Thoughts on starting daycare and the end of maternity leave


I am sitting here writing this in the daycare foyer. We are on day four of orientation. Each day has ended in me collecting Archer in tears. It absolutely breaks my heart. On the third day of picking him up in this state I fought to hold back my own tears. The only thing that stopped me was knowing I had to show Archer that there was absolutely no need to be scared or sad, that this is a safe, fun place. It worked until we got to the car and once he was buckled in a few small tears ran down my cheek.

I am so grateful for the year that I had at home with Archer.  I can remember the first six weeks thinking to myself my god what have I done? I had such a good life and now I haven’t got out of my pyjamas in three days, the house looks like a small bomb has exploded and despite being in my pyjamas I have barely slept. I had a baby who refused to sleep anywhere but on me during the day and boobs that weren’t doing what they were meant too. Despite an abundance of love for this little boy my life felt like it had been turned upside down.

Luckily though I found that every week things got a little easier. I spoke to a sleep consultant who suggested Archer may be cold in the bassinet we added an extra blanket and like magic he would sleep in the bassinet. My mum was amazing and took time off work to help me, I moved to fully formula feeding, giving up the hour and a half cycle of breast feeding, formula top ups and then pumping and sleep started to return to our home. I also joined a wonderful mother’s group that filled my week with activities.

After this initial period I really began to enjoy this motherhood gig and being at home. As someone who never ever thought they could be a SAHM the idea suddenly became more and more appealing. I loved pottering around the house at nap times, playing with Archer in between and meeting up with other mums for the occasional (ok honestly LOTS) of coffee. Look I don’t want to make it seem like it was all sunshine, unicorns and rainbows there were hard times (teething especially and a few very frustrated weeks of learning to crawl) and some very long days where bedtime seemed a million light years away but all in all I really loved it. But the mortgage needs to be paid and the travel plans I have for this little family funded so next week it is back to work I go.

Eleven months old is such a fun stage, he can play and loves to read books, we can go places and he can play and enjoy it. His little personality is shining through. And now I feel like it is coming to an end, our 11 month adventure is drawing to a close. Ok, I know this is completely irrational, I am only going back three days a week but I think spending nearly every waking moment with someone for nearly a year makes the idea of not being there daunting. How can anyone else know all of his little mannerisms and what each different cry/noise means? In saying that all his carers are lovely and I know he is getting many reassuring cuddles when he needs them.

I know in my heart of hearts he will love daycare when he settles in, he is so busy and loves other kids but these first few weeks of adjustment are daunting. I also know I will love being back at work and challenging myself and being around adults and drinking a coffee without little hands reaching for it and look the occasional lunch date wont hurt. So all in all I know just like those first few weeks of newborn life this new phase will get easier and easier until it is second nature.

P.s I have just been updated that he had morning tea, his bottle and is now fast asleep. The weight is already starting to lift.

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