My daughter was born in May, and since then I have felt lucky. I have felt this way every time I look at her face, every time I take her out and show her more of the world, every time she does something new. I feel lucky that I live in a country where pregnancy and childbirth was free, and where I am eligible for maternity leave and pay even though I work for myself. I’m so glad I got to spend the first eight months of her life focussing on her as we learnt all about each other, got to know each other’s quirks and preferences. But now it’s time to get back to work.
I’m blessed in that I love what I do, and there’s flexibility in it. I’m returning to work, but what will that look like?
To start with, it will look much like maternity leave. I have been spending a few hours each day looking for work, putting out the feelers, getting in touch with past clients. I’ve been reading up on new sites where I might find a gig. I’ve been going out to networking events, which is immensely scary! No matter how welcoming the group of people, I’ll always find it hard to talk about myself. These are the things that must be done though, and I’ve been glad to discover that once we’re through the initial awkward introductions, conversation generally flows more freely.
When work picks up, I may have a friend or relative round to play with Sylvia while I concentrate in another room. I expect there to be lots of early mornings, evening work, and cramming it in while she naps. The housework may suffer, but I’d rather be writing a blog post than doing the dishes in any case.
I have been telling myself this truism: I am not the first person to do this. There are plenty who have worked more important jobs while also being their child’s primary caregiver. There are ways and means, and Sylvia and I just need to find out routine, our own best way of doing things.
And no matter what happens, I need to keep sight of the fact that I am so, so lucky.