I did it, I went back to work. I can’t actually believe how strange yet totally normal it feels to go back to work. Ok, ok it was only a week, but it gave me strange feeling all over. For a start, getting up, getting out of the house and getting my arse in to gear, was an odd feeling of high fiving myself whilst feeling totally foolish, because lets face it I manage to get myself and my little human up every day.
KIT days or Keeping In Touch days are optional – both the employee and employer need to agree to them. The type of work might range from a meeting or training course, to (like me) holiday cover and thus a full day back at my desk, doing my old job! You are entitled to 10 days without effecting your maternity pay, however you are not obliged to take them, and your employer doesn’t actually have to offer them.
In my case the days were available due to holiday absences, and because Otis is now mainly weaned, I jumped at the chance to earn a few extra pennies to subsidies my maternity leave – so I turned up, breast pump packed, snacks ahoy, hair down, to spend a week drinking hot coffee and accessing deep dark parts of my brain.
I couldn’t sleep the night before, I had a deep sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, I couldn’t imagine turning on my PC, sitting at my desk, answering the phone. I couldn’t believe my day wasn’t going to revolve around trying to get the dishwasher emptied before Otis gets bored of the jumparoo. But as I sat at my desk on the 2nd August…. it all came flooding back. Every little bit. So fear not my fellow working mums, it does come back, it is all in there, and I learned some pretty important lessons.
- The novelty of wearing your hair down (job permitting) doesn’t wear off
- Niether does drinking hot coffee
- The brain does work, in fact it works really well, especially when one eye is watching our mini human at all times
- Your getting paid, everything feels a little bit better when you are getting paid
- Its excellent practice for the main event. Because if you have to return to work (and lets face it most of us do) it is brilliant to know that that sick feeling does go away a little bit, that the brain does function beyond teletubbies and rice cakes, and that the day does end. And when it ends you get to start your other job.
And that was the best part of all, the fact that it made me appreciate my other job even more, my mummy job!
Give me hairbands and leggings any day. I love my cold coffee and half eaten lunches, I love the phone conversations cut short and the unfinished text messages, I love peeing with the door open, and boiling the kettle 3 times before the water hits the tea bag.
So next week normal service can resume, next week I will get scratched, punched and yelled at. I will have no time for anything and yet have all the time in the world. I will hold him and play and smell his milky breath. I can’t wait to be back in the land of the maternity leavers. You can keep your hot coffee, i’m not ready to go back to that just yet.