11 months is a long time - Long enough to enjoy most of a baby's first year, first smiles, first laughs, learning to roll, to sit, to stand, to crawl. First tastes, first night in their own room, first Christmas. 11 months is long enough to find our way, establish a routine of playgroups, outings with friends and quiet afternoons building, and knocking down lego.
I haven't left Archie for more than a couple of hours in the day before and he won't take milk from a bottle or beaker. He is a mummy's boy, wanting me in his sight at all times, there to pick him up when he falls, feed him on demand and give those special cuddles that only a mother can give.
On the other hand, 11 months is a long time to have never spent more than a couple of hours alone, never switching off fully from the role of Mummy. 11 months of feeding my baby several times a day (and several times a night), carrying him in my arms or a sling and having constant companionship is both a privilege and a little tiring and I felt ready for some time away, time for me in an odd kind of way.
11 months was just the right amount of time for me, not too soon that I was upset about leaving my baby, and not too long that I was desperate to return. I felt ready, apprehensive but ready, and it went smoothly. Archie fed just before I left the house and managed to go the rest of the day with plenty of solids but no milk. Dylan enjoyed time with his Daddy, building walls and then pushing his trucks down the slide to crash into them. I came home to two sleeping babies, and only a little extra mess. It was a success.
I am really lucky that I can return to work for just 2 shifts a week. I will be doing around 10 hours per week which is the perfect balance for our family, giving me precious time away and a few extra pennies, and letting the boys have time with their Daddy and their Grandma, which they are going to love. For us, this is what works and I am looking forward to carving a new routine from it.
It was physically hard work being back at work, I am constantly on my feet with no comfy sofas to fall back on when I need to put my feet up and have a cup of tea and I came home with aching legs, ready for a long soak in the bath. The upside of this is that hopefully I will start to feel a bit fitter by the time summer comes and the oversized sweater is replaced with a strappy vest!
|Photos by the lovely Sharina from Ask Sharina Kent|
When did you return to work? Where you able to do it when you wanted to or was it based on financial or family needs?
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