Despite what I may think at times, I do have to remind myself that I have been and am incredibly lucky. Obviously I have Olivia and that is something that I am thankful for (even when she’s doing crazy windmill arms at me) I’m also lucky because when I had her I was able to give up work to look after her solely. This was something that was really important to me and that I will always be eternally grateful for. I’ve been at home and despite the odd dabble with work here and there I’ve just been a mum and that’s been wonderful. But, for a long time now and I mean a loooong time, my husband has been suggesting that I should go back to work. He’s not been saying that I must or that financially I need to (although he always adds ‘it would be nice’) he just tells me it would be good for me. Good for my brain – which bar tapping away on here or playing Sylvanian Families with Olivia hardly gets used these days, and it would be good for my mental health.
I’ve always agreed with what my husband has been saying because, well I’m not stupid (shut it) I completely get that it would be good for me to be working again but ultimately the timing hasn’t felt right. Sounds silly but it’s true and I knew that I would know when that time was. When I saw the counsellor recently I talked about going back to work after the half-term last October. I was adamant that was the plan once Olivia was settled in school and talked about this being what I wanted to do and that it was the right time for me. Funnily enough however, the counsellor picked up on the fact that when I was talking about this I would sigh and use negative words like ‘I should’. She asked me the simple question, ‘do you actually want to go back to work yet?’ to which, slightly stunned she had seen through me so easily, I replied no.
The thought of going back to work has been a slow-burner for me. As I said before it was all about timing. The first few years of Olivia being small – there was no way I could contemplate working, she took all of me – my brain power, my sleep, my energy. Even when she started nursery, going from 1 to 2.5 days a week, the time she was there gave me the chance to clean the house, have a coffee, perhaps see a friend and that was about it. I did do a bit of writing for a company during this time but I still struggled to fit this into my week and often found myself working in the evenings just to write one small post. When she started school obviously that was five days of her being out of the house for six hours straight but it was such a change of routine for us both it took us both from September to December to work out how to structure my time efficiently. And while she was at school I filled the hours easily with house work, life admin, seeing family and also sorting out my mental health. I purposely dedicated quite a lot of that time to this last one.
But now we’ve come out the other side of December and into a New Year, I have more of a set routine (not dance) in place. The first full week Olivia had back after Christmas I filled my days as much as possible. I cleaned, I sorted, I cooked, I baked, I Marie-Kondo’d the crap out of our house but still, I recognised that there were gaps. Gaps where I had too much time on my hands just sitting at home doing very little. Well, I say doing little but I’d do what I always do and that’s sitting on the internet researching fertility: Am I pregnant, what do these symptoms mean, am I dying, these supplements make you pregnant, could it be implantation, 5 things to get pregnant fast and so on to infinity. I can happily sit for hours on the internet getting lost in a loop of reading, researching, reading, researching. I know this isn’t good for me because it keeps the whole infertility thing at the forefront of my mind, it keeps it constant. Literally at the end of Olivia’s first week back I knew that I was ready to go back to work. I was ready to get back out there and do something again. And you know what? I’m weirdly looking forward to it