Return to Work: 1 Day Countdown (Pt 2)

Goodness, where has the time gone?

It’s been 3 weeks since my last blog post and so many things have happened in between that I’m wondering whether the theory about life resembling a toilet roll is actually true.

Last post, I wrote about habits, especially bad ones to break. While not perfect, I have reduced my time wasters to a level, which has allowed me to enjoy the last few weeks of my maternity leave to the fullest. Now, I have to form the good.

My husband and I have discovered that we have allowed a little complacency to enter our lives, specifically with regards to housework. Being on maternity leave has meant that I have taken on the vast bulk of our housework, in addition to the numerous phone calls, errands and childcare duties. The aim was to make life as easy as possible for us, but it did end up with me becoming more stressed than was strictly necessary.

With both of us now back in full-time work (while I don’t start back until tomorrow, I have technically officially returned yesterday), we need a lot more organisation to keep all four of us going through the week without weekdays becoming total child admin days. So we will sit down tonight with a list of our everyday chores, and we will divide the chores in a reasonable split, including our own and the girl’s.

Organsising the children themselves is a different matter. Clothes for the boy will be ready for the whole working week, prepared on Sundays and packed into folders. Each pocket contains a full set of clothes, including underwear and bibs, so that each morning the question of ‘what shall we wear today’ is already decided.

Lunches will be made the night before. Using recipes for my sandwich fillers means that I can bulk-prepare two days in advance, make sandwiches the night before and just retrieve them from the fridge in the morning. The boy – allergic to egg and dairy – will have soup, which can be made over the weekend and frozen in batches.

It will be unavoidable to work in the evenings, but I will strive to reduce this as much as possible. I’ve worked in primary schools for a while, where the requirement is to mark every book after every lesson, so over time, you come up with some time-saving ideas on how to do this. It’s a difficult habit to get into as it means multitasking at work, too, but once you start it gets easier with time.

Most of all, I have to let go of wanting to be perfect. With a baby at home, just being good enough for a while will have to do. If that means planning fewer exciting lessons and more bog-standard ones, so be it. If it means using the microwave more than the hob, so what. Until the boy has some level of autonomy, basic survival techniques will have to do.

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