Oh I remember when I was pregnant and it was my last day at work before I started my maternity leave. I could not wait to begin the journey but also have a little break from the daily grind of the 9 to 5. ‘Time off work, WOOHOO’ I thought. Little did I know that Motherhood would be the hardest job of all.
I had originally planned to take 12 months off however as I’m sure a lot of you have experienced, Finances do not go as far as you would like on one wage. (Especially when there are so many cute baby clothes to buy!)
We decided that I would go back 2 days a week initially from when Rosie turned 7 months. Sooner than expected but I actually felt ready. I was excited for my mum brain to be gone and to get stuck back into it. I craved adult conversation. Mummy dates are so great and everything but I do find we talk about our bubs pretty much the whole time, which don’t get me wrong I LOVE but I also love a bit of a gossip. (Bachelor anyone?)
As the day grew closer for my first day back we put Rosie into her daycare for a trial day. Ease her into I thought. (Ease me into it more like) I was a little apprehensive but felt pretty good and confident in our choice of centre. I wasn’t emotional at all. I felt strong. I felt ready. I could do this. She would be fine. I would be fine.
I got into the lift up to the daycare and suddenly I felt a lump in my throat. My lip began to quiver. ‘I’m fine I told myself, it’s just a trial day, and I’ll be around the corner’. I could feel my eyes starting to fill. My stomach was doing flips as if I was on a rollercoaster. This feeling came from nowhere. It was so out of the blue. ‘DO NOT CRY’ I told myself. ‘DO NOT breakdown right now. DO NOT be that person’.
The centre was already filled with babies, some screaming, some happily playing (most with a lot of snot hanging out their noses, Eww). I felt this huge overwhelming wave come over me ‘Omg my maternity is over. My baby is growing, this is a HUGE step. Am I ready for this?’ Why hadn’t I thought of all this before, and mentally prepared myself? If I’m honest I think I had thought about it, but shoved it so far to the back of my brain as i didn’t WANT to think about how it would make me feel. Boy do I regret that!
The super lovely childcare staff came over (She could clearly see I was about to have a nervous breakdown) She made Rosie giggle and feel at ease with her by playing peekaboo. Rosie beamed up at her ‘AHH she is just so cute whhyyy am I leaving you’ I thought to myself.
I put her bag (Which had EVERYTHING you could imagine in it X 2) into her little locker. Took off her little coat and gave her the biggest cuddle. You could see the staff were so ready to take her and let me be on my way. But I was not ready! Just a little longer I thought. Rosie was eyeing up all the colourful toys and taking in the new surroundings. I was just taking in every inch of my little girl. I knew that as soon as I handed her to the staff I would need to evacuate this place ASAP as the tear train was rolling in at any moment.
I had a tiny moment of strength and said to myself ‘get a grip Danielle – you are ready. Rosie is ready’ and I handed her over, I waved goodbye and I left.
I managed to hold back the tears but it felt so strange leaving. ‘WHAT DO I DO NOW?’ As it was just a trial day and I didn’t start work til the following week I knew I needed to keep busy. Netflix binge? Shopping spree? The pub? ALL great possibilities.
I had forgotten how easy it was without a pram or heavy nappy bag. I started to get excited over the fact I could use escalators (Why is this exciting seriously?) Make a phone call in peace and enjoy a HOT coffee. I ended up going to the local Westfield and decided to get my hair cut. I sat there and talked all about little miss to the hairdresser the whole time. The poor lady probably wanted peace and quiet by the time she had finished. I wandered around aimlessly and I rang the daycare every hour to see how she was getting on. All positive feedback from them and she was settling in well. (Me on the other hand…not so much)
I could not wait to pick her up.
After the longest day ever I ran into that daycare, scanned the room for her (Would be pretty embarrassing if I picked up the wrong baby in my excitement!). I scooped her up into my arms and felt the biggest relief. We had both made it. We survived our first day of daycare.
The trial day certainly prepared me for going back to work and I found that after my first day back in the office, I was not obsessing over how she was doing every 5 minutes (Maybe every 10!) as I had work to do and knew she was in very capable hands and that they would contact me if there were any issues.
When the time comes for your little ones to go to daycare or nursery or even school it all of a sudden feels like your baby is no longer a baby. It makes you reminisce about them being so tiny and new to the world where you doted on them day and night. We all have individual circumstances, whether you work full or part time, are a stay at home parent or work from home. We all have to choose what is right for our families. Some decisions are easier than others and whatever stage you are at take comfort in knowing you are not alone. Somewhere there is another mum feeling just how you are.
The daycare days will get easier and it will soon be on to the next challenge but for now i look forward to watching Rosie grow as I grow and learn alongside her.