So we have nearly survived our first half term at school and nursery (yes it is nearly the holidays again!) After the fun and madness of the summer with a walking-strike, attention seeking baby, I was more than happy to get back to work. I was looking forward to getting into some sort of routine, but oh god did I underestimate how difficult that would be. We have been thwarted by illness, accidents and of course vomit! Here is a run down of our last six weeks.
Toddling to the Doctors
Emilie was on walk-strike for seven weeks so now that she can finally walk it is a relief – but we have now moved onto the ‘Toddler days’ and a whole load of other parental tests!
In the last six weeks we have been to the Doctors at least ten times, along side a trip to A&E via Ambulance and another referral to physio! Daddy also didn’t want to miss out and threw himself out of his truck leading to another trip to A&E.
Going to the Doctors with a now walking Toddler is a test of anyone’s patience. Emilie loves running around the waiting room and saying ‘Hiya’ to every other patient and raiding the leaflets so that she can read her ‘bocks’. We are practically on first name terms with the pharmacy staff and we have our own seat in the waiting room! She can no longer be left in her pram as she arches her back shouting ‘wokwok’ and cannot stand to be strapped in as she gets ‘duck’. So far we haven’t had any melt downs but I definitely know we have been there too often when she pointed to the Doctor’s stethoscope then opened her mouth saying ‘Aargh’ without the doctor even checking her!
Anyone who knows me know that I should be wrapped in bubble wrap and that I can trip over nothing. In the last two years I have had three referrals to physio, one being for whiplash caused by falling over my own feet. The other being for a knee injury from falling over carrying the baby last year and yet again I have been referred for spraining my ankle walking out of the front door! Week 2 back at school and down I went like a sack of spuds. Hobbling to work was not easy especially with a weighty toddler in tow!
Vomit Comet and the cough of death
Within two days of being at Nursery Emilie was ill with her first sicky bug. We spent our first ‘days off’ together with her burning up, vomiting and clinging to me like a baby chimp. This blog is evidence that I have mopped up a lot of sick but in that 24 hour period I literally couldn’t remember when I had seen so much sick. I couldn’t move her without her retching. The poor little mite had nothing left!
Less than a week later and the cough of death took over! Both of us were wracked with the cough and of course Emilie + cough = a whole load more sick. And yes I did see even more sick than I had seen the week earlier!
Itchy and Scratchy
My poor little mite’s croup and cough eventually turned into an ear infection and we were finally prescribed the magic ‘Banana Medicine’ the medicine from childhood that cures all! She loved it and would follow me round carrying the bottle chanting, ‘more, more, more’. Fast forward 5 days and the infection was under control, my smiling baby was back complete with a rash from head to toe! Turns out she is allergic to Penicillin… back we went for our Thursday trip to the Doctors!
A week later and it was me covered in the itchiest of itchy rashes and yet another toddler tirade around the waiting room. A 30 minute wait for the Doctor to tell me that she didn’t know what it was and to tell me to take anti-histamines (which I was already taking aarrrgghh). Thankfully she did give me a lovely lotion which has stopped me wanting to scratch my flesh off. But I am still itching from head to toe and as we speak I am typing with one arms down my leggings!
I do feel slightly bad that I allowed my daughter to overhear a live sex show. As Daddy was scratching my back I was enjoying it rather too much… that brush really hit the spot! In telling my friend and laughing that it sounded like a live sex show, Emilie pipes up from the back of the car, ‘Aaah aah aah’ OMG my one year old is making sex noises!
Mum Guilt v Work Guilt
In the last six weeks I have enjoyed being back at work so much. I have loved having time to myself, to use my brain, to interact with the kids and to have a laugh and a chat with my colleagues. Time off from being Mum… it is fabulous! I also love my days off with Emilie – cuddles in bed, giggles and fun. Days out with friends, playdates, trips to the zoo and even the poorly cuddles.
What has been hard has been the guilt. The guilt when leaving her hysterical at nursery, guilt when picking her up late as I had to stay at a meeting and Emilie has been crying since 4pm when all the other mums started to arrive. The guilt of not seeing her at all on a Wednesday as I stay at work late, then go to Slimming World. (down 11 lb so far woop woop).
Then there is the Work guilt. After teaching for ten years – nine of them as a Middle leader – I have only ever been a teacher with no other personal responsibilities. I always put heart and soul into my job and that part of me hasn’t gone away. I have always wanted to strive and work as hard as possible. Leaving work early when I’d rather stay and get my work done has made me feel very torn. But in all honesty, I am more than happy to be back in the rank of ‘teacher’. No extra school responsibility, no extra meetings and no needing to prove myself other than in the classroom.
The ultimate battle of work guilt v mum guilt was when Emilie was ill. I had to take the day off to look after her as she was too poorly to go to nursery. I felt so guilty about work at first but then my mum instinct took over. And then in the middle of mountains of sick and 40 degree temperatures and three days of no sleep OFSTED come knocking. I had to choose and thankfully Daddy could take the day off as my work guilt was winning. I somehow survived the day on no sleep and when I got home to my poorly baby I realised that she was no worse off without me. Daddy was more than capable to sooth and look after her and so for once I pushed the mum guilt to one side and enjoyed being part of the team as we took on the dread OFSTED.
Part-time = perfect time
For the last six weeks despite the illness, accidents and this god forsaking rash, being a part time working Mum suits me perfectly. I have time to teach which is what I love. And I have four wonderful days being a Mummy. What has slipped has been my blog. I have no where near as much free time and now have the joyous never ending piles of marking and so I will have to strive even harder to spin all of the plates of my life.