My first post since my short lived infertility blog in 2009!
After 22 months of desperate TTC'ing; the month I started said blog I fell pregnant after my first clomid cycle. Baby No 2 caught us by surprise two years later and here I am today - back at work one week and just having taken a call from Hubby to say he handed his notice and has left the office for the last time.
I've found my maternity leave hard this time. Two kids under 3 to entertain, cook & generally be available for has taken its toll. I've gone from chilled out mother of one to harrassed and grumpy mother of two. It seems I totally under estimated how much work an extra child would entail. I started to hate myself. I was infertile once and it left me broken hearted. I found my two pregnancies a blessed miracle. So imagine my shock upon being granted my dream come true to find I actually dreaded my husband closing the door to head to work each day and my guts churning at the thought of another 13 hour day of childcare. Had I discovered that in fact I was indeed the worlds worst Mum? I felt so.
I loved my babies. Individually they made my heart sing. Together, they terrified me. Even when we were in the midst of a lovely day, the thought that in one second with no warning all hell could break loose (and it frequently did) had my guts in a knot. Tantrums, endless crying, hours of rocking of baby and requests for toddler to be quiet for 5 mins, potty trips whilst I was changing nappies, dinners upturned or milk thrown up just some of the terrors I began to dread. Those first few months were so hard, full of hormones and frantically trying to meet the needs of the Choochette and reassure the Chooch that his Mummy still loved and had time for him.
As the Choochette has got older (8 months now) life has got easier. She doesn't need as much of my time and the Chooch (3 next month) has adjusted to life as an older sibling and seems to have survived the transition unscathed. In fact the two of them have established a very sweet and loving relationship. They just love to laugh together, usually at each other.
Also marring my maternity leave and adding extra stress was my Hubby's job insecurity. Since he left a decent job when I got pregnant with the Chooch (seeking to move to a new level in his career) things have gone from bad to worse with redundancies, dismissals for poor sales and the constant threat of being let go. 4 jobs in two years. At 6 months into my leave (at the height of my own struggles in the home) Hubby arrives home and announces they've given him a month to improve his sales or he's out. He managed to dodge the axe but it was enough to force us to accept that he is in the wrong job and needs to retrain. Pointless him working to just pay for the kids to go to nursery so today he completed his last day at work and tomorrow he starts his new SAHD job.
We've always earned similar salaries but in the last couple of years mine has increased and his has gone down. He's had heavy petrol expenses and low basic pay, gets home when the kids are going to bed and isn't really making regular commision. So it makes sense for me to be the breadwinner and for him to stay at home. For at least the next year and a bit anyway until the Chooch starts school.
I'm still deciding how I feel to be back at work. Pleased to be me again and escape the mundane, but sad to miss holding the Choochette's fingers as she takes her first steps and sad to be missing the strange and wonderful musings of the Chooch as he goes about his business. Happy that my husband self esteem battering is over and that he gets to spend some time with his kids at last. Happy that we will all get to spend more time together. Sad that I'm here at my desk now while those three are cuddling on the sofa. But lets face it, all us parents know that the reality is a far cry from the imagined as far as parenting goes. Maybe right now Daddy is knee deep in faeces being slapped round the face by the Choochette while the Chooch flings his dinner around. Whatever, I can't wait to get home to my Chooches tonight :-)