Last Friday was a bit of a momentous day for me - I went back to work!!
When we adopted Junior, I took 12 months leave, but my annual leave accrued while I wasn't there. This was added on to the end of my leave, which meant I had just over 13 months off work altogether. So as you can imagine, going back after all that time was a massive shock to the system!
Chris and I have both chosen to work part time - he's doing three days, and I'm doing the other two. We're very fortunate to be able to do this, and it means that one of us will always be at home with Junior during the week, so we don't need to arrange childcare. However, we will look into letting him go to nursery in the new year, as it's obviously important for him to socialise with other children in preparation for school. (He does currently attend a few playgroups so he's already mixing with other children now).
Since Junior came to live with us, I've spent pretty much every day with him. The only days I've been away from him for a considerable length of time are the two Saturdays that I went to Yarndale, last year and this year. Chris sometimes takes him out on a weekend, but it's usually for no more than 4 or 5 hours, so it doesn't really feel like he's away for long, and somehow it doesn't feel as bad when it's Junior who is going out, while I stay at home.
So to say I was anxious about going back to work is an understatement. As the day crept closer, I had that kind of feeling of impending doom, like a huge black cloud was hanging over me. It was almost as if I was never going to see him again, rather than be away from him for just a day. Plus I had all the other nerves about going back to work, and the worry that I'd almost forgotten how to do my job, so that was bad enough, but on top of that I was worried that I might actually get upset because I was missing him so much!
Since I'm now only working two days a week, I've actually moved into a different office, in fact, a different site altogether to where I previously worked. So there was some added anxiety about driving there, and the fact that I don't know anyone. As it happens, the drive was pretty horrendous due to extremely thick fog, and then I had some issues getting into the building, never mind my office, because I needed a swipe card to get in and mine had expired months ago.
I got in to my office eventually, but I couldn't really do much until my supervisor arrived, who then got my swipe card updated, and got me logged back on to all the various IT systems that we use at work. I had a lot of training to catch up on, but fortunately most of it can be done by e-learning now, so I just had to sit and watch a few short videos and then tick a box to say my training was up to date. All of this took most of the day, but thankfully my supervisor was understanding about that, and didn't really expect me to get any 'actual' work done that day; he even said that he'd send someone to cover the workload next week, until I go back on Thursday.
So all in all, it was quite an easy day, and not as bad as I'd been expecting. I thought about Junior a lot, and wondered what he was up to, although Chris did Whatsapp me a couple of photos. Most of the time though, I was kept quite distracted by what I was doing, so although I was missing him, it wasn't too bad. I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm glad to be back at work, but I was definitely relieved to get the first day over with. Like I said, I'm back on Thursday, and I'm a teeny-tiny bit looking forwards to getting stuck into the work.
Also, I have my own office, which is a bit drab (I don't even have a window, which is a shame, although if I did I'd probably spend all day gazing out of it), so I'm trying to think of how I can brighten it up - some crochet bunting, perhaps? Crochet coasters? Crochet wall-hanging (although they might not want me hammering nails into the wall)? I definitely want to make it a more pleasant, inviting place than it currently is - maybe I could get a poster of a window with a nice view, to stick on the wall?
It was a long drive home, not helped by two lots of pretty serious roadworks, but luckily Junior was pleased to see me - he was in the back garden and I could hear him shouting "mum! mum!" even while I was getting out of the car. Chris was making tea, so me and Junior had a big cuddle and then a kickabout with the football. I'd left in the morning before he was even awake, which was really difficult because I'm the one who always gets him up every morning (I haven't had a lie in since he arrived!), and it was soooo good to see him when I came home.
I'm still not looking forwards to leaving Junior and going back to work next week, but now that I've got the first day over with, I do think it's going to be easier. It's probably good for both of us to spend some time apart, even though it doesn't really feel like that for me!
Sorry for the long wordy post with no pictures, I just really wanted to write down how I felt about what was such an important moment for me.
Thanks for reading, if you've got this far :-)