Working Mum

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It’s hard to believe time is ticking down to the end of my maternity leave. At the end of November I’ll be back to work full time, and until then I’m working 1-2 days a week as ‘keep in touch’ days.

And so we’ve had to address the issue that all working parents face – who is going to care for our beloved little ones whilst we’re at work?

Whilst we’ve used nurseries in the past we’re lucky enough to have an awesome childminder for G, and I knew all along I wanted C to go to her when I went back to work. So over the past few weeks we’ve reached another milestone in C’s development – her first days with the childminder!

The picture shows the result of one of her first settling in sessions – her very first artwork and a baby fast asleep when I went to collect her, so despite her tears and protestations at me leaving she can’t have had too bad a time!

And of course there were tears, but to be fair at the moment we get ‘are you leaving me forever?’ tears if I go to the toilet or just close the car door so I can walk round to the drivers side.

There’s a big part of me that’s looking forward to going back to work, and my keep in touch days so far have reassured me that I do still have a brain, albeit one which hasn’t stretched its legs for a while. But at the same time I’m nervous of many aspects of it, not least the practicality of being a full time working mum and physically fitting everything into the week, particularly as C currently isn’t sleeping through at night.

I guess I also had the idea that by having a year off on maternity leave, I would have seen lots of the ‘first’ milestones before going back to work. Yet C is still not crawling, let alone walking (lazybones!), has no discernible words, hasn’t yet learnt to clap or point, and decided to use two of her settling in sessions to learn to wave and stand up (aided of course).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in the slightest bit concerned about her development, I guess she just still feels like a little baby to me. I’ll miss seeing those little developments when I’m working full time, when five days out of the week disappear in a blur of getting everyone up, dressed, out; and home, bathed and to bed.

But needs must, and I’m secure in my decision to go back to work full time being the best decision for our family. And I know both G and C will thrive and be happy with their childminder, as well as being glad they can play together before and after school.

And the one thing that will definitely be happy about me going back to work will be our bank balance, that’s for sure.

I’d love to hear how others have managed the return to work, especially any hints and tips on how to make the transition easier and to keep the week running smoothly!

In Her Own Room (And On A Mission For Some Sleep)

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We were more than a little spoilt when G was a baby, as she slept through happily by just a few months old, and continues to be a great sleeper today.

C on the other hand taunted us for a week when she was tiny, sleeping from 11-6 a few nights on the trot, and leading us to cheer “we’ve got another sleeper!”. Since then, you guessed it, our mild smugness has been repaid by frequent, sometimes even hourly wake ups, which is starting to take its toll.

So last night was a night of firsts. A somewhat apt Easter new beginning, if you will. It was rather a lot to change for C in one go, but after a week of holidaying (which I’ll write more about later this week) a routine of sorts was very welcome.

– First time making sure she got two proper naps during the day (even if she didn’t really want to).

– First time in her own room for bed (albeit with me camped out on the sofa bed next to her).

– First time giving her a 11pm ‘dream feed’ to help get an extra stretch of sleep (although she didn’t so much dream her way through it as wake up and decide it was morning already).

– First time in a sleeping bag to stop her kicking her covers off (although a rather impressive bit of nappy leakage means it’s going straight in the wash this morning).

– And first time… Well not really first time really, as we didn’t achieve the magical ‘sleeping through’.

But you know what, I don’t mind that. C woke up at 330 and 6, and went back to sleep easily after a feed. She then gave me a dozy lie in until 9 this morning, whilst G played downstairs with Daddy.

And I got to wake up to this little face cooing next to me.

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Something tells me tomorrow will be a bit of a shock to the system, when we have to be up and ready for work / school / appointments. But as long as we get more cooing than crying I think we can manage that.

Nesting: Crafter Style

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They say that before you give birth women experience an insatiable urge to nest – cleaning, tidying, sorting ready for baby to arrive.

Having a deep rooted hatred of cleaning I didn’t believe a word of this until, 40 weeks pregnant with my first child, I found myself on my hands and knees scrubbing the tiles in the communal hallway of our apartment block at the time.

I mean honestly, it wasn’t even mine to clean! And it’s not as if baby was going to be crawling around on it.

This time round my natural urge to avoid cleaning like the plague seems to have stayed on top, helped no doubt by an edict from the physio to avoid hoovering to prevent me further hurting my poorly hips.

Instead, traditional nesting has been overtaken by an insatiable desire to craft, and at ‘just’ 5 days overdue I’m well on the way to a mostly-me-made nursery.

Having wisely roped in the other half (and less wisely, the 4 year old) to help with painting, the ‘completed’ craft list so far includes:

– new curtains with blackout linings
– coordinating bunting to replace the old fashioned pelmet
– curtain tie backs
– cot bed rail covers
– decorative tissue pom poms for the wall

And today’s project, pictured above, a cot tidy to store all those night time baby essentials, with both pockets and an elasticated strip which, if I’ve measured correctly, should hold bottles, dummies, muslins etc.

It still needs some buttons to fasten to the cot with, and it’s a bit on the wonky side in places, but I like to think that’s all part of the charm. And to be honest, the bump kind of gets in the way of me leaning over the table to get everything lined up.

In fact, the low point of this morning was The Bump (capitals justified by its sheer size – if baby doesn’t rock up soon it’ll deserve it’s own postcode) knocking a full box of pins all over the floor. One occasion when a pregnant woman’s tendency to leave things dropped on the floor for someone else to pick up had to be ignored.

I’m still not finished though. Still to come – a cot skirt, cotbed sheets, cushion covers, storage baskets and my first ever crocheted pram blanket.

Question is, will they all be finished before baby shows up?