Time's up. I am back to work on Monday after nearly 7 months of maternity leave. I'm determined to make the 'working mum' thing work for me and Lara so I've made myself some promises that I'm going to try to stick to... they're a bit like New Year's resolutions!
- Don't Offer My Time For Free
I'm not a "career woman" but I enjoy what I do (I'm a code monkey, I write financial software... its not thrilling, but I'm good at it) and at work (and pretty much nowhere else), I am a perfectionist. In the past I would have stayed in the office much longer than the 9-5.30 they pay me for just to make sure that things are ship shape. From now on, I'm going to have to stick much more closely to my hours; not only because I can't afford to mess the childminders around, but also because from now on, evenings are going to be sacred... my Lara time!
- Don't Take Work Home
If I'm leaving the office on time, I know the temptation (and perhaps the expectation) to bring a laptop home will haunt me. I shall resist as long as possible. Its not fair on Lara if her Mum and Dad spend all evening working.
- Make Thursdays Fundays!
Thursday is my one day of the week when it'll be just me and Lara. Ooooh, the possibilities! I promise not to spend it in front of the television, but I also promise not to jam pack it full of activities... I want to spend some time just chilling out with my little girl. We have swimming lessons booked and who knows what else we shall get up to – I shall keep you posted.
- Make the Most of Weekends
In the past, weekends were for (a) getting drunk, (b) doing the housework, (c) doing the shopping & other admin and (d) vegging out in front of the TV. I think we should try and make sure that B and C get done at other times in the week, reduce D and instead, make sure that we get out and about and spend some fun family time together. I shall reserve judgement on A.
- Keep On Blogging
I've really enjoyed the past couple of months in the blogosphere and don't want to give it up. If I find the time, I shall write! I'm going to try and do one ramble, one review and a picture during the week and provide a couple of comments every day on all of the other lovely blogs out there... what are lunchbreaks for, huh?
- Feed The Family Well
I WILL find time to make scrumptious home cooked food for us all! Lara is pretty much eating what we eat now, just with less salt and sugar and generally in a more mashed form than us; so things shouldn't be too difficult. I'm on a mission to keep at it and not to revert to packets, tubs and processed food (and to takeaways on a Friday night)!
- Make Time For 'Us'
I work with my husband. It has its highlights... While I've been on maternity leave, I have missed our quiet walks (and rants) at lunchtime and our chats in the car to and from work. That said, I don't want our work time to be our only time being 'Mr. & Mrs. B' rather than 'Mummy & Daddy'. I intend to find time, every so often, when we can escape the munchkin and enjoy being a couple together.
- Stay in Touch With Mummies
In my line of work, my path rarely crosses that of any females! I work in a male-dominated industry and in general my friends, even since college, have all been guys. Since the summer I've made some great female mummy friends both online and in person; it would be sad for me to crawl back into my male-only world. I hope to keep in touch with as many mummies as possible.
- Keep Healthy
I'm well aware that my gym membership is going to be underused once I go back to work. Once I've picked Lara up from the childminders, fed her, fed myself and the OH and spent some quality time with the family, there is not going to be much time left for swimming or gyming. But if I can get out at lunchtime for a walk instead of eating lunch at my desk then that's better than nothing. Also, I WILL NOT succumb to the temptation of unlimited free cans of diet coke from the machine in the kitchen at work... well, maybe on a Friday.