So, I did it. We’re all surviving. It’s the end of week 2 and, overall, we’re actually feeling pretty good. I’m glad I left it until now to write this as last week’s efforts started off a whole lot less positively.
Last week I felt a bit like a fish out of water, except not completely out of water, more like a fish floating around on its side at the top of the tank occasionally getting enough energy to swim a little but mainly wishing for someone to throw a nip of whisky in the tank to revive it.
Going back to work was strange; there is no other way to describe it. Nothing had changed; the office was still the same, my desk was still waiting for me complete with framed wedding picture and signed Chris Paterson postcard, the people were all the same… yet something was amiss. My brain refused to catch up, refused to acknowledge the change, refused to be anywhere but with my babies. The first week was a funk that just got worse and worse (until we got pissed on Friday night. That helped a little).
I have to admit though, I think my return to work may have been a fair bit traumatic for me had H & C been going into childcare instead of going to Granny’s. We’re incredibly fortunate that both of our mum’s are able to take the girls while I’m at work. As I said to G the other morning after dropping them off, it’s still hard though. Granny’s are super enthusiastic and can’t wait to get the girls into their care and set off on their adventures for the day but a little part of me, a hugely irrational and ridiculous part of me, resents them for getting to spend the day with The Peas. Somewhere in my head it feels like they’re taking them from me. I said all of that with a smile on my face, I’m aware of how ridiculous it sounds. I’m also aware of how incredibly lucky we are.
Only about 3 weeks ago did we manage to get H & C into a routine which included an 8pm bedtime. After 6 months we finally had an evening again. And then I returned to work and our newly rediscovered evenings disappeared into a fog of checklists and chores. Bottles to clean, food to cook, bags to pack. When it’s all done and we’re ready for the next day there’s just about enough time for us to collapse into bed and, if we’ve got enough energy, watch an episode of The West Wing on LoveFilm (which I invariably miss the last 15 mins off having fallen asleep). I’m sure all of this will get better with time as we settle into the routine… but true to form I have difficulty allowing for that transition period, I want it to be settled now. Hey ho. That’s my madness to contend with. We do get dinner cooked for us 3 nights a week though, so that’s all kinds of awesome. And we come home to smiles like this;
As a Software Developer who hasn’t written a single line of code in 9 months I know it was unreasonable to think that I could return to work as if no time had passed at all, but that was clearly my subconscious expectation. I fight a lot with my subconscious and its unrealistic expectations for me, it seems to think I am without flaw and I’m yet to convince it that I’m not. My subconscious didn’t think I’d need any time to settle in, to get used to being away from H & C, to get back into the swing of staring at a computer screen 8 hours a day. My subconscious is a dick.
It’s the end of week 2 now though and things are looking up. I’ve got not 1 but 2 new projects to get my teeth into and I’m actually getting excited about it. I’ve gone back 3 days a week and that, for me, strikes the right balance. 3 days is enough time to get in the zone but a short enough time that I don’t feel like I’m spending too little time with The Peas. Not that they’ve noticed, getting spoiled at Granny’s is just faaaaaar too much fun.
It’s encouraging to know that I didn’t lose ALL my brain cells making babies, there are still a couple in there somewhere to knock together. For anyone out there about to embark on the same dreaded journey… it’ll be ok, I promise. I’ll be your personal cheerleader. If I can do it there’s hope for everyone.