THE BLOG

Expectation V Reality. The First Week Back At Work After Baby

23/06/2017 11:50 BST | Updated 23/06/2017 11:50 BST

When you're pregnant people tell you that the love you will have for your child will be unconditional, but until you hold your baby in your arms you can't even imagine what it means to love unconditionally... until you hold that baby, you don't really know what love is.

When you bring your baby home from hospital you expect sleepless nights and sleep deprivation, but until you have a newborn, until you make it through those first few months, you have no idea what real tiredness feels like.

And when you're going back to work, know it will be hard to leave your precious baby and imagine the wrench of separation over and over, but until you actually do it, you have no idea of the feelings it will invoke.

When I imagined writing this post, last weekend, I thought about the words and phrases I might use, and I imagined it would go something like; 'the first day was awful but I have been surprised at quickly I have found my feet', I suppose I hoped it would go like that; but in reality that was never going to be the case.

The feeling of leaving my baby girl reminds me, somehow, of being heartbroken as a young woman. You know in your head, that in three months you'll be absolutely fine, back to your former self, but however much you tell yourself that it will be ok, you can't see how you will ever get through those long month stretching ahead of you.

This week has been a long, hard week. Tuesday, in particular, was torturous. A late working night meant not putting baby M to bed for the first time ever. An event I've been particularly dreading. BUT, I'm relieved to say that things have got marginally easier as the week has gone on. Perhaps not at the pace I had hoped, but I can honestly say that my emotions haven't been so close to the surface today. Baby M has still been in my every thought but the lump in my throat has felt smaller.

So I'm feeling pretty confident that my heartbroken teen analogy is accurate, and that maybe, just maybe, in three months time, I'll be ok. The initial rawness of leaving my girl has begun to subside leaving in its wake a heavy heart, that leads me believe i can do this. I won't miss my girl any less and I won't feel any less guilt when she cries 'mama' as I walk out the door. But I will get used to it and in a few months we'll have found our new normal.

And, at the risk of sounding a bit Bridget Jones, since returning to work on monday the following has happened:

Number of pieces of cake consumed = 1

Weight loss = 1.5lb

Pay days including some 'full pay' = 1

Bank account = healthier

Which I guess is why they say 'every cloud has a silver lining!'.

Have a happy weekend all xxx

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