I should be so lucky

Lucky, Lucky, Lucky

I count myself as one of the vast number of mothers who did not have a choice about returning to work – my not contributing financially in the past few months have led to more than a few nights of baked beans on toast. While this DID bring back a certain element of nostalgia for those early days when Rhys and I ate our food off a door balancing on a box instead of a table, and cooked pasta in a frying pan because we could not afford both a pot and a pan (ah, memories), long-term, it was not particularly feasible, especially now we are responsible for a wee one. But I LOVE motherhood. I really enjoyed being a stay at home mum, and can honestly say it was the most fun and rewarding period of my life to date. I was so apprehensive to go back to work, that if I drove past it in my day-to-day travels, I had to resist hissing in its general direction, like a cat whose found a snake in the yard. But it was inevitable, and it turns out, not that bad.

I think that being away for so long, coupled with being part-time and being constantly being busy at work as I try to pack as much into that time as possible, has actually freed me from all the lab-place drama (snigger all you want, it’s a thing). I actually like my job better than I did before. People seemed genuinely excited (and in a couple of cases , relieved) to see me, which made me feel better about leaving my sweet little Moo. And I realised there are several factors that make my luckier than the average Joe (or Jolene) in managing this whole working/mothering/life balance that seems to be a major weight on people’s minds now days.

  1. My husband. He now has dropped half a day so I have time to nap and get ready before a night shift. He and Moo are in love in the sweetest way. Their faces mutually light up when each sees the other, and I think he is responsible for her already being a pretty resilient kid, instead of the Mummy’s Moo I would inevitably bring up if I were to do it alone. I rarely have to ask him for help in any way. It makes me really happy, as I am really close with my own Dad, and would be so very happy for them to have a similar relationship.
  2. My Dad. He has recently retired and comes over to be with Moo when I have day shifts. A lot of people seem a bit weirded out by this when I tell them, but if they saw my Dad take care of Moo, they would realise what a good thing I have going. Dad taking Moo has the double blessing of being free, and meaning that I have no stress about who I am leaving her with. It is amazing, too, how he has stepped into the footsteps of his own father (my Papi). My Papi is easily in my list of top ten most wonderful people ever, and looked after me often before he died. One of my earliest memories is watching Playschool with him and him doing ‘I’m a little Teapot’ in his thick Dutch accent. My father is the spitting image of Papi in both his looks and his ways, and it makes me so happy.
  3. My family in general, and the friends that I count as family. The best thing about having a family that is both big and European( some by their origin and the others in the sense that there is a little bit of everything thrown in), is that there is always someone there, whether you like it or not. Moo is being raised by a village.  So I always have a baby sitter. I always have a source of adult conversation. I have my mother and mother-in-law popping over to help clean. I get hand-me-downs for Moo, and sometimes, for me. If something is off with Moo, I can simply put it out into the ether, and someone, somewhere had the same thing. My family is the original social network before social networking existed.

So in a few months, when I’m inevitably tired and worn out, and thinking that Rhys, Moo and I should just change our names, move to the wild where we do a Bear Grylls and live off the land, just remind me to re-read this post. Because when Future An is feeling crappy, Past An can help remind her of the good things. And Past An may not know as much as Future An, but damn if she isn’t happy (though hopefully not annoyingly so).

 

I’m An, the wife of a wonderful, but extremely nerdy gamer, a mother to two, a scientist, an amateur pastry chef, a daughter, a sister and a friend.

5 Comments on "I should be so lucky"

  1. Julia says:

    beautifully written An, I’m bookmarking this for the future!! Lovely advice!!!

  2. Kitty says:

    Beautiful. This I think is my favourite so far. You write so well and I am enjoying getting to know you a little better 🙂

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