Friday 17 January 2014

Back to Work

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.

After eleven months of maternity leave, last weekend saw me return to work part time, something I had been both looking forward to and dreading in equal measure.

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.  

I rarely leave Dylan either, and whilst he is a relaxed and independent little boy, I am used to having him here with me, my little sidekick, every day.  The idea of leaving both my beautiful boys for a whole day at work, and then for 2 shifts every week following, was a little daunting, and I worried about how they, and I, would cope.

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.

Photos by the lovely Sharina from Ask Sharina Kent

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!

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?

Disclaimer:  This post does contain a sponsored link 
but I put as much time and effort into it as any other post.


  1. I returned to work at 7 months, for 3 days a week, and it was probably a bit early. I completely agree that it is nice to have some 'not just being mum' hours, even though being Mum is awfully important. Great post :-)

  2. Gosh that seems to have flown by! Good luck, hope it all goes well xx I decided to become a SAHM and haven't looked back, although I do sometimes miss having another purpose I suppose, grass is always occasionally greener etc etc x

  3. The time has gone so quickly! Doesn;t seem five mins since we were at an event and you were pregnant! x

  4. The time does go scarily quickly! Hope your return to work continues to go smoothly x

  5. Oh the time does fly by when we are having fun with our little ones. It's important to have balance though between your own time and your family time so never feel guilty about leaving them. It just makes it that much more special when you return to them and you can count every precious moment then. Lovely post.

  6. Oh, I like the photos. It is so true, time can go by so fast. Every moment wants to be cherished. I totally understand your wish to be able to go back to work. Work can be so much fun when we do what we love.

  7. These photos are gorgeous Becky. Archie sounds just like J! He is such a mummy's boy and wants me in sight at all times, in fact he's worse when I'm in sight as he wants me to pick him up or feed him. When he can't see me he plays happily! It sounds like you have the perfect amount of work to enjoy it without feeling like it's too much x

  8. I hope you enjoy it and have a good work life balance :)

  9. Gorgeous photos. I have only just seen this post. It's so hard leaving them but I know that when I went back to work I found that I enjoyed having that little bit of time to just be me! x


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