Today is my first day back at work after a full two weeks off with my kids. I have had the best time. You see, they have been on top form (for a change!) and such great fun. We haven’t had any problems or night terrors from my son and it is making me wonder just how much me working crazy hours is really affecting him. So this is an open letter to him. The week before he starts pre-school. And the very first day I have questioned my choice to be a working mum.
Yesterday saw you having to go through your last set of immunistaions – it feels like you’ve had a million! You were so brave and I felt like the worst person in the world holding you tight while the nurse gave you the shots. You looked at me with such horror that I had to hold back the tears and smile as I told you it would all be over soon. I cuddled you and told you what a brave boy you were, as you shook and huddled into me. It felt great being able to put you to bed last night but a huge hole in my heart opened up when I realised that tomorrow I’d be back at work again and someone else would be the first person to see your cheeky smile when you woke up.
For the last two weeks we have had a lot of fun. Seeing your face when we took you to Diggerland will be forever ingrained in my brain! I honestly didn’t think it was possible for anyone to be that excited. You were shaking so hard as we walked through the car park and I thought you were going to pee yourself when we went inside. Moments like this are precious. But do you know what? All the fun stuff we got up to on our holidays were great, but we still get to experience fun stuff on my days off when I’m back at work. What I really loved about our holidays was the knowledge that I got to be there everyday. When you would wake up and say ‘no nursery today mum?’ With a look of anticipation, then pure joy when I told you that I was there all day. My heart hurt so much to realise just what that means to you. I know you get on great at nursery and love the days you spend with your dad and nana but I also know how much you just want to spend every day with me. And I can tell you my little lover that the feeling is mutual.
Yes some days you are an areshole. There. I said it! Offering me a bogey and telling me they taste delicious, jumping off the toilet seat and spraying my nice new pumps with pee, being a grumpy bugger when you need a nap but refuse to have one. Many instances where I would happily trade you for a glass of wine! But you are a remarkable little dude. You are funny – like really funny! You have great comic timing and make me and your dad crease with laughter every day. Your smile and little dimple make everyone you meet fall in love with you. Your knowledge and smart arse tendancies are amazing and make me proud when I see that spark of determination and grit in your personality.
But the look of sadness and resignation I get when I tell you that I’m back to work soon makes me break. Knowing that there are days when I only see you for ten minutes in the whole day and sometimes not at all, make me my jaw tighten and my head hurt from holding it all in.
I will always love the weekends I get to go away with your dad or to see my friends. For I am still me. One day you will find this too. A person inside the parent costume. And I need time for me as well. But it feels different. Getting away to recharge myself and going away everyday to work. I am constantly in turmoil. I need to work but at what cost? Does extra money in the bank make up for me not being there? Would I be a happy mum if I was at home full time? I don’t know. I honestly don’t know. Your mum who always has all the answers can’t answer you that. Sometimes I am so sure of myself. So confident in ny decisions. Ther times I question everything. I hope that you will grow up knowing you are loved. Loved more than I can ever tell you or show you – although the kisses and cuddles you get won’t stop for a while I can promise you that. One day I will tell you that there were days like today where I cried so hard about not being there that I had to pretend to have hayfever to not look like an idiot! That it took a lot of soul searching not to jump in the car and just come back home. So I write this to you, my gorgeous boy. On a day when mummy is having doubts about doing the right thing. On a day where time seems to be moving at warp speed and you my baby boy are disappearing, being replaced by a growing boy whos need are changing. Whatever happens in the future know that I tried. I did what I thought was best for us all. And that’s all any of us can do.