Returning to work....

I've been dreading writing this post but I knew it'd come round eventually....

In less than three weeks time I'll be starting back at work again. 

I'll no longer be having lazy mornings with my girl, I'll not get to enjoy messy lunches with her,  I'll enviably miss out on some of her firsts and I'll have to somehow manage to make myself look presentable and be at work for 9am. 

Aria will be going to the childminders three days a week, I'll be working a four day week and Johno will be having one of his days off during the week to take care of her.
I've been reminding myself for months that life was never going to be like it has been for the last year forever. We aren't in the financial position for me to be a stay at home mum and, it looks bad writing it but I don't want to be one. I want to continue with my career, I want to have a regular decent salary coming in each month and I want to claim back part of my identity I've not even thought about for twelve months.

The days, to begin with, will be long and pull on my emotions but I know it'll quickly become our norm, I know that Aria will, to begin with, struggle not having me there with her but I know she'll quickly learn that I'll be back to collect her at the end of the day. 
We made the decision before she was even born that we wanted to send her to a childminders; my mum was a childminder for years when we were kids and I saw how much fun it was for the children to be in a home setting with familiar faces so it only felt natural to decide against a nursery. Of course nurseries work for other families but we knew we wanted something different for our little one.

I met our childminder, Hannah, on Mush just after I had Aria; she'd also just had a baby and originally was planning to return to her job as a teacher this September. But, thankfully, she made a life changing decision to hand in her notice and start up as a childminder- how perfect for us ehh! 

Of course, leaving my baby in someone else's hands is a nerve wracking thought but I know how capable, creative, adventurous, loving and natural Hannah is with all the kids she looks after. I really couldn't ask for a better set up.

My biggest worries about not being with Aria each day are in reality minuscule things that I'll quickly forget about; for example, how will she nap if i'm not there to breastfeed her? How will she sleep if she's not in her cot? How will she cope on the days when her teeth are causing her pain? Will she eat enough lunch when there are other kiddies around distracting her?

I've come to realise I love routine when it comes to taking care of Aria so handing all of that over to someone else three days a week does scare me but I know Hannah will work her magic with Aria and hopefully get into their own routine pretty quickly.. one that I'll probably be envious of to be honest. 

Other mum's keep telling me that their kid slept better during the day when at the childminders- the little ones just know they need to adapt and just get on with it. Aria knows me inside out and knows how to get me to do just what she wants/needs so she quite rightly uses that to her advantage but with Hannah it'll be so different - maybe she'll actually nap in a pram for once!!
I'm still mulling over a few of the practical things and trying to come up with solutions, because, if you know me personally you'll know that I focus on the details way to much in advance, like-

Will I be able to continue making us lovely evening meals when I'm collecting Aria at around 5pm?

When the heck will we do our weekly shop? 

When will I fit in time to do the cleaning round the house?

Will I end up filling my day off in the week with chores?

Who's going to take time off if Aria is ill?

As well as the practical things I also keep going over the more emotional things such as:

Will Aria think I've abandoned her on her first day at Hannah's? 

Will she prefer spending her days with Hannah as they do more exciting stuff?

How will I feel if I miss her first steps?

Of course I kind of know the answers to these questions already and I know I'm silly to even think these things but I'm sure many mums out there who've returned to work already know where I'm coming from.. when its to do with your kid you literally think about every possible scenario and worry about not being involved in the outcome.

My parents used to say to me when I was a teen "Holly, regardless of how old you are you'll always be our kid and we will worry about you even if you don't want us to"..... I now know exactly what they meant; moving into the world of parenthood opens up a lifetime of worry!!!

But, even though I've got my worries and of course I'll shed tears I know that Aria will be fine.. she's a resilient little thing and I've been so lucky to be able to spend the first year of her life at home getting to know her and helping her grow into a funny, beautiful, clever girl. She's my greatest achievement and together as a family we will learn to adapt to our new normal!

As well as being a super mum, childminder and a great friend of mine Hannah also has stepped into the world of blogging and Instagram; you can check out her blog here and also follow her on Instagram here. No doubt little Aria will become a regular in Hannah's photos so keep an eye out for that beautiful kid!

If you've recently gone back to work after maternity leave I'd love to know how you felt; did you quickly find a routine? How do you manage a household at the same time? 

Basically, give me your life tips please!!!!



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