does a slightly pathetic, lip wobbling cry when I leave her and she wails with gusto when I pick her up (why? Why is she sadder when I collect her than she is when I leave?!), but she's settled and happy in between and the crying is getting less heart wrenching by the day (I haven't cried about leaving her in like 2 days now).
All my fears about her refusing to eat or sleep at nursery have proved unfounded too- in fact she eats stuff there that I can't persuade her to have at home, like porridge. She doesn't sleep quite as well at nursery and always comes home exhausted, but she manages at least one decent nap a day there.
The main issues with our new routine are practical - getting everyone up, dressed and out the door by 8am is proving a total nightmare. I start every week by declaring that I'm going to be super organised and then on Monday morning I'm running round screeching 'where's LB's dummy?! Why are all the trousers in the wash?! For god's sake wash the baby's face before someone calls the social!'
While nursery has been easier than expected, work has been harder. Not the actual job, it rather depressingly feels like I've never been away, but the whole working mum thing. I'm only doing 3 days a week which means I often miss staff meetings or bulletins that happen on my days off which means I'm often out of the loop with what's going on. Because I don't have a car during the week, I try to pick LB up at 4 so I can get her home by 5 and have some time with her before bed, but this means I have to work through my breaks and bring work home, which I rarely did before LB was born. Often I'm so shattered by the time I get home that I leave her to play on her own while I have a sit down. Obviously I then feel awful that I'm not using the few hours I do see her during the day to spend fulfilling quality time with her. It can sometimes feel like I'm doing a bit of a crap job at both parenting and teaching.
Speaking to other working parents though, it's clear I'm not alone and I'm very much hoping that over time I'll find a better balance.
How do you manage the morning routine and stay organised? How do you keep a decent work life balance? I'd really ove to know!