It’s been seven blissful months of maternity leave, but the reality of soon returning to work is starting to creep in. My leave hasn’t exactly been a vacation to Ibiza, granted there have been some similarities – I have been up all night and topless for most of it – but in the beginning it was a pretty hard slog.
These days I’m starting to feel on top of it. My house is generally in order, my babies are fed and entertained. We do an appropriate amount of activities, the laundry gets turned over every few days and we even added a puppy to the family dynamic, but in the not too distant future my well balanced ship will face one hell of a rocking as I attempt to add an eight hour work day to the routine.
And honestly I’m a little scared. I’ve always been extremely driven to achieve in my career. I have lived in nearly every state, sacrificed my social life, worked a lifetime of unpaid overtime in order to succeed and I love my job. But I also love my life at home with my kids.
I love the sound of my toddler asking for porridge in the morning, and the baby giggling as she grabs handfuls of puppy fur. How my son gets so excited going somewhere and inevitably ends up falling asleep in the car. My daughter’s big yogurty grin as she tries to feed herself in the highchair and the sound of my little boy’s breath in my ear as he falls asleep with his arm around my neck.
How much of this will I miss when I go back to work? I won’t be there when she wakes up. I won’t have time for playgroup and morning trips to the park. Will I be too tired from work to listen for his sleepy breaths? I used to think stay at home mums must be lacking in ambition. But I realize now it’s a different ambition; one to raise good children and have a happy family life, because in the end that’s what’s most important.
I mean really… How many people give up their families when they win the lottery?