I had intended this blog post to be a summary of what it feels to have been back at work as a new working mum but it has been a bit of a funny week and I'm not sure I can really tell you!
Monday was about as normal a working day as you can get. We had to get up outrageously early (Lara has always been very good at lie ins), had a mad rush to get ourselves clean, fed and presentable... then even more of a rush to get Lara clean, fed and presentable. As my hubbie packed all the bags of baby gubbins into the car, I had a slightly emotional moment – but you know me, I wouldn't possibly get weepy and emotional about these things, would I?
We dropped Lara off with her childminder (No. 1) at 8.30 and then spent an hour in a traffic jam on a journey that should have taken 10 minutes. As I walked back into the office, it was (as many people told me it would be) just like I had never been away. I picked up exactly where I had left off last May... even working on exactly the same project. Thrilling.
On Tuesday (and today), Lara spent the day with one of her doting Aunties because childminder No. 2 was on holiday. Lots of people worry about choosing a childminder over a nursery because there is no-one to cover when the childminder can't provide care; but my two-childminder arrangement, with the backup of lots of willing relatives means that I will hopefully never have a problem. Somehow, sending Lara to spend a day with a relative doesn't really feel like leaving her... it feels very different... as if actually I'm doing them a favour, rather than them helping me out for the day.
If I had needed anything to support my decision to send Lara to a childminder over sending her to a relative for full-time care, then I got it this week! At 7 months old, she was treated to her first ever Macdonalds drive-thru! Special Aunties are for spoiling you with special treats, not for boring, every-day childcare!
On Wednesday I couldn't get to work! Having spent an hour in the car we had to abandon it about quarter of a mile away from home. We trekked back home in the snow – Lara thought it was great fun and giggled all the way! While the other half spent the day working from home of the laptop, I entertained Lara. Even after just two days away from her it seemed like awfully hard work looking after her demands all day!
Thursday saw the start of a new term of swimming lessons. Lara, as always, loved every minute of it – she'll be swimming lengths before I know it! Much of my day was spent either pushing other people's cars out of the snow, or being pushed out of the snow myself.
Today I had to really knuckle down to work. I know that there was nothing I could do about the snow on Wednesday, but I did feel weirdly guilty about not having been able to work, especially as it meant I missed my first deadline this afternoon. In the past, I would have stayed late to get the work complete but my 'back to work resolutions' mean that I simply can't do that any more and I'm hoping that the guys at work understand that.
So really, it hasn't been a particularly representative week. I can tell you now that when I'm at work I don't miss Lara per se – I'm too busy working. There are times when I feel so comfortable doing my work, so relaxed back into the rhythm of things that in fact, it feels like the last 7 months never happened! But then, when I read my twitter feed, receive a blog comment, or receive a MMS with a picture of my sleepy little girl, I remember that I'm not just a programmer now... I'm a mummy. I can officially multi-task!