This past week LLC spent her first full days with the childminder (CM) while I went to work. Everything went well for both of us, at face value, that is.
Our CM is lovely and I feel very confident leaving LLC in her care. Creative, caring and engaged, I can tell that she is dedicated to her charges and will be a stimulating and kind influence on my little one.
LLC parted company from me with a smile and a babble both days. There were no tears, from her, or from me. She treated me to big gummy grins when I collected her and the CM wrote detailed and amusing updates on her daily activities, nap length and poop color included. From these I learned that LLC more or less kept to her usual nap and eating patterns and enjoyed playing with stacking blocks and a squeaky toy. The CM observed her capacity to study and play with an object for long periods of time, and her joy of weight bearing on her sturdy legs. I see all these as signs of LLC happy and at ease, doing her regular thing.
Meanwhile, I had a couple of productive days in the adult working world. It’s encouraging to see that I still have it in me. It’s early days, but I feel positive about my work/life balance, and fortunate to have secured working arrangement that allows me to continue with a job I’m good at while not sacrificing too much time with LLC. I don’t think that returning to work full-time stops a mother from bonding with her kids but I do know that my mom was home with me full-time, and this has always impacted on my desire to have time at home with my children once I started a family.
So why did I feel so tied up inside this last week? Why did I develop such bad stomach cramps the day before leaving LLC with the CM that I needed to cancel going for coffee with my NCT friends? Why did I feel generally not right?
I thought it was because I ate some dodgy cheese the day of the NCT coffee. I thought it was because I stayed up really late and had had a few busy days of late. But stepping back from it all this weekend I realize that it probably wasn’t any of this (though I do need to go to bed earlier).
I think, more likely, I’m a little stressed about starting work, leaving LLC, keeping on top of the house while making sure I spend enough time with her, finding a new balance and doing it all justice. I'm sure I'll get there but maybe I took it for granted that this shift will take some getting used to. Deep breath.