I’m on week three of life back at work and a blog title with my usual alliteration is currently out of reach for my poor, tired brain.
If I thought life as a stay at home mum had been hard work then I was completely unprepared for the reality of trying to juggle everything I used to do at home with working full time and still managing to enjoy a bit of fun with our little guy.
On maternity leave our day involved a sleep until at least 8am (keeping mummy awake all night means that at least E enjoyed a lie in!), breakfast and the post breakfast clean up, play, nap and as many chores as I could manage, play, lunch and the post lunch clean up, play, nap and more chores, play and then handover to dad so I could make tea and maybe squeeze in a few more chores. Often with at least one baby group or play date per day thrown in for good measure and some sanity saving adult company.
Life at work means we’re now up at 6.30am (and neither of us are pleased about that!), nappy changed, baby dressed, mum showered and dressed, baby fed, dog fed, reptiles fed, mum fed (still last on the list!), lunch packed, bags packed and out the house by 8.15am. Then work until 5pm, pick up baby, get home, play, make tea, play some more, bath and bed for baby and approximately two hours to myself (assuming baby stays in bed!) during which I should really be doing some chores but – if I’m being honest – I am actually spending collapsed in a heap on the sofa.
It doesn’t help that Ethan throws in his own curve ball each day to add a new challenge. Some days it’s the old favourite ‘put me down and I’ll scream’ trick. Which is fine on maternity leave but a little more difficult when trying to get dressed for work or straighten my hair with a baby on one hip. Sometimes he has a try with the ‘keep you awake all night and see if you can still face work’ game. Other days it’s the more complex emotional manipulation (more screaming) when handing him over at nursery that means I have to sit in the car park outside for 10 minutes to make sure I’m not going to cry myself – but also to see that as soon as I’m out of sight he’ll play quite happily. (Little $^£%!) And then there’s the odd day where he just decides that he’s exhausted all other shenanigans and surrendering to illness is the answer to keep mummy at home.
Yup, adjusting to life back in the real world is taking its toll. And not just on my poor tired body. My mind is struggling to readjust.
On maternity leave it was perfectly acceptable to go to a baby group or meet a baby momma and talk about the lack of sleep, baby’s toilet activity or coo over their latest new skill. Back in the real world people look at you funny when you talk about your baby’s green, snotty eyes (conjunctivitis) and, weirdly, don’t want to hear about that time your husband wiped poo on his face mid-nappy change. I completely respect their lack of interest. But, verbal diarrhoea is now also a genuine concern. After a year of it being a novelty to talk to someone (that isn’t a dog or a baby and who can actually reply) once I find somebody willing to chat I can’t stop myself sharing my life story. Oh, and I have no filter. I said “big fingers” out loud on a serious phone call last week. Just because I read it in a message (NB: the message was about E) and I was trying to reply to the person on the other end of the line. So, I may as well add, can no longer multitask to the ever growing list of fails….
I have essentially forgotten how to interact with normal people to a level where it could be considered cringeworthy, if I had the energy to feel embarrassment.
So my apologies if you plan on visiting my house in the next few weeks (it is and will remain a shit tip), or if you want any sense out of me outside of the hours I have the energy and inclination to ensure my brain is functioning (9am to 5pm) and an even bigger apology if I act like I’ve never met humans before when we speak. I’ll wrap my head around this thing you call normal conversation before you know it…