That’s certainly how it felt; scouring the shops for work clothes the weekend before my return felt strangely like the annual trip to WH Smith at the end of the summer holidays to pick up school ‘essentials’ such as a new pair of compasses, pencil case and protractor (did I ever actually use that?) Then there were the nerves the night before and on the Tuesday morning, as I took time to get dressed, put on make up (in the day – really?) and dry my hair using a hairdryer. Novel.
In fact, it was focusing on the minutiae that actually got me through the morning without thinking that that Tuesday marked the first time I’d be leaving my little girl behind for four days of every week, for the foreseeable future. A big thing after eight months with a mini sidekick everywhere I went.
I was actually OK until my husband produced a present and card ‘from Scrip’ just before I said goodbye. It was a lovely, thoughtful gesture, but one that prompted the inevitable flood of tears that I’d managed to hold back since 6.30am. But then I had to go, and go I did, after a long hug, a wipe of the mascara and a wave goodbye up at the window.
It felt strange – not that strange to be without her initially because she’s obviously never been part of my work life. It was more odd – and sad – at points during the day to think of her far away, doing things with the nanny and her new little friend, without me. I felt a bit anxious and I missed her more than I thought I would. And I couldn’t wait to get home and see her at the end of the day.
As people always say, it takes time to get used to new things. And I’ll give it time. It certainly makes weekends and my day off with her all the more special. I guess it’s another adjustment to make, like the many others we’ve already made. And it puts my work firmly into perspective, too – something I think I needed after eleven years of work dominating. It’s a time to use my brain and hopefully enjoy, but mainly to enable us to provide Scrip with the best possible life and future we can.