Monday, 1 August 2011

Taking stock...

Warning: this is going to be one of those posts all about me. Skip it or indulge me, your choice :)

I go back to my full time day job in two weeks today. Gosh. The last fifteen months have been extremely challenging, more so than I ever imagined. Some of the misconceptions that I had about pregnancy, babies and life as a parent have been blown completely out of the water. Before I had a baby, the only people I'd ever really spoken to about all that stuff had had fairly straightforward pregnancies, and births, and where things had become a little complicated, had received appropriate and timely medical care. I certainly had never known anyone spend the last six months of pregnancy and first six months of their child's life unable to stand for longer than 20 minutes and unable to walk further than one side of their house to the other. I thought babies slept 16 hours a day when newborn, and could be awake and not crying simultaneously, at least some of the time.

I knew the phrase 'you're pregnant, not disabled' wasn't a nice thing to say, but I didn't know you could become disabled from being pregnant or having a mismanaged delivery. I didn't know I wouldn't be able to even walk to a local shop for a pint of milk or to the playground on the other side of my back garden so my baby could go on the swings until she was 9 months old. I really never thought I'd be the kind of person who depended on a car to get around. I also didn't think I'd be the kind of person who would feel jealous of someone walking to collect their older child from school the day after they'd had a baby, when the day after I'd had a baby I was hooked up to all kinds of drips, drains and who knows what else, wondering if I'd ever live long enough to walk my child to school.

What I did know was that I was always going to go back to work - I'm even more determined to help make a difference to people who work in and use NHS services now - and that I will manage to balance being a mum, a wife, a friend and an employee with having some kind of social life and keeping my businesses going, as well as planning for another idea I have up my sleeve. Now just to think of what to say when everyone asks me did I enjoy my 'year off'. I always have the instinct to go a bit 1920s in these circumstances 'the heart failure, major surgery and feelings of having to conform to societal expectations of a new mother were a crashing bore, but that aside, just tickety boo, thanks'.

Luckily, I have just two short weeks to dwell on this, well, two weeks of nap times, anyway. In other news, I've made some new envelopes, and normal service will be resumed in my next post. Hurrah!