This week has been tough. Tough because I’ve let things get to me. I’ve allowed myself to feel isolated, ignored and unappreciated. I convinced myself that family and friends were deliberately ignoring me because our opinions differ, I let myself think that they thought I was stupid and my advice worthless. Everything’s been shit because that’s how I’ve chosen to look at it, I have most definitely been smouldering, and not in a sexy way. After raving that I’d not given myself longer than half an hour baby free for a while I took myself off to for a coffee on Saturday morning and put my head back in order. I did some writing, and I had a word with myself. I assessed whether or not life was really that bad, with a history of depression and anxiety I’m good as assessing my mental health and have a solid gauge to go by. It boiled down to one thing that’s souring my mind…Going back to work.
As the shops prepare for Christmas (you know that’s coming, right?) , as the nights get shorter, the days get colder the end of my mat leave gets closer and closer and I’m dreading it. I’m dreading going back into an environment that I’ve been out of for a year. I’m not the same person I was when I left. I’m scared. There’s no handbook on this bit. There’s no one telling you what it’s like stepping foot back through the door to new staff members, new guidelines, new pupils (I work in a school). I’ve got no idea what I’ll be doing when I go back and I have some serious doubt as to whether or not I can still do it at all. I was conscientious, efficient, innovative before I left. That was when I had full nights of sleep and showers every day, before I had another person to feed, dress and care for before myself. I used to have spare time to think of ideas or bring bits of work home. Going back to work feels like starting an entirely new job, not coming back to something that I’ve been away from for a while. I feel while I’ve learned so much this last year, the things I loved about work have been replaced by things I love about my baby.
When I’ve shared my feelings with others the implication has generally been that I’m work shy. That I don’t want to earn a living, that I want to sit on my arse and do nothing all day getting far too involved with the likes of Jeremy Kyle. At times I’ve been laughed at for saying I wasn’t looking forward to it. I’ve confided in colleagues who’ve delighted in telling me tales from the front line, how they wouldn’t want to either, filling my mind with yet more worry. A grande cappuccino later and I remembered that the thought of doing something is often far worse than the doing it. I’ve got to bite the bullet. If I start to think that being a mother will make me better at my job rather than worse the whole situation becomes easier to think about. I’m still not looking forward to it, but until I go and find out the lay of the land, worrying about it is wasted energy.