Three weeks ago, I dreaded the idea of going back to work.
A week and a half ago, I’d reconciled myself to the inevitable.
Six days ago, I was looking forward to it.
Today, five days in, I’m managing – just.
This is a whole new juggling act. I’m loving being back in the energy of an office, having face to face conversations, and getting stuck into new projects. I really do get a kick out of the work I do, and I like the people I work with. I didn’t realise how much I had missed it until I was back in the thick of it.
Ra-Ra is a different story. On Monday, while I was reconnecting with my colleagues and sitting in meetings, she was dealing with the trauma of not having Boob at her beck and call. On Tuesday, my mother described feeds involving flailing limbs, spitting, head butting and screaming. “If she could have sworn at me, she would have,” she said. On Wednesday, I ducked home in between meetings to feed her, and on Thursday I did the same. I took a lunch break, something I almost never do – not for me, but for her.
The trouble is that Ra-Ra has decided that she no longer likes feeding from a bottle. In fact, she hates it. My mother is finding it hard work to keep her entertained long enough to distract her from the fact that Boob is not around. Yesterday, I had to feed her after dropping her off because she started protesting before I could leave; then I popped back to top her up at lunchtime, and then again after work. Today, I got a frantic call from my parents while in a meeting that ran over time, begging me to come and feed the baby. Luckily I was able to duck quite quickly, but I won’t always have that option.
So I have something of a problem. As long as my baby hates feeding from a bottle, my life is going to revolve around breast feeding – something that is not entirely compatible with working in an office. This means limiting meetings, especially if they’re far away; I’m very lucky that my office is a six-minute drive from my parents’ home. All-day workshops? Working late? Travelling? Forget it.
I don’t know how long this hatred of the bottle will last. I’m very happy to be back at work – but I will admit that I’m worried that I’m going to drop some balls.