This past week I have been seriously lacking motivation with blogging. I write my posts when I go to bed as I don’t like spending the day on my iPad when it is just Lucas and I. When it has come to bed time, I’ve been too tired or just couldn’t be bothered going on my iPad so I’ve gone straight to sleep.
I think my lack of motivation has been down to deciding on what is best with work and childcare for us, whether to continue breastfeeding and how/when to transition from co-sleeping to cot. It really has been a week of me questioning myself and not knowing what to do for the best. Being due back to work on the 17th March that was obviously the priority to sort out.
I remember being in the queue at Aldi when I was 5 months pregnant, googling nurseries in our area. I wanted Lucas more than anything and I was really looking forward to him being in our life but I was determined that I would return to work full time so I could apply for the next available promotion. In my head I was going to be off work for 9 months then return. That changed when the little fella entered my life. Neither D or I liked the idea of him going off to the childminders 5 days a week before he was 1 so I extended my maternity leave to take the 3 months unpaid before using my annual leave which took me to the 17th March and Lucas being 13 months old.
I went into work about a month ago to say hi and have a catch up and I was told about the new shifts I would be expected to work. When I left on maternity, I was working 9-4 Monday to Friday with the occasional weekend. Now I would be expected to work evenings and every other full weekend. Being in care work, I’ve always done this, I’ve always enjoyed the shifts rather than the monotonous same routine day in, day out but working every other weekend now didn’t feel right. That is our family time, when all 3 of us can do something together, when I get to spend quality time with D. As for evenings now, I can’t imagine not putting Lucas to bed, for a start I still feed him to sleep but more than that, I want to be the one bathing him and lying with him until he drifts off.
I applied for a new job as a jewellery creator, a complete career change but one that excites me and has many other aspects to the job that I can’t wait to get my teeth into such as organising sales events in local play centres and shops. What made it an even better proposition is the hours, I won’t be rushing around in the morning to drop Lucas off and get to work for 8.15 and I will be able to pick him up before tea time. When I was accepted for the role (woohoo!) I was offered 2 days a week and considered working the other 3 days at my current workplace.
After weighing up the pros and cons off all the options I decided that it would be best for me to hand my notice in at my current employer. I didn’t want to pass on this new opportunity and I didn’t want to be paying a fortune in childcare to miss giving Lucas tea or his bath. I want to be the one that captures him taking his first steps, I don’t want to be at work watching it on a video sent to my phone.
People have said how much better it will be for Lucas when he goes to the childminder…why? Why will it be better for our child to go somewhere else? I’m not keeping him stuck in the house with me, I interact with him, I take him swimming, we go to visit family and friends, we go to baby groups where he can play and interact with other children. In no way is he deprived and surely the best place for a child is with their parent?
Others comment on going back to work, saying there’s no point with the amount that will go on childcare. Of course there is a point, it gives me a sense of self worth and achievement other than bringing up a baby. It gives Lucas time without us, gaining independence in a safe place. It shows Lucas that we both go out to work to buy the things we want and go away on holidays, it brings him up with a good work ethic.
So at the end of all the umming and arring, it was decided that I would work 2 days a week at the jewellery place and stay on the bank register at my care work so I can pick up shifts when I want. I don’t want to fully leave it, you can’t help but form close attachments to people you support and there are certain people I have truly missed whilst being off so at least I can pick up shifts with those.
I think this plan gives me the best of both worlds, I still have my independence of work but get to spend these precious times with Lucas because as everyone has said, before I know it he will be at school and I’ll be wondering where my baby boy went.
D, if you are reading this (very unlikely that anyone has manged to read my whittering for this long) I love you and feel so very lucky to have you supporting me and thank you for putting me in a position where I can take the time off to spend with our beautiful boy x