I'm not really a cliche user if I can avoid it, but I've got to say this last week definitely comes into the category of "Rollercoaster of Emotions".
Last Monday was my first day back at work after 10 months of maternity leave. For weeks I've been swinging between dreading it and looking forward to it (although, to be honest, dreading it was more common!). I wasn't scared of not remembering what to do (not sure I knew in the first place!) or feeling out of touch with my colleagues (as I've managed to keep up with them via pub lunches, facebook and the odd email here and there) but I was just so nervous about leaving Lily with anyone else. I realised that for her whole life the longest time we had spent apart was about 4 hours - what a scary thought.
We are very fortunate to have found a fantastic childminder and my equally fantastic mum has also offered to spend some time looking after Lily, but that didn't stop my (another cliche coming...) feeling of a heavy heart when Monday morning finally rolled round and the time actually came to part with her for the day. I think the thing that hurt the most was not being able to explain what was going on. She's a bright 9 month old, but not quite that bright yet! Although she'd met Michelle a few times before, she definitely looked a bit confused when I left :(
I found the best way to cope was just to keep busy at work and being the first day back there was plenty to do. The wheels of administration grind very slowly where I work (sorry, another cliche!) so there were plenty of phone calls to make and people to chat to. The day passed surprisingly quickly and I was really pleased to collect Lily in the evening and hear about what a good day she'd had. Although we only had a couple of hours together in the evening before bed, I found myself making the most of that time trying to find out how she felt about her first whole day away from me. I did feel a sense of relief that she still appeared to be talking to me!
The rest of the week passed off similarly and I could see Lily's confidence at being without me growing even in the space of a few short days. Part of me feels sad that she can manage without me, but of course it is better for her development to interact with others.
I think being away during the week makes you savour what time you do have together and make the most of the small moments that might otherwise pass off un-noticed. This weekend, for example, has been a busy one, but the most fun was had this afternoon A walk to the local shop for an ice cream:
Followed by Lily's first ever go on the swings in the local park:
Oh yeah and I had to have a go too:
Then back home for a splash in the paddling pool and a home grown strawberry as a snack! It's amazing how much fun you can have so close to home. Hopefully next week will be even better than last week ready for more fun and games next weekend!