Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Facing the inevitable

Last week, I received an email from my manager at work asking when I would be coming back. Given we're nearly into August, it's fast approaching and I need to start preparing myself for my inevitable return!

I don't know if all parents feel this, but this year feels like it's travelled at warp speed. Maybe it happens to all first time parents, or just parents in general, but I don't recall any other year of my life flying by so quickly. Come August, I will have been off work for 9 months! It's funny because 9 months is how long I was pregnant for and these past 9 months have gone much faster than the pregnancy! 

My original plan was to go back in December, but I'm facing the reality that it's pretty unlikely I'll get a child care spot then. I'm more likely to get one before then, or wait until the new year. I've made the decision to contact the centres to see if I can get one earlier. 

It's not a simple process. Basically, I'll be lucky if I can get 1 day. You need to get your foot in the door and just wait for more days to become available. I wouldn't go back to work 1 day a week - that's just not practical. My brother has offered to babysit on his day off so I could go back 2 days, assuming the child care spot was on another day. The logistics of it all are mind boggling!

Now, strategy comes into play. Do I contact all the centres I've put Sticky's name down at or just the one I really want? Do I run the risk of getting her into another centre and moving her if a place comes up at the one I really want or is that too selfish? Do I put all my efforts into the one that's $80 a day or include the one that's $100 a day? As I said, mind boggling!

A few mothers in my mothers group have already started their children in day care as they prepare to go back to work. I don't think they're particularly overjoyed about it but necessity often calls for us to suck things up! I don't think I am ready now, but certainly feel more ready then I would have a few weeks ago. I feel much more comfortable putting Sticky into care now she's past the 6 month stage.

I remember when I worked in child care and my first room was the babies room - 6 weeks to 1.5 years. I remember how little the 6 week old babies were and how some of hem would be there for the whole 12 hours the centre was opened! I know some women have no choice but to go back that early and I am so very grateful I haven't had to. 

Once I get the care sorted out, it will be time to get my brain sorted out. This is the longest time I have been out of full time work in 20 years. I know the everyday requirements of my job haven't changed and I'm confident it will be like riding a bike, the difference is, I haven't riden this particular bike before with a baby attached. It will require a new level of planning and organising, and a shift in home responsibilities for my husband and I, but I know we will muddle our way through. As a working mum, I'm meant to be super woman and be able to do it all. I'd better start sewing my cape!

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