Monday, 19 May 2014

Separation Anxiety

Well, after weeks of preparation, the day is almost upon us: tomorrow is the day that I go back to work. Not properly back to work, just two days this week. It's a scheme the government have put into place called 'Keep In Touch', where women on maternity leave are able to work (and get paid) for a set amount of KIT days during their maternity leave. The idea is that you don't end up feeling alienated during your leave and then struggling to slot back in, and from the employer's point of view it stops you from forgetting how to do your job.

I have incredibly mixed feelings about this. 

On one hand, I'm really looking forward to going back. I've always struggled when I'm out of work, and these past six months have been no different. Despite the fact that I'm still technically employed, I find being at home difficult. It's not that I've had nothing to do; with a small baby, an ongoing degree and some very important socialising to do, I've certainly managed to keep myself busy, but I feel weirdly idle anyway.

On the other hand, I'm absolutely dreading it. The longest I've left Blake with anyone else up to now has been the odd half an hour here or there; this is eight bloody hours. How the hell am I supposed to deal with the fact that I'm leaving my five month old baby for eight hours? I'm leaving him with my very capable sister, so I'm not actually worried for his safety, but I do worry that he'll miss me. Whenever my little Prince is upset, he automatically looks for me, and for the next two days I'm not going to be there. What if he hates me by the end of the second day?

There's also been so much preparation involved. By now you know that Blake is breastfed. If you don't, then shame on you, you have much background reading to do on this blog. Leaving a breastfed baby for a significant length of time is no simple task. For the past couple of weeks I have been little more than a dairy cow, pumping an ounce here or there to try and build up a supply in the freezer without stealing what the boy is using. The whole process is barbaric: I slot my nipple into a rubber plunger that basically plugs into the wall, and then it rhythmically sucks the milk out to a charming Hills Have Eyes whirring soundtrack. It's brutal and makes me sore. Added to that, my very clever boobies have, by now, managed to limit supply to exactly what Blake needs, and I've been stealing it to put into the freezer. As a result we've had some very frustrating evenings in which Blake has had to work his little butt off to get the few dregs at the bottom of my ducts. Mind you, a rather pleasing side effect is that he's using pretty much everything that he takes and his prolific poo output has slowed down considerably.

Just getting us both up and ready in the morning is going to be stressful enough. Blake is a lazy baby; he's been sleeping through for a month or so until five or six o clock, at which point he gets up, has a little breakfast and then gets back into bed with me, usually sleeping in until around nine. Tomorrow I will have to feed him and then put him back in his own cot (can't see that going well), only to wake him up at about half past seven to get him ready to leave the house. I foresee a complete meltdown, he's like a teenager when you wake him up. For my part, I'm going to have to stay up after the first feed to try and get everything organised.

With that in mind, I'm off to bed. I can't see me being able to sleep much, I'm far too excited/upset about adult company/my child hating me forever. Good night, constant reader, wish me luck. I expect I'll be in tears at my desk by nine thirty...

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