My beautiful baby girl is 5 months old and I’m starting to plan going back to work. My plan was to go back in September for 3 days a week then go back full time from January. This was to enable a gradual introduction to nursery and childminders and to get us used to the separation. At a meeting last week though my work told me that they couldn’t accommodate my request for part time and that if I go back in September it would have to be full time.
When I was pregnant I didn’t think that it would be a problem for me to go back full time when she was so little. And in truth my first thoughts when they broke the news to me were about childcare logistics and cost. The next day we were at the baby sing and sign group that we go to each week and I had a sudden realisation during the Hokey Cokey that when I go back to work full time I wouldn’t be able to take her to these kind of things anymore. I actually started to well up, which seems a ridiculous thing to do whilst singing the Hokey Cokey! But I can’t bear the thought of not taking her to these groups each week. I hate the idea that her first step might be taken at the childminders or her first word spoken at nursery.
I know that every working mother must go through this and that I am not alone in feeling this way. It just doesn’t make sense to me. Why go through everything we’ve been through, the miscarriages, the infertility, if 9 months after giving birth we hand her over to someone else for the majority of the time? By going back full time it feels like I don’t deserve to have our baby.
I know that we will both get used to it over time, but it will break my heart to leave her that first time… And probably the second and third!