The time has sadly come to accept that maternity leave is coming to an end and that we need to find a suitable nursery.
Since graduating back in 2013, my life has mostly revolved around work. I’ve spent a long time grafting and working my way up in an industry that I thoroughly enjoy. When I fell pregnant in February 2017, everyone kept telling me how much my life was going to change due to the new arrival and although I knew my life would inevitably change, I didn’t think my son would have had such an impact on how I feel when it comes to having a career as well as being a mum.
I always knew that I would go back to work. I’m the sort of person that needs to have something for myself, a project, a goal and a career of my own. I love a challenge and thrive off this and although motherhood can at times be challenging, it’s a very different sort of experience. I’m definitely of the opinion that if you do want to be a mum and have a career, then there isn’t a reason in the world why you shouldn’t be able to do both.
However, deciding and searching for an appropriate nursery for our son has been really difficult and I’ve felt a sort of grief that an important era is coming to an end. This is probably one of the reasons we’ve left looking for a nursery until the last minute. I knew it was coming but didn’t want to face it until I really had to! If I think too much about the fact that he is going to nursery and is growing up, I get really upset. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love that he’s a babbling, busy baby, but when you’re pregnant and go through childbirth, you never really stop to think about the fact that they do grow up – and so quickly, I may add!
Raife and I have been in each other’s company for 8 months solid. Each and every day, we’re together, pretty much joined at the hip. Wherever one of us is, the other is not too far away. This is due to a combination of things, breastfeeding, enjoying and making the most out of my maternity leave and just absolutely loving and reveling in each other’s company. I don’t regret spending all my time with him at all.
I know a few people have said to me that I should get used to spending time away from Raife. But I’ve done what I know to be right for me and for my son. My maternity leave in the grand scheme of life is very short, so it’s only natural that I want to spend as much time with him as possible. I will never get this time again, and so I have made every single effort to just be with him, playing, singing, reading, taking him to baby group, taking him on days out, seeing friends and family – drinking in these first precious months.
Whilst he’ll only be going to nursery two days a week, I’m going to miss him terribly. We’ve seen a nursery and are due to visit some others and I feel a mixture of anxiousness, nervousness and some excitement (for Raife!) I’ve mentioned so many times that he loves other children and is constantly on the go, so I’m sure he’ll have a brilliant time, wherever he goes.
My husband and I have a pretty good idea of where we’d like our son to go. Our area doesn’t offer a number of options so we do need to look further afield for a nursery. I know that I would love him to go to a forest school with a Montessori style, but in our area, that sort of thing is really hard to come by. There’s also the cost to consider. If you’re a working parent, you’ll know that childcare is so expensive. Fortunately for us, work has been amazing and flexible and have offered a solution which allows us and me to work and be able to afford childcare. There are so many things to consider, but I’d advise you to go with your gut and ask plenty of questions. You’ll definitely get a feel of whether it’s for you or not as soon as you leave.
I still have a few more weeks to go until I go back to work and Raife goes to nursery and I plan to make the absolute most of our time together. When people ask me in the future about how I found my maternity leave, I’ll be saying that it was the single best time of my life.
Now, excuse me whilst I go and cry into a cup of tea.