It feels like summer has drawn to a close. The ominous grey rain clouds reflect my emotional state and signal my return to work after maternity leave. I’ve tried to value every minute of my last few days with Baby G. Taking the time to play with him and cramming in the extra cuddles and kisses. But at the same time, I’ve had a sense of mounting anxiety that I am no longer fit for purpose.
Before Gubbins came along, I poured much of my energy and enthusiasm into my job. I loved what I did and worked more hours than necessary. When I wasn’t at work, I was thinking about it. Fortunately my partner is understanding and massively supportive. But with a baby comes change. Not just the physical limitations imposed by nursery drop offs and pick ups, but the mental limitations resulting from relentless sleep deprivation. I fear the impact that these changes will have on my ability to do a good job. And this is the self-doubt that has been creeping into my heart in the past few weeks. Overshadowing the last of the sunny moments with my son.
And now I have been back at work for 2 days. I feel exhausted, energised, excited, guilty: a flurry of contradictory emotions running through my mind at any one time. I miss Baby G each day and I feel so excited when I leave at 4 (!!) to pick him up. I feel terribly guilty that he is unsettled and uncertain about this change in his life. His sleep has regressed and we are barely coping with the broken nights and the early starts. But when I get into work, I feel energised by the opportunity to connect with old colleagues and get my slow, creaky brain back into gear.
I guess I need to get used to this conflict of being. I have a suspicion that it is just another part of being a mum.