I’ve spent the last two years focused on my boy – I was luckily enough to be able to take 11 months of my maternity and spend almost every day watching my boy grow. Then I went back to work and was again very lucky in that I went to working only 4 days a week, giving me that precious extra day just me and him. We had play dates and snuggles and I spent the days just soaking him in.
Now, 2 years on and I feel like I need time for me. I feel like I need to have some uninterrupted time that is mine. So I have enrolled him into nursery for that extra day. This will give me one day a week where I have no call on my time. No baby to care for. No naps to work my schedule around. No baby, housework and sanity to juggle.
Before I had arranged it I was psyched! I thought ‘OMG I’m going to be able to have a bath and wash my hair in peace. Or paint my nails. Do the weekly shop. Or even get really daring and do the housework without a child attached to my leg!’ But the minute I got the email from the nursery saying yes there’s a space and he can start this week I wanted to burst into tears. The guilt I suddenly felt was overwhelming. How could I want to have time away from my boy? How could I even dream of putting him into nursery on a day when I don’t HAVE to work.
Am I being selfish, wanting time to myself? To pick up extras hours at work, or get my hair done, or just watch a film without the Toot Toot cars wailing in the background. Is it wrong of me to do this? Am I a bad mother?
I think of my friend who went back to work 5 days a week after only 9 months and how hard it was for her. How it almost broke her. And how lucky I’ve been to have this time with my boy. But I also think about how hard it is to be at this small little person’s beck and call and how for my own sanity I need a break from work and from being a mom, even if it’s just for half a day a week. To have a few hours where I don’t have to even speak to anyone if I don’t want to.
It’s his first day tomorrow and I have such mixed emotions I can’t even begin to decide how I feel…so I suppose only time will tell if I’ve made the right choice.