Motherhood is funny isn’t it? I don’t think I’ll ever fully get the hang of this gig. Just as I think I’ve got everything under control, something arises that reminds me that this job, though the best in the world, is bloody hard! And emotional! Oh, so emotional. What am I referring to on this occasion? Well, the inevitable fact, that it’s almost time to hand my pride and joy over, and entrust her to an, albeit lovely, but ultimately group of total strangers, to fend for herself amongst a heard of unruly toddlers, AKA. nursery.
I don’t know if it’s just my over sensitive side coming out again, but the whole prospect of Aurora going to nursery terrified me. Throughout her baby days, I was reluctant to join any baby groups; perhaps (definitely) a little selfishly on my part, as I much preferred watching Rory grow and learn new things without an audience, and having those precious, treasured moments for myself. It was months before I could even bring myself to leave her for a few hours, in the care of family members. Not because I didn’t trust them, but again, I wanted to be selfish with her, and I wanted to be the one to see her say her first word, I wanted to be there when she took her first steps, or just did something hilariously funny, or beautiful, or kind. I didn’t want to hear about it from somebody else. I wanted to be there for it all. I think a lot of first time mums can probably relate to that?! As time has gone on, I have relaxed a lot on that front, and can understand and fully appreciate the importance of a little time apart every now and again. There will be moments that I miss, and I have to hear about second hand, but equally there will be moments that are all mine. But fortunately, as of yet, my clingy ways have not transpired over to Aurora, and isn’t phased when I have to leave her for work, or drop her with a member of the family. Sometimes I think I need her more than she needs me.
In May of 2017, my maternity leave came to an end. For the 9 months prior, when I’d been asked what my plan was for going back to work, my reply was simple; ‘I don’t want to talk about it’. I was in denial that I was ever going to have to leave my new mum/ baby bubble. Anyway, the months passed me by regardless, and before I knew it, I was being invited in to the office to make the arrangements, I’d so desperately been putting off. I made an enquiry at a nursery in the spring of 2017, and they seemed really enthusiastic about having her, but I just didn’t feel ready, so withdrew my interest. She was barely 9 months old, and emotionally, I just was not ready to go back to working a 12.5 hour shift, and not see that ray of sunshine every day. So, I held off, and arranged with my work to go back on night shifts, so I could be with my little love during her waking hours.
To begin with, this worked well. The transition back into work was always going to be tough, but, on the whole, I felt like I was winning. However, after a month or so, the tiredness started to catch up with me. Cat-napping in the day, whilst Aurora had her naps, was starting to take its toll, and I felt like a walking zombie. I was tired, and teasey all the time, and felt myself become anxious, and really low. So, in December I decided enough was enough, and it was time for a change.
That takes us to today; working sociable hours once again, and soon to embark on a role that will see me working ordinary office hours. (it’s probably sad how excited this makes me). Aurora’s dad works Monday to Friday, so his Mother has been helping us out with childcare. She loves having her granddaughter, and equally, Rory loves terrorising her grandparents. But while this works really well, every day it is more and more plain to see that Aurora is no longer a baby. She’s a fully fledged, walking, talking (mostly nonsensical), toddler. She thrives from interaction, loves to be sociable, and is eager to learn.. I *think* it’s the right time. Call it mums intuition or whatever, but, even if I’m not necessarily ready, I think she is ready for this next step.
This week, my mother-in-law and I, went to visit a nursery. I’d be lying if I said I was nervous about it. I had knots in my stomach! But, it honestly could not have gone better. In fact, I walked away feeling so excited about what is to come, and so very proud of my little girl, that I could have burst. Not only did she love every second of it, but she was confident, and didn’t want much to do with me in there, and even made quite the impression after kissing a little boy in the 2 year olds group. What a ridiculously, beautiful, affectionate little girl I’ve raised?! Next week she will have her first settling in session, and my personal feelings of dread, and fear, and anxiety, have been replaced with excitement, and hope. Seeing her thrive in that short time that we were visitors to the nursery we have now enrolled her in, has filled me with confidence. She loved it, and know she’s going to be more than okay.
As long as she is okay, then I’m okay. You may get the impression that I’m a little OTT; maybe I Mother her too much, and I’m a little possessive. I know I’m possessive of her, and I know I’m over the top, but guess what, she’s actually better than alright. She’s confident, courageous, kind, caring, and downright adorable. So, excuse me while I give myself a big ol’ pat on the back.
So here’s to this next chapter for both of us; her making new friends, settling into nursery (*please don’t bite anyone*🙏🏼), and me coming to terms with the fact that my beautiful, perfect, little love, is no longer a baby (she’ll always be my baby), and doesn’t necessarily need her mother for every little thing. *sheds a tear*. My little girl is growing up, far quicker than I’d necessarily like, but what a wonderful sight it is to see. #proud
Thanks for reading.
Lots of love