Life as a mum and worker is hard and tiring. Nicole is back working 4 days a week and had to put her daughter in childcare when she returned to work. Read below about the emotions she felt and how she handled the months off work after she gave birth and when it came to returning to work:
My name is Nicole Catt. I am 41 years old and a first time Mum to my 7.5 month old baby girl – Miss Charli Jade.
After a “surprise” pregnancy, I had a dream run all through the 9 months. No sickness, no weight gain, stretch marks or problems. Labour is labour and unpleasant and the next 8 weeks recovering certainly had its ups and downs. Many downs.
I went on leave from work in September and the following April seemed so far away.
After Charli’s arrival on the 17/9/15, I spent the next few months catching up with friends, shopping, house work, boredom, confusion and every other emotion you can imagine.
I was lucky enough to make friends from our Pre Natal class and spent time catching up with those girls and watching the babies play.
Next thing I knew, it was the end of March. Almost time to – 1. Put my baby girl in daycare and 2. Return to the everyday grind of work
I was beside myself. I spent so much of my days in tears of what would happen. I wanted to enjoy my final days with my daughter but I found it so hard.
Would Charli forget me? How can I work full time and juggle a baby? How tired will I get? What if I need time off work? How can I deal with missing her so much?
I found a daycare centre that is located half way between home and work. An easy round trip that wouldn’t require too much driving out of the way. They had vacancies and seemed really nice.
One thing you will learn is, your thought – nowhere is good enough or the same as being at home with me. Of course you will think that, it’s your child, your small baby.
But like many families in these times, financially I had to go back and help support my family.
D day arrived. My husband and family and friends were so supportive. So many messages on Facebook from other mums and people letting me know that it will be okay.
I dropped Charli off. She really didn’t react or seem bothered, starting smiling and playing with the Teachers.
I got back in the car and cried. Took some deep breathes and off I went. I only called once that day to see if she was okay. I had to trust them and the decision I had made.
I returned at about 2pm, Charli didn’t seem bothered I was there or I hadn’t been there. I won’t lie, I felt sad. I thought great “she has forgotten me”. She hadn’t, she was 6.5 months old. She just acted like a kid.
I am very lucky as my work have allowed me to return 4 days a week for the first few months. My Mum is looking after Charli 2 days a week, so daycare is only 2 days a week at this time.
My first work day! Honestly, as soon as I walked in, I felt alive. I felt like Nicole. The girl who has worked for 21 years. I loved laughing with my work friends, sharing lunch together, being with so many familiar faces.
I thought I would feel like I was letting down my family by not being there, but I actually feel the opposite. I feel like I am contributing and earning money again, which does feel good.
I’m excited each afternoon to see Charli, hear about the fun things she did all day. She sleeps like a log after daycare too.
It is hard work trying to fit everything into a day. The one thing a good friend told me years ago was “if you have kids, you have to organised”. I never forgot that.
I consider myself to be well organised and I use lots of checklist to keep on top of what I need to do but also things I need to remember to make sure I remain a good wife and a good friend. These are so important to me and to being a good mum.
For me,it’s been about a month, things are going okay. I don’t call the daycare and I only text mum a few times and she sends me photos to my phone. Like I said, I have to trust myself and ensure that they feel like I trust them.
My initial feelings were that I was doing the wrong thing but I know now that MY decision was a good one. Charli is making excellent progress. So far, so good.
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