It’s happening. I am going back to work late September, and Dave will be exiting his work through compulsory redundancy at exactly the same time.
Lucky for us, he has been granted ‘Garden Leave’ which means he will be paid for a few months whilst he is off work, before his redundancy is paid out. This is of course great news.
Dave is very happy and excited about becoming a stay at home Daddy for a while, and I am really excited for him.
Not many Daddies get this type of opportunity and I am really proud of him and the way he’s dealt with the redundancy news, he is a man that does not like change!
I remember being heavily pregnant with Gabriel and finishing work to start Maternity Leave. It was a great time in my life, because as much as I do love my job, I loved being at home both pottering around waiting for Gabriel to arrive, and also being kept busy when both Babies have been born.
I remember that excitement, that amazing feeling of not having to go to work every day! Life’s pace slowed down and I found I looked at everything differently. I did however have a slightly different experience awaiting Willow’s birth due to suffering with severe SPD, but I won’t dwell on that too much! It was still a special time in our lives, and despite all the pain, it was a time to treasure.
I know Dave will do a great job of caring for the children. He’s a real hands-on Daddy and is far better at playing games or being creative with them than I am! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good dance and a sing-song, a spot of baking or painting, but I aren’t too keen on driving cars around the room for hours on end, if I’m totally honest.
But, I’ve learnt that that is okay.
Dave & I play to our strengths and we compliment each other with our parenting. We do not always agree, and sometimes we become very frustrated with each other, but we’ve had two years to create our ways and means of doing things. It doesn’t always go to plan- like when you find the remote control in the washing machine for example (today’s hilarity) but we do generally, have a good system!
In all seriousness, I do have worries though. Of course, I am scared that I will lose my bond with the Children as their main carer. I know I will always be their Mummy, and this is only for a few months, but it is still hard.
I am the one they run to when they are hurt, poorly or tired. I selfishly don’t want that to change, but I know realistically, it might.
I worry I will miss important milestones. I know it’s only a few months but I may miss Willow’s first steps or new words. I might miss Gabriel’s developments too, and I am scared this will upset me.
I am going to have to stop breastfeeding during the day, it just is not feasible to express at work. (although they are very accommodating!) This makes me really sad. I know I have done well, but I had planned to carry on for longer. But, I will continue to feed Willow in a morning and on a night hopefully.
I also have concerns about the cooking, cleaning and other household chores. I think it’s hard to expect Dave to just instinctively know what needs doing and when, but I also know that when it comes to it, I may become rather frustrated if things aren’t done just the way I like them!
The saving grace is that it is Dave that will take my place. We are not having to put both Children in Nursery, thus avoiding extortionate costs and strict timeliness schedules. That’s what we have achieved here, and that’s a great positive.
I will be able to leave for work, and return from work at times that suit me, and I know that is something I should be grateful for.
I will also be completing my post graduate qualification on my return, so as well as working flexi-time, I will also be entitled to one day a week study leave at home. I also have forty days annual leave, meaning I will only realistically only be at work 3-4 days a week, so we will get plenty of extra time as a Family, that is not just weekends.
Despite my reservations about the house work, and my relationship with the Children I am looking forward to it. I know many Women work, and I am not the only person to have mixed feelings about changes like this. But there is still
guilt. It’s self imposed, but it’s there.
I like to talk to adults, I like to use my brain and I like to be able to help others. I like my job and I like to make a difference.
Doing nothing is not for me, but working full time is not either. However I do think Families should just do what is best for them. I do not judge anyone,
I am just hoping for a happy medium for myself!
So for now, I shall savour the last couple of months of my Maternity Leave. My special time with the Children! We have lots planned and I intend to enjoy it.
I’ve had over two years off from work in the last few years. Now it’s Dave’s turn.
Follow our journey! Eek!!!!