I am returning to work one day (two occasionally) per week. Yesterday morning while I crawled through 24 miles of traffic on route to work for my first day back I had plenty of time to think. In an age of equality for women why does it feel like we are now going backwards? Women fought for the right to return to work, but with the cost of living rising and the government backing childcare do women actually have a choice?
I am fortunate to only have to work occasionally and spend the rest of the time taking care of my family. Some I know have returned to work unwillingly, worrying their way through their maternity leave and crying their way through the mornings of their first weeks and months back at work, their children clinging to their legs as they leave them in the government’s subsidised childcare. Some research claims a link between extended periods of stress caused by separation anxiety and anxiety and depression in early adulthood, with this research emerging should the government also be investing elsewhere? Should the government be preserving the mental health of mums and our next generation by helping mums who chose to stay at home and take care of their children?
Something for the government to consider… when it is too late I suspect!
Some further reading
I love this book, I would recommend everyone gives this a read (child or no child): What every parent needs to know: The incredible effects of love, nurture and play on your child’s development by Margot Sunderland (2007)
Last night I had a dream, I was at an event and surrounded by people, on the next table was a couple with their new baby and I felt alone, with a feeling of missing my twins so much it hurt. I woke at 5am, wide awake, willing my twins to wake so I could hold them again.
My twins are almost 14 months old and I can count the number of times I have been without them since their birth on my hands. The first time was involuntary, I suffered a haemorrhage within 3 hours of their birth, I lost 10 pints of blood and ended up in the critical care unit. Waking in the evening I had missed the majority of the first day of their life and I had missed my parents meeting my little ones. When I look back at photos and video of their first day I feel sad to have missed those moments, moments I will never get back.
We have been parted rarely since except for a few haircuts and some girl time. People often urge me to spend more time without my babies, as if I am doing myself a disservice, only by freeing myself from my children can I really be myself. But the time I spend without them I don’t feel like I am led to believe, myself again, but a shadow of myself, like two parts of me are missing. My whole adult life I felt something was missing, now I have found them and while we spend time apart I am missing more precious moments.
While my twins are young they rely on me to be there, as they grow they will seek time away from me to go on adventures and spend quality time with their friends and our wider family. They will do this until the day that they find someone they feel can offer them all they need and they will make a home for themselves and start making their own precious moments. Until then I will be there as much as I can… just in case I am needed.