Like many of us, when I was working full time, Sunday evening would arrive and with it, a serious case of the Sunday night blues. That sinking feeling of dragging your boring black leather heels through the concrete slabs that comprise the city. The Monday to Friday grind of time wasting meetings, office politics, managing up, managing down and moving briefs from one tray to another.
Now don't get me wrong, I do actually love my work. The sense of achievement, the relationship with my team mates, my portfolio of clients and the programs I manage.
It is the unavoidable incidentals such as the fast paced rat race, the hour long (on a good day) commute into the city and the small minority of challenging personalities that dampens the idea of rolling up on a Monday morning. And besides, weekends really are much more fun. I would so rather be on a long morning run than sitting idle on a freeway car park.
I am now ten months into a 13 month maternity leave arrangement from my workplace. The little master is nearing nine months old. He is growing and developing in leaps and bounds. On three solid meals a day plus milk feeds, he is sleeping all night, self feeding at lunch time, will take a bottle if I (heaven forbid) have a few hours away from him and is generally a very happy baby.
However, there's a slight issue. Upon starting my maternity leave, I relished in kissing the Sunday night blues away.
But they're back. Over the last few weeks they have started to rear their head again. In fact, today they crept in earlier once dear husband left for a Sunday afternoon golf game.
Like a toddler with my face pressed up against the window, I'm sure the neighbours could hear me wailing 'you're leaving me with him?! It's Sunday! But when will you be baaaackk?'*
It's not that I don't love the little master. I do, more than anything on this planet (sorry Buddy dog, you are a close second. Sorry dear husband, I guess that makes you a close third..?).
But it's official. I'm tired of looking after him 99 per cent of the time. I'm mentally fatigued, done with the nursery rhymes, the whining from new teeth pushing through those sore little gums, the repetitive mind numbing games and the busy yet mundane nature of feeding, settling, terribly bad singing, terribly bad dancing, bottom burps, banana vomits, banana and yoghurt vomits, face wiping and bum cleaning. Plus, if I have to read Dear Zoo one more time I think I'll end up in one.
Unlike my workplace, there are no pay rises for mothers at home, in line with CPI or workplace agreements. There are no formal performance reviews or opportunities for someone to sit down with you and tell you you're a superstar and that you're doing a marvellous job.**
Instead, many mothers at home, on a daily basis, grapple with the notion of being critiqued for our parenting styles, the size and shape of our baby, what they're eating, what they're not eating, are they crawling, are they walking, are they tap dancing yet..?
Although I have committed to seeing through my maternity leave arrangement, late last week I secured the little master a place in the most amazing child care facility for January 2013.
Whilst walking through the playground, the little master kicked his legs with excitement and I, holding back tears of relief, mentally wiped out the images of other centres we had toured through over recent weeks.
This was the Rolls Royce of centres. Amazeballs is an understatement. Plus it is less than a ten minute hop, step and wiggly jump from my work. And they have chickens. Real chickens...I know, I know.
I can't wait to send him there, to further develop those skills he has learnt at home and to flourish in a social, learning and nurturing environment. Did I mention the chickens?
As for me, bring on Monday mornings, my white crisp shirts, suit jackets, performance reviews, all day meetings, briefings, agendas, bits of paper.
Although it won't be easy and I can guarantee an array of tears from my behalf after dropping him off at childcare on day one, but I believe combining work and parenthood will make me a better mother and a better employee. I will value every moment I will share with the little master of a morning, night and on a weekend. I will work to live, not live to work and will very much look forward to reading Dear Zoo every single night. Over and over and over again.
* Dear husband did offer to cancel his golf game this afternoon out of respect for my sanity. However I refused his offer to stay at home, he too needs the time away to refresh himself..pity it takes five solid hours on a golf course to do so!
** Dear husband also does praise me every day and tells me I'm doing a great job. But as my husband, he has to do that...but I love him regardless. Thanks DH.
Oh, and I really do love Dear Zoo. That is all.