And just like that, it’s time for me to dust off my loafers and get my commuting game face on because I’m going back to work!
When I left work this time last year, this moment felt a long way off but within the blink of an eye, Isla is off to nursery and I’m preparing myself to return to the big smoke. I am lucky enough to work somewhere I love and amongst people I call friends but I’m heartbroken not to be spending everyday with Isla and will miss her unbelievably. I have shed many tears in anticipation of this moment and only now that I can see how well she is doing at nursery, I am beginning to think that this can work.
I think it’s only natural to feel like a child is best cared for by their nearest and dearest but having watched Isla over the last few weeks, since she started nursery, I am beginning to think nursery is just as important.
When I was pregnant, people often asked if I would be returning to work and if so what would happen to Isla. ‘She’ll go to nursery’ just rolled off my tongue without much of a thought but now I’m actually doing it, it’s really not that easy. I had a list as long as my arm of nursery specifics and there was absolutely no way I was sending her somewhere short of perfect.
It was October last year when we started to search for a nursery and fortunately we were lucky enough to find one that met all of our expectations and more. We had a short wait to find out if Isla had been accepted and we were over the moon when we received the good news. Over the moon, crossed with, sick at the thought of someone else looking after her.
I know I’m not alone in worrying (and feeling jealous!) at the thought of someone else looking after my child. I’ve spoken to so many mums and it’s apparent that most of us share these feelings. Will I miss her first steps? Will they put her down to nap like I do? Will they feed her at the right time? Will she miss me? Will she remember me? Will they sing the numbers song?! Will they do row row row your boat 87263 times a day?! It’s bonkers, but it’s so real.
The first few times Isla went to nursery for her settling in sessions, I couldn’t bring myself to take her. I knew I wouldn’t be able to physically hand her over without turning into a blubbering mess so James took her instead. In the lead up to this point, I had lost hours of sleep nervously anticipating how she would react at being left with unfamiliar faces and if I’m honest, handing her over to be cared for by someone else was a chapter I wasnt yet ready for. It meant the end of this beautiful bubble I’ve been in for the last year, my baby growing up far too quickly and having to balance my home and work life once more. BORING.
Thankfully Isla has settled in really well at nursery which is an unbelievable godsend. We had a few tears in the early days but she has been going for a few weeks now and she seems right at home. This I have no doubt, is down to the nursery staff and how much effort they put into getting to know her and making nursery feel like a home from home. They stick to our routine providing her with consistency, whilst giving her lots of love and fun inbetween. They know how to comfort her and in a few short weeks they are already tuned in to when she is tired, hungry, bored etc. Over the last few weeks, I have watched Isla’s confidence grow, she is trying to spoon feed herself, standing steady on her feet and is now far more tolerable of faces she hasn’t seen before. Goodbye to the gut sinking days of crying at old friendly faces round Tesco’s. All in all, I’m really pleased with this nursery and I wish I could enroll myself – Everyone is cheery all the time and they have mid-morning and afternoon snacks (freshly prepared by the on-site chef!), what more could you want?!
I’m yet to return to work, (the 2 week countdown is on!) and only then will I really know how I feel about leaving her and being at least an hour away in the City. It’s daunting and I’d rather not do it but sadly I don’t have a choice. Each and every week I will be counting down to my last day in the office when leaving work will feel like leaving to go on holiday but actually it will just mean spending time with my daughter.
I have loved every second of my maternity leave but there have been points where I feel another focus may have been beneficial and I’m hoping work will give me that. I’ve been very open on here before and discussed my tendency to over worry about Isla and I’m hoping that work will help me to eradicate the ‘I’ve got too much time on my hands so I make up worries’ from the everyday normal ones. I’m sure I’m not the only one to do this and feel that way!
Our nursery sends us photos and updates for Isla throughout the day which will be so reassuring and lovely to have. I don’t think all nurseries do this but it was a must for us!
Here she is ready for one of her first sessions at nursery, so bloody cute if I don’t mind saying myself!
Lots of love