Childcare-Returning To Work
I have always tried to have some help with looking after Sophia. I am most certainly her main attachment parent and it has always been important to me to think carefully about how I get my own needs met whilst being in such a sacrificial role as that of a parent.
I think I still have a lot to learn to be honest with you, surrounding learning not to be giving too much of myself.
When Sophia was very little I had my mother in law around for 3 hours, once a week. She would hold her and rock her and when she cried I would come and feed her and then hand her back to my mother law for some singing or rocking. It was great that my mother in law could spend time with Sophia in our home and become another key attachment figure for Sophia. I would spend the time cleaning my home and enjoyed doing something other than just breastfeeding.
If I had a particularly terrible night I would often go to my mother in law's home and sleep with Sophia there but if she woke my mother in law would take her for an extra half an hour or so so that I could sleep a little longer.
For the first year I would say that I was almost 99% of my time with Sophia. Chris would do bath time but I often was present too as I genuinely just didn't enjoy being away from her side. I suffered very badly with post natal anxiety which occurred the most if I was away from Sophia.
At 6 months of age my best friend came and watched Sophia sleep whilst Chris and I had our first date night for his birthday. It was a success and she didn't wake up but we still didn't really go out again until she was a year old and didn't sleep away from her until she was 2.
Around a year it became easier to leaver Sophia for longer periods of time as people could bribe her with snacks, mainly rice crackers.
At a year old I started her with my friend from NCT, who I knew well, and her baby boy as a child minder for 2 hours so I could go to therapy. She was fine and I knew my friend would tell me if Sophia was distressed at all but she reported her eating snacks or lunch well and playing happily with her little boy. This didn't work out because my friend found it difficult to watch two babies so young on her own but it gave me confidence that Sophia was ready.
Knowing that Sophia could happily be left I decided to find a child minder who I could leave Sophia with for a day. My parents in law were not an option as they lived half the year in Cyprus!
I found a neighbour who child minded and was highly recommended. She started doing just 9am-12 and was fine. I would bring her back to breastfeed for her nap but slowly my child minder convinced me that Sophia could nap without me as did other children she had staying and her first stay from 9-2 she did just that. Went to bed with a bottle something she has never done for us!
Sophia started with the child minder about 14 months until 19 months but over the summer I took her out of child care and we spent the summer in Greece and Menorca. It was lovely to be back together all the time again. Even though it was only a day I missed her massively. I used the time to sleep, watch a movie, catch up with friends and the world that I had been hidden away from in a maternal bubble and ponder what was next for me.
As Sophia came up to 2 years of age I took on a life coach to think further about what I would like to do. I had tried some work around 18 months, just 3 therapeutic clients of an evening when Chris could watch Sophia but I didn't enjoy the therapy workload with my little one in my life. I found I wanted to be all or nothing, either completely there for Sophia or completely there for my clients. I wasn't ready.
So I pondered what else I could do and am still researching and testing the waters of a workshop/educational/ client based coaching and mentoring business for parenting and womanhood. It is very exciting and needs less supervision than therapy as it is more educational rather than intensive therapeutic alliance work.
When Sophia was 2 I upped her day care to 2 days and she settled really well. I started to use my time to blog and discover myself again having had the life changing title of becoming a mum.
And this week I have finally taken the plunge and decided that this year, 2019, I really want to work!
So I have asked my child minder to do 3 days a week and Sophia had taken to it like a fish to water. It feels totally the right thing to do. Last month I had a bit of a panic attack and I always honour my anxiety, as it is strictly telling me I need a change. I think my body was saying or rather shouting - COME ON LAURA YOU NEED TO GET YOURSELF BACK. I was really neglecting my own needs and the truth is I really want to work.
So This week I am officially working for my own little company, which has yet to make money, but it's early days. I am practicing for free on some friends to get my confidence and understanding exactly what it is I can do for people with my skill set. I am calling it the research phase (market research if you like). I am also running a free course on cyclic living which I would love you to sign up on 12th Feb 2019. Follow the link on my website to my facebook page for more information.
I am feeling less anxious again knowing I am following where I feel alive and having my soul nourished.
I am ready,