This is going to be the most honest post I’ve ever written. It’s not the post I had planned to put up today, but it’s how I’m currently feeling and if I don’t post it today, I won’t post it at all.
I started drafting this post a few weeks ago when I had just returned to work. Everything was going really well, we were getting back into a routine and I thought – I’ve got this.
Today this couldn’t be further from the truth. Yesterday I had an utterly shit day. I *almost* cried about 5 times from the sheer exhaustion I’m feeling.
I returned to work full time 6 weeks ago. I work 9-5, 5 days a week plus 3 hours travelling time (once you’ve factored in walking to and from the station). I’m out of the house for 11 hours a day and I knew it would be hard. I tried to prepare myself, but much like parenthood, nothing can prepare you.
I try not to use this blog as an outlet for negative posts, but I think this is a post many mums can relate to. I imagine most working mums go through this at some point. Up until today I thought I had a handle on it. Yes I was tired, I missed Alfie, I missed our daily walks, our baby groups, our mummy friends. I hate how messy our house has become because I don’t get enough time to clean, I hate the not having much of an evening once I’ve eaten dinner and Alfie has finally gone to bed. But I was coping. I was doing ok.
Then something happened. I’m blaming teething, because doesn’t everyone! But in all honesty I don’t really know what it is. Alfie has been going to bed as soon as he gets in from nursery at 5.30 but then waking up around 8 and not going back down until 10 or 11 o’clock. He then wakes up numerous times, or once but for 2 or 3 hours at a time. Out of my husband and I, I do 99.9% of the night shift.
Right now I’m so exhausted I feel like I’m drowning. Having 4 or 5 hours of broken sleep, then heading to work for an 11 hour day is tough. Doing this 5 times a week is killing me. Slowly and surely.
But I tell myself that it will get better. Alfie will start to sleep through again, the teething (or whatever it is) will pass and we will get back to a normal bedtime and a baby who sleeps. As he has only been sleeping through since his first birthday, I’ve only had about 4 weeks of a full nights sleep, so I don’t miss it too much (that’s a lie, I do really miss it!) I honestly think this stage is harder than a newborn, but we will get through it.
I have no option but to work full time, I can’t change my hours and I have come to terms with the fact my husband won’t get up in the night as much as me and I have to do it mostly on my own. There is nothing I can do to make this better other than catch up on my sleep when I can. So I just have to carry on and find some inner strength.
I worry about making mistakes at work because I’m so tired and getting fired because of it. I know this wouldn’t happen, but it does worry me. My attention span is shocking and I get distracted by the smallest thing as my mind can’t focus. It’s tough. Really tough.
But I’ll get through it. I have to.
I have 4 days off work next week and Alfie is going to nursery for one of those days so my husband and I will get one day to relax child-free. I probably should feel guilty about that, but I don’t. It’s only one day, and one day is all I need to get some me time – some couple time, a day to just casually see a film and have some lunch just the two of us. Then we have the rest of the week to have fun with Alfie. Most of all I can forget about work for the week.
So I just want to say – well done to all those working mums. Whether you work full time or part time, it is difficult. This is not a dig at stay at home mums as I know your job is just as hard. But working mums also deserve the recognition that they do a fantastic job.
I really don’t want this to be a negative post, or to scare any mums who are about to return to work. I have had a great time being back at work up until these last few days. But this is how I’m feeling right now and it’s horrible.
I’ve become disinterested in the blog as a result – things are not happening on the blog like I’d like them to. I feel like no-one is reading, I don’t have a “blogger tribe” like many other bloggers do and I’m wondering if it’s all worth it. I am spending my precious free time writing, but it feels worthless if no-one is reading or taking any interest. Maybe this mini-meltdown is a sign I’m not meant to be a blogger, and I have enough on my plate as it is. Maybe I’m just feeling down and I’ll get back to enjoying the blog again soon. Who knows.
Sometimes being a working mum sucks. But I have to remember why I’m doing it – to build a better future for my son. And that makes all the late nights, early mornings and tough times in between totally worth it.
Have you returned to work recently? How do you feel about it?
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