Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Rose Tinted Glasses Perfectly Perched

After three days back at work I am already guilty of wistfully viewing the last six months of maternity leave through rose tinted spectacles.

The mornings now need to be organised with military precision. In order for four of us to get out of the house with something resembling sanity, everything needs to be completely prepared the evening before.

All nursery bags ready packed, lunches made, clothes laid out, work clothes pre-selected for the grown-ups. (Particularly Mummy, as the stuff that she used to wear to work no longer fits quite properly, so a high degree of creativity is required to generate a working wardrobe...) And the cars need to be properly arranged in the driveway so that I can make the first getaway, leaving Daddy to do the nursery run.

Even so, the first few days have been slightly fraught and I have made it to work with only seconds to spare.

And when I get home there are a mountain of domestic things to do before I can even begin to relax. Stuff that used to take me all day now needs to be crammed into a couple of hours; less if there is to be any chance of some fleeting relaxation during the evening . I know that this will all calm down and that we are only a few days in so not yet fully into the swing of things. I know that life will regain a more sustainable rhythm - but right now it is all quite hectic. So I look back lovingly to last week and the week before, and the week before that when:

The house was always clean (I picture it with freshly cut flowers in most of the rooms); I was completely on top of the laundry and ironing; I managed to bake bread and even mince pies; I cooked nice meals regularly; I read books, played imaginative games and did various puzzles with Gertie all day long; there was time to do my blog; I read plenty of improving novels.

But anyone who has been reading this blog for longer than a week will know that there is not an ounce of truth in this. In fact, there were plenty of days where simply managing to get dressed by mid-morning was cause for extensive celebration. My iron and I do not have the best working relationship, and any day where there was baby sick on only one side of my head was considered a good hair day.

This is written in response to Writing Workshop 10 by Josie at Sleep is For the Weak.


  1. Isn't is Parkinson's Law that work expands to fill the time available? I don't know how I ever found the time to go out to work...

  2. Hang on, you got through that first week and that's an achievement in itself

    Try and be a bit kinder to yourself and accept that just getting you all out of the door is a mega achievement - I've also accepted that my house will be homely rather than tidy !

  3. Oh God I know that feeling so well! I went back in November after 6 months off on mat leave. Don't worry you'll get in the swing of it. In the meantime sod the ironing and order takeouts! x

  4. Just remember to have a handy top spare just in case of any accidents in the early mornings!! Not a good luck work and sick!!(I know and I hadn't realised.)
    Also always remember to ensure that clothes are on properly - got to work last week and took coat off and then one of the others said - you're jumpers inside out.
    PS if you put some money out the house fairies may come!!

  5. BNM just reminded me of the time my MIL went to work with odd shoes on - see, at least you aren't doing that!

  6. Oh, yes, I do this too. To my mind I was blissfully happy and organised as well as being a perfect mother throughout my whole maternity leave. Even though I know that is not completely true...!

    S x

  7. Thank you all for such nice, supportive comments and advice. It makes me feel a lot better!

    @The Dotterel - exactly; and what the hell did I fill my days with pre-children?

    @ Muddling Along Mummy - 'homely' is definitely a good word and will be featuring heavily in my perception of the house.

    @ It's a Mummy's Life - Now that I am earning again I can justify the take-aways!

    @BNM - I know, I feel like investing in an old, 1940's type house-coat to save my work clothes.

    @Make Do Mum - may only be a matter of time!

  8. Well done for making it through your first week! No doubt you will find a new rhythm again soon enough.

    Funnily enough I'm going to through the opposite at the moment. I am struggling being home with Kai all day and see going to work through those rose-tinted glasses. Of course, in my scenario, work would mean rest and adult company who didn't drive me up the wall and my housework magically done when I got home. I suspect the reality may be slightly different!!

    Josie (Sleep is for the Weak)