Make Like A Swan

Life keeps on keeping on, doesn’t it? When it starts getting easy, we humans generally just go and make it hard again. Guess that’s what keeps us living, as opposed to just being meaty breathing machines.

I’ve finished my first week as a working mumma. It was HAA-AAARD (she whines, to a world of, “Well – duh‘s” …)

It’s only a week in and working has already changed the dynamic between Mr Bun and I. There’s definitely more tension: we’re both tired and working hard and it’s difficult not to be short with each other. But we also have so much more to talk about, the relationship feels richer again. We’re even more of a team now, playing the juggling game together.

And then there’s my baby. My love, my daughter. Oh, my darling. I crave her throughout the day. I do my grownup thing, and wear heels and makeup and joke and berate and negotiate and email and present and through it all, my heart sings for my little girl. I am missing the little moments throughout the day, the pure intimacy of spending every moment together – drinking in my girl. Now I am realising just how fast she is growing, because I am catching up, instead of being there when it happens.

But leaving Little Bun has been easier than I expected, mostly because she’s used to those caring for her, so departures haven’t been too traumatic. I think this may change as she starts to become used to the new routine.

Leaving work at 5.30 on the dot? Much, much harder than I expected. Me and my jobshare twin have landed in a typhoon of big projects with short timelines and little support team. I am working full bore, head down, arse up, no-time-for-a-wee hard. Sprinting until 5.30, then sprinting home, then sprinting through bath-bottle-bed-dishes-laundry-dinner-more work-emails-teeth-face-bed-START AGAIN.

Argh.

I am going to have to embrace working after LB goes down to bed, and for the time being, being on phone/email on my ‘off’ days and weekends. Just to get through this initial few months. Just to prove to the office and the bosses with wives at home that job sharing is a good thing, and Mums who leave at 5.30 can still kick arse. To prove to the other women in the office that it CAN be done. To prove to myself that I can do both.

This is it. This is the new reality. I’m going to have to make like a swan and keep smiling up top, while paddling like crazy down below.

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Working Girl

I’m going back to work. Soon. Really soon. Yeesh!

The Australian/British approach of a year-long maternity leave must mean my reticence seems silly to those of you who went back after six weeks. I am so impressed by you women! At six weeks post partum I could barely feed myself, let alone run a meeting.

But I’ve had a year to wear comfortable shoes and questionable hair. Now it’s time to put on my big girl pants and march back into the workforce.

I’m talking a big game here, but the truth is I’m only returning part time. A friend / colleague (frolleague?) of mine and I are entering into the brave world of Job Sharing. Which, in my industry, is about as common as leaving the office at 5.30pm. It’s safe to say we’re flying by the seat of our (big girl) pants.

Setting the logistics of my new role aside, of course what’s weighing heaviest on mind is Little Bun and how this will affect her.

We have a hideous child care shortage around these parts. I have had my name down at three centres since November 2011 (do the math) and I am still ‘six to twelve months’ away from getting a spot. As January turned into February and my polite stalking of these centres elicited no positive response at all, I knew I needed to find an alternative solution. And that was a nanny.

I never imagined we’d be the sort of people who’d have a nanny. I’m not sure who ‘those’ sort of people are, but I figured they sailed boats and wore a lot of white. But I guess they’re normal, like us, and have certain requirements in certain situations that mean a nanny is the go.

Hopefully this is a short to mid term solution until a spot becomes available. And while not the child care route we had planned, I suspect it will make for an easier transition back into the working world.

And me – work! Meetings! Conversations with multiple adults in which babies aren’t referenced at all! Shaking hands! Email at 11pm! Wearing heels! Sitting down for more than five minutes! Lunches out!

I don’t know if I’m ready. Oh BOY my heart is shuddering at the thought of leaving this beautiful baby bubble. I’m going to miss my girl every minute.

But hey, this is life, right? Bring it on.