Confessions of a New Mum - Part Three - The Part-time SAHM | Motherhood

I am secretly enjoying going to work three half-days a week.
When I first went on maternity leave I knew that I would only be going back to work because we would absolutely need the money by the time Punky was about 7 months old. That is how long I had been able to budget the money we'd saved specifically for having a baby and factoring in the paid parental leave.

But I didn't think that I would want to go back to work at all. It's not that I don't like what I do, I just didn't think that I would want to leave the munchkin for so many hours a week.

I went back to work the first week of July. I'm only working 3 half days in the office, 8:30am - 2pm, Wednesday to Friday, and then a few hours from home to bring me up to a solid 20 hours a week, so it's not like I'm gone for that long.

But the thing that has surprised me about going back to work is how much, on some days, I actually enjoy going to work.

And not for the work either. The reason why I really enjoy going to work some days is because I am away from the munchkin for several hours. When we've had a particularly hard couple of days because of teething or a cold (like last week) and she has been clingy and crying from sun-up to sun-down, going to work is like getting a break, a little relief.

It's taken me a couple of weeks to come to terms with those feelings and to stop feeling guilty about it because I think, in some ways, it makes me a better Mum.
returning to work after baby
This photo has nothing to do with work although it was taken the Sunday
before I went back. I just like it coz it's a rare photo of the two of us

When Punky was first born and Dave went back to work (he had the first three weeks after her birth off) there were days when I was secretly jealous of Dave being able to go off to work and not have to worry about feeding, nappy changes, trying to get a newborn to sleep, all of the things I was struggling to deal with by myself. He could be out of the house for 8 hours at a time with no-one to worry about but himself.

Then came that sweet period, around 3-5 months, where Punky was in this great routine, we had things worked out, she was sleeping well and just so happy and sweet and content all the time, and those jealous thoughts disappeared and I never wanted to go back to work.

But now there are some days when I enjoy it, because I get a break from Punky, I can go to the toilet without having someone cry because I've dared to walk out of the room for a few seconds. I can eat food without having someone crawl over and try to grab it out of my hand. And I'm responsible for me and only me.

I miss her like crazy while at work, I wonder what she is doing most of the time, and I love getting home and seeing her face light up when she sees me and the frantic crawl to get to me for a hug. But I think having that time apart from her helps me feel less stressed when I am with her. It makes me appreciate my time with her more. And helps me to recharge those patience batteries.

I never thought I would feel like going to work was actually like taking a holiday but it's kinda like that. And I've decided to stop feeling guilty for feeling that way.

Writing this post for Thankful Thursday because I am thankful that I have a job to go to and the capacity to earn money, and I am thankful that I have a beautiful daughter to come home to.

Previous Confessions...
Confessions of a New Mum Part One - Learning Curves and 'Un'Enjoyment
Confessions of a New Mum Part Two - Stitched Up
Confessions of a New Mum Part Three - The Part-time SAHM
Confessions of a New Mum Part Four - Mum Appreciation
Confessions of a New Mum Part Five - Losing My Confidence
Confessions of a New Mum - Kelly from Handmade Tears and Triumphs (Guest Post)
Confessions of a New Mum - Bron from Big Brother, Little Sister & the Baby (Guest Post)
Confessions of a New Mum - Jenn from Mountains & Musings (Guest Post)

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Kel said…
I couldn't agree more. I think it's harder to stay at home permanently than it is to go to work. We shouldn't feel guilty for it. I'm definitely a better mum when I've had a break.
It is all about the attitude and you need not ever feel guilty about your choices. Lovely thankful.
Renee said…
A great entry. Having a break from your little ones gives you a fresh perspective, and also the chance to miss them!
Catherine Rodie said…
I'm very glad that you're not feeling guilty - you absolutely shouldn't. You're clearly doing a great job - just look at that happy little face!
Kylie Purtell said…
Yep, that was something I was surprised by, how much harder it is to be at home full-time with bubs as opposed to working full-time (before kids, anyway)
Kylie Purtell said…
It certainly is about the attitude. It's amazing how just a slight change in perspective can change your whole outlook on things
Kylie Purtell said…
I certainly do miss her, that's for sure, but it makes the time we do spend together that much more special.
Kylie Purtell said…
There is nothing better than getting home and seeing that smile, definitely makes all the hard times and sacrifices worth it
Anonymous said…
There is too much guilt in general and I think it's because mums aren't entirely honest to each other. I would LOVE to pee alone or drink a whole cup of tea without having to microwave it. We mums have a responsibility to each other to be honest about this stuff so thanks for doing your part! Our kids need independence and we need distance... you know what they say about the heart growing fonder!
Francesca said…
I know exactly how you feel!
Kate said…
I worked a bit after my first two were born, and in many ways it was easier and happier than the time since where I've been at home full time. No guilt, it is what it is :)

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