Earlier, whilst listening to Time, in my opinion, the most beautiful piece of music by Hans Zimmer & watching the boy fall asleep in his cot, the tears were streaming down my face. This was the music that I first played to Benjamin, when he was a tiny baby, usually while I showered & watched him snooze in his rocker through the open ensuite door. The days were hot & my maternity leave stretched out before us. I thought we’d have those days forever. It’s crazy how quickly the time has passed; I haven’t even caught up with all my series-linked Homes Under The Hammer for goodness sake! Today also marks the day that Tim & I first got together, eight years ago in fact. We’ve been married for almost five & Benjamin is almost eight months old.
I’m not going to lie, these last eight months have been some of the best & worst of my life: the most challenging, physically & emotionally painful too. I have a feeling that these emotions will stay with me for life now! I don’t think I’ve missed my wonderful Mum quite as desperately as I have over the last eight months either. I’m sure she would have understood what I was going through & known exactly what to say. I wish we could FaceTime Heaven. I am so grateful to Tim, along with my amazing friends, both old & new, who have kept me sane.
But here we are, tomorrow (exactly eight months to the day) I return to work. I know that I’m not the first & certainly won’t be the last Mumma to feel overwhelmed with emotions about going back to work. Part of me feels sick that I will no longer spend my days just being ‘Benjamin’s Mumma’, but part of me feels excited at the prospect of having a brand new ‘proper big girl’s job’ & getting my old ‘Lucy’ identity back again. I think it’s even more daunting that, after lots of evening studying & twenty exams later, I’m going into a completely new profession of becoming an adult Social Care Worker.
I guess my biggest worry is that I’m scared Benjamin will forget that I’m his Mumma: the one who soothes away his tears, the one whose face he strokes so gently when he drinks his milk, or makes him giggle so much he snorts (much like I do!) I’m terrified that this magical bond that we have created will be lost & we’ll become ships that pass in the night, only seeing each other to wake up, drop off, pick up, then bath & go to bed. I know millions of families do exactly the same thing every single day. We are not unique in that respect. I need to remember that at least we’ll still have Fridays together & the weekends as a family. We are very lucky. I also need to tell the boy that he can only achieve his milestones on ‘our days’ too! He’s so close to saying his first word it’s crazy & I’m sure he plays us when we’re there, like training a reluctant parrot; “say Dadda. Jamin, say Dadda!” I bet he’ll come out with his first sentence this week, when neither of us is there to witness. Let’s just pray that his first utterance isn’t obscene or incriminating, although I’m sure his Daddy would be equally as proud! Another part of me, the ex-Early Years teacher part, knows that this is absolutely the best thing for him: the best time for us to start to leave him, for him to socialise with other children & the best time for him to learn from other adults; not just me & Tim: & we have found the most perfect child minder to do this. I want him to learn early on to be mindful of his audience & adapt his behaviour accordingly. I’m praying that he’ll ‘play nicely’ with others, be kind, be friendly, but not a push over, to stand his ground & be assertive when necessary. I guess it’s what all parents want for their children. We don’t mind if he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, we’d rather him be practical, likeable, have people skills, be able to communicate & I am sure opportunities will present themselves to him in life.
As I sit here, now on the sofa: Benjamin deep in his slumbers, lunch boxes made, clothes ironed, alarm set (not had to do that for a while!) & tomorrow’s dinner planned in my head at least, my nerves are steadied slightly (although this might be the gin?!) And providing I don’t hear the theme tune of Howard’s Way, or Tales of The Unexpected (which would take me straight back to 80s Sunday nights before school as a child *shudders*), I am confident that things will work out for the best, for all of us.
Wish us luck!