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Oh No, Oh No, It’s Back To Work I Go

FROM HER: I’ve gone back to work.

My six glorious months of maternity leave have come to an end.

As have the precious holidays I saved up when I was knocked up.

I have joined the ranks of working mums.

So far it has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done – and I’ve snorted parmesan.

In the latter stages of my pregnancy, as several months of baby nuzzling stretched out before me, six months seemed like an eternity.

The longest I’d managed to shirk work for previously was a five month honeymoon in India. But that culminated in the hubbie taking a sample of my frothing faeces (or ‘crapuccino’ as we liked to call it at the time) to the local hospital on Christmas Day, and so it definitely doesn’t count.

I had all manner or highfaluting ideas of just what I could achieve in my time off.

I’d set up my own company and live off a passive income! I’d invent the latest must-have baby accessory and rake it in from eBay sales!

In reality the only thing I’ve set up is a direct debit, and the only thing I’ve invented is the word ‘defeceating’.

Vb. Def-uhc-eat-ing: the act of consuming food whilst shitting it out at the same time – as perfected by babies and worms. 

Look, the hubby drew a picture for you:

Defeceating (2)

Oh, and obviously I’ve had a pretty lovely time of raising Edgar, but I’m only getting paid £0.81p an hour to do that, so something had to give…

The plan had been to put the boy into nursery, but I started having second thoughts.

I have nothing against nurseries. Just as I have nothing against those foot spas where fish nibble at your bunions, I just don’t want to put my kid in one all day.

Not yet, at least.

He’s still so small. He can only just sit up unaided. He thinks my dirty socks are one of his five a day. And he’s definitely not ready to fathom the finer plot points of In The Night Garden on his own.

I turn to Excel. I work those household expense spreadsheets like a top class number whore, looking for ways we can cut our costs and slash our spending.

The trouble is, we’re already quite thrifty. We’ve pretty much begged, borrowed or built anything you’ll find in our teeny tiny house.

Even the butter we’re eating at the moment is second hand. And out of date. But waste not, want not.

“I could look after him,” offers the husband.

I laugh. Ha! Haha! Hahaha! Hahahahaha! That’s funny. This is a man who’s only just learned how my g-strings need to be folded. There’s NO WAY he’ll be able to maintain my exacting standards of childcare and house husbandry.

He’s serious. And he is pretty much NEVER serious.

And financially it makes sense.

So despite my rampant jealousy that I may not be the first parent in this relationship to see Edgar reach his milestones, and my misgivings that his favourite song will soon be the theme tune to ‘Pointless’, I concede. It is, after all, for the best.

The paternity leave request is put to the boss.

The response is akin to how you imagine Hitler reacted when he first discovered there was a song doing the rounds about him only having one ball.

But it’s granted.

And before you can say ‘it’s not fair’, me and the hubby are into our two-week handover period.

And it turns out he’s a natural. Far more organised than I ever was.

Within 48 hours of being in charge, the boob has been banished and he has Edgar napping for longer, eating three solid meals a day, sleeping right through the night and reciting the works of Seneca. In Latin.

Meanwhile I face my return to work with all the enthusiasm of a death row inmate facing the chair.

I’m resigned to my fate, but can’t help but pray for some kind of lasting global power failure in which the whole world gets sent home for the rest of their lives.

But return I must, and return I do.

And it’s bloody hard.

Edgar has been my constant companion for over 16 months, if you include womb time. He’s my wingman. My sidekick. Batman to my Robin.

He gave me superpowers.

Like the ability to squirt milk out of my boobs for distances of up to two metres. To be able to walk into a new environment and see danger lurking everywhere.

Hell, once we even saved a cat from being run over. Albeit by emergency-stopping the car I was driving after being distracted by some horseshit that looked like Jesus.

And now I’m on my own. In meetings. With adults. Talking about MARKETING.

Saying things like ‘with regards to’ and ‘how can we drive trial’ and ‘let’s stir-fry some ideas in the wok of creativity and see if we can come up with a few tasty morsels’.

It’s not that I hate my job. Far from it. It’s as enjoyable a way as any to sustain the no-frills lifestyle to which I’ve grown accustomed.

But let’s face it, if marketing disappeared tomorrow, who would really miss this silly industry to which I have committed my limited resources?

I mean, what is marketing anyway? Just a way to make people buy things they don’t need, with money they don’t have, in the hope of happiness that doesn’t materialise.

No-one ever lay on their deathbed and thought ‘I wish I’d bought more pencils or collected those tokens for that Tetley tea towel with Sidney on it.’

But I bet plenty wish they’d spent more time with their kids.


12 Responses to “Oh No, Oh No, It’s Back To Work I Go”
  1. Eeh Bah Mum says:

    Love it laughs and a bit of genuine emotion. Like an episode of Frasier.
    I bet at least one person has thought I wish I’d bought more pencils on their deathbed but you’re definitely right about the Tetley tea towel.

    • raisingedgar says:

      Cheers Kirsty. Not sure if you’ve seen Sightseers, but I reckon I would actually like to own one of those MASSIVE pencils from the Keswick Pencil Museum!

  2. I love your writing, made me laugh out loud. There is no easy way through parenting really is there ?

    • raisingedgar says:

      Sadly not. Unless it’s like green energy, and someone knows the secret, they’re just not sharing it with the rest of us mortals. Thanks for reading x

  3. oh my God. I totally love your writing. I hope you don’t stop writing on account of work. keep calm and carry on X

    • raisingedgar says:

      Aww, cheers for that. Yup, very much hoping to carry on. Suspect I may have a few work-related rants up my sleeve…

  4. Mary Keynko says:

    It’s so annoying when they turn out to be better at parenting than us isn’t it? I mean we don’t win many battles in this male dominated world we are forced to exist in! The least they could do is be crap at nappy changing! – selfish bastards!

    • raisingedgar says:

      I know! The only thing I’m winning at currently is I go to the toilet marginally less often than him in the night. Harrumph.

  5. Swazi says:

    Oh man if I didn’t like handbags so much I swear I’d sack off the whole idea of ever working again.

    I feel your pain at returning to work, but you must tell me is it really like Mad Men in real life ?

    • raisingedgar says:

      Hell no! In our place, the girls outnumber the boys by about 5:1 and it’s all about as sexy as a pair of American Tan tights…

  6. I loved this post, I read most of it out to my boyfriend :) I am mum to two, my youngest is 6 months – I’m having until she’s 10 months off (we saved up) then I have to go back to work. Already dreading it though. Your post describes how I will be feeling perfectly. I don’t even like work that much anyway! Xx

    • raisingedgar says:

      Yup. There’s nothing like raising a tiny being to put the whole 9 to 5 thing into perspective, is there?

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