When maternity leave comes to an end
Updated: Jun 23, 2019
The end of my maternity leave is quickly approaching and I am beginning to feel that familiar sense of apprehension about returning to work. I’ve felt it many times before; after school holidays and long weekends, before beginning at a new school, and the most scary of all, at the end of January when I’m about to meet the unknown class that will fill my days for the rest of the school year. But this time my apprehension is different... This time I will be leaving my baby girl in the care of someone else.
I’ll admit, I’m luckier than many because I am returning to work on a part time basis. I even have the help of family in looking after Chloe on those days. But still, the thought of driving an hour away from her to spend time teaching and caring for other people’s children makes me want to drown in a pool of my own tears.
I know this sounds dramatic, and it is, probably.
I know Chloe will be fine and will absolutely be loved and cuddled and cared for when I’m at work. The problem is.... ME. I’m going to struggle each day I’m away from her. It’s the guilt that I’ll feel not being there to make her lunch or kiss her better when she falls over. It’s the fear of missing out on seeing her reach milestones for the first time. As a teacher, I think I’ll feel almost like I’m cheating on her with my class.
So instead of being the neurotic, anxiety-ridden mother that I swore I wouldn’t be, I am not going to focus on the looming end of maternity leave. Instead I’m going to make the conscious effort to simply appreciate the time that I do have with my daughter. I will be grateful for every day that I get to spend with her. I will make the most of the moments we share and I will do everything I can to make sure she understands that no matter where I am physically, I am right by her side in every other sense.
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