I’m writing this post whilst sitting alone in a coffee shop, trying to console myself with a caramel slice and a cup of tea. It’s my second tear-stained visit in as many days. Why? I return to work next week and Baby J has been having trial sessions at nursery.
Maternity leave has come to an end. I’ve spent eleven glorious months with my baby, but now it’s time to go back to work. Thankfully I’m only going back part time, but the whole thing is a massive wrench for me. Like I’ve been sucker punched in the stomach. Over and over again.
My little girl, who I’ve spent nearly every waking minute with for the last eleven months, will be cared for by somebody else. She won’t be by my side. She’ll be with other people, other children, in unfamiliar surroundings. She’ll not know where or why I’ve gone, or when or if I’m coming back.
Right now, every inch of my body is willing me to get into my car, drive to the nursery, pick up my baby girl and run away with her. Far, far away (we’d pick up Daddy en route of course. And the cat. He can come too).
I know, however, that I have to stick it out.
Like yesterday’s settling in session, she’s only there for an hour and then I get to take her home. Next week will be a different story.
It’s such a massive thing to leave your child with a stranger. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve thoroughly checked out the nursery and had excellent recommendations from friends. The ladies who work there are great. We’re seriously impressed by how fantastic they’ve been throughout the whole process. They are so warm and friendly towards Baby J and do a lot to put our minds at ease. I know that she is in safe hands.
This doesn’t make it any easier when I kiss my little one goodbye and walk away. I count to three but by two she’s already crying as the realisation hits that I’m leaving without her.
People say it gets easier and that she’ll settle and start to enjoy nursery. Right now it feels awful for us both. I only hope it gets easier for her.