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Thursday, 8 November 2018

A different me

Me and my bestie seem to be bouncing off each other a lot at the moment. Despite living less than a mile away from each other and both being on maternity leave, we haven't actually seen each other that much recently. However, as is the case most of the time, we are pretty much on the same page. The reason I start with this is because after reading my blog (I think she's my only reader haha) she has decided to start her own. She says it's because of my cathartic nature of writing... I call it a brain dump of random drivel that comes to mind and gets typed! But because of her wish to join the blogging world, she has inspired to finally get on with writing my next post.

I have been thinking about this post for a long time but now Pippa is very much mobile and into absolutely everything, time to think and write is even less than before (and I thought I was busy then!). She is now a crazy 10 month old who is walking, starting to talk and already has 8 teeth!! She understands so much of what you say to her now and is a real little diva. She completely blows my mind.

Which brings me back to why I am writing this post in the first place. This year has completely flown by. I was meant to be going back to work after Christmas after over a year off. I am not going to lie and say that it's been an easy year full of laughter and happiness because having a baby is bloody hard work. But it has been the best, most rewarding year of my life and I wouldn't change it for the world. I always wondered what I would be like as a mother. I am not known for my patience (and many could argue my compassion) and although I've always wanted kids one day, would not describe myself as a proper mother hen type cooing over all the babies. Certainly at work I much preferred looking after the women rather than the babies. But I have to say I have surprised myself. I could never understand how parents could stick playing the same game over and over again with their child, or singing the same song on repeat or watching that movie for the millionth time... But I get it now. And enjoy it. I love watching her face light up with delight and hearing her laugh, even if that means doing the same thing over and over and over and over again. I also would prefer to do that thing, whatever it might be because if it keeps her happy and occupied then that's much easier than her getting frustrated or annoyed. It's not like I'm going to be able to do what I would like to anyway so what does it matter as long as she's enjoying herself! Gone are the days I can sit in my sewing room for hours on end with only myself to think about. But you know what, if I had a whole day to myself I honestly wouldn't know what to do with it and would miss her terribly!

Although my relationship with my job has been very much up and down in the past, before I went off on maternity leave (despite being a miserable pregnant mess), I was in a good place and enjoying it. However, as time has passed over this year, I have been thinking about the prospect of going back more and more. I didn't want it to impede on the time I have with my baby but unfortunately for a while it did. The lack of sleep is real with a baby let alone having another thing keeping me awake. I was due to only go back on 18hrs but was really dreading the 12hr shifts and am also very reluctant to pay/use too much childcare because quite frankly, I don't want to pay someone else to look after my baby when I want to do it myself. I don't want to get up and leave before she's up in the morning and then return after her bedtime. I don't even know how that would be feasible as I am still breastfeeding. How would that work if I was on several shifts in a row? I'm not saying that's it's wrong or neglectful of mum's or what ever..I know plenty of mum's do it and it works very well for them but that's not what I want for my family. I'm sure many people would argue that I am Molly coddling her or that it would be good for her to have some space away from me and I should 'get my life back too' but work isn't my life. I think the final nail in the coffin was the prospect of missing out on her doing and learning. We are on the waiting list for swimming lessons and when she's old enough I want her to do gymnastics too. These are all things I want to take her to. Who knows what I'll have to work and how much I might miss. We are lucky enough to be able to live a relatively comfortable life on one wage so I have made the decision to take a years career break and just be..

I never saw my self as a stay at home mum/housewife but she's been the making of me. Maybe its because midwifery is a tough job in very trying times at the moment and I'm not sure I'm cut out for it anymore. Women need a strong motivated midwife who they can trust and who will fight for them, especially when the system is at breaking point but I am not sure I have what it takes anymore. I don't think I can truly immerse myself into the journey of childbirth and what women go through now I have done it myself. I don't think I have enough fight in me to give everything to my baby and then also give my all to the women I care for. I know who comes first. I did my first keeping in touch day last week and felt overwhelmed by the whole thing. I can't really explain why. Just that I am not the midwife I used to be. Everyone always said that being a midwife without children doesn't make you any less of a midwife but I feel quite the opposite. I think I was at the top of my game before having Pippa. I think I was good at it (though my colleagues, if they read this, might think otherwise hahahaha). Now I am mentally in such a different place. Although I tried to do my best for the lovely lady I cared for last week (under very trying circumstances which seems to be the norm now), I just didn't feel like I cut the mustard and my heart certainly wasn't in it. which you SOOO need in this vocation. I don't want to speak ill of work but I felt pushed about and vulnerable which I am really not used to. No doubt this is my own insecurity due to work not being my life recently (18 months I've been away from delivery suite and just over a year from midwifery all together). I didn't feel looked after or supported and I really think I should have been. I know how stretched the service is and I know I am a big girl and have been qualified a long time but it's a big scary job with lots of responsibilities. And a lot at stake. Although I knew I was safe and in control really, in my head the doubt was there which I really didn't like. I'm not sure I can be a good mum and a good midwife both at the same time. Not yet.

The reason I named this post 'A different me' was because that bestie i mentioned right at the beginning of this monologue, for a long time after I had Pippa, said that I had changed. In a good way but I had changed. Until recently I didn't understand her and thought she was talking rubbish. But now I see it. And I like it.

Apologies for the stupidly long brain dump jibberish... I found it really difficult to start this post but once I got going, found I couldn't stop

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