Returning to work
I CAN feel that day creeping closer. The day I’ll put on heels and foundation and leave the confines of my home and drive to the office.
It’s like I’m 18 again and starting out. Starting over.
That’s how it must have felt for countless mummas who went back to work this month.
When I knew I was pregnant the first time, I high-fived my uterus and exclaimed ‘mission accomplished’. I had an excuse to leave the office politics behind.
And though I’ve since returned to work (first time after six months leave, second time round I returned after 12 months leave), I work from my home office, pounding away on the keyboard, sweating in front of the pedestal fan, stopping regularly to prepare a Vegemite sandwich and pull playdough out of someone’s hair.
But with one child in school and the other starting the day care journey, I see my days stretching out, silently, in front of me. Years of unnoticed toil in the one place.
It gets quite lonely, sitting here singing along to the radio and wishing my three-year old were here to accompany me (she has a lovely singing voice).
So, I can see that day of returning to the office getting closer and closer.
How did the time pass so quickly when, not so long ago, it felt like I had forever?
When you first have a baby (and so many of my friends are currently on this blissful journey) you spend your days Being Mum: adoring and marveling at the bundle you created, cleaning, feeding, coo-ing and uploading photos to Facebook.
We spend hours, days, weeks, months syncing our lives to theirs, safe in the knowledge that we are their everything, happy in the new-ness of it all.
But it ends so abruptly.
Of course, you’ll always be Mum. But not in the all-consuming, time-sucking way it was when children were small and helpless.
Forget the return to stockings and heels, it’s daunting enough just to admit time marches on and that time you spent on the carpet with your baby was finite.
Thank heavens for memories, for having the foresight to capture all those quiet, baby-powder-smelling days for a day when you’re back in an office and those baby bundles are running laps on the school oval.
Peta-Jo is a mummy blogger and author. She’s listening to Skinny Love as she types which is why she’s feeling so maudlin. She apologises. Visit petajo.com for more silly heart-felt posts.