This week I returned to work. 2 days a week. After 12 months at home with Avalon.
I know, I do feel lucky I had those 12 months with her everyday and yet I still have a twinge of guilt as to not being there Tuesdays and Wednesdays from this week forth until... well... I am not sure.
Returning to work was a difficult decision, I could see the pros and cons of returning to work and yet the biggest pro always won out--- the added income.
I don't begrudge working, I honestly don't. I grew up with parents that worked every day, often a 50 or 60 hour week and as the saying goes, 'I am ok.' There is a part of me that wishes I could stay home with my daughter everyday but it is just not viable for our family, we like to be able to 'do' things together, we have a large number of our family overseas who we want to see on a semi-regular basis. If I didn't return to my job we could forget all of that, watch every penny that enters our bank account and not be able to afford things for Avalon that 2 (well... one and a bit) incomes can provide.
I am also aware that if I wasn't working, all financial responsibility for our family would be on Grant's shoulders, and I am just not 100% comfortable with that. Plus, my company offers some great benefits that I think would be hard to pass up.
All that rationale being said-- it was still hard to wave goodbye to my little girl for 18 hours of the week.
I am in the fortunate position that she is being looked after my my Mother in law one day and a trusted friend the next. I also feel fortunate that the great company I work for has allowed me to drastically reduce my hours and still return to work. So yes, I am thankful to be in the position I am.
The week went very well I must say, Tuesday Avalon spent the day with her Granny and had frequent visits throughout the day from her Dad and on the Wednesday she went to Tumble Tots with her friend Owen (and her Aunty Tracy and Uncle Marty) before celebrating her friend Megan's 1st Birthday-- it is possible the girl leads a more thrilling social life than myself. By all accounts, she was fine, no tears, lots of snacks... a little milk and a few naps.
How did I do? If I am honest, I enjoyed it.
It was great to travel on the train into work, having that time to read my book and listen to my iPod... I liked the 15 minute walk to my work, coffee in hand, just as I had done 13 months ago. It was great to see my colleagues and get back into the swing of things--- slowly.... although I think there must be some truth to the theory of 'baby brain.' It will be a slow adjustment.
The best part of my day was walking toward our house at 6pm. Grant and Avalon were in the driveway waving with enthusiasm as I made my way home. I got what I call, 'The Daddy Greeting' and the first thing I did was cuddle up with Avalon on the couch for an extended milky feed.