The time has come for me to let go of that ever precious newborn stage and begin to shop around local nurseries to utilise when my maternity leave comes to an end. This is not something that I carry lightly as obviously, I wish for my baby to be in the best hands possible. If I didn’t have to return to work and could spend my time dedicated solemnly for her, I would.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of being a stay at home Mum, I have to go out to work to earn money and continue to lead a comfortable lifestyle and offer the best that I can for my baby.
Besides, as much as I would love to stay in my baby bubble forever, in order for Eleanor to grow and become independent and strong I need to get over myself and get back to it. To regain a healthy work/life balance.
Plus, I think I need to regain some sanity soon as spending my days alone and chatting to my baby has let this young mind get a little hazy and lost. Even more so than previously. I swear mum brain is a thing, a really bad thing.
My memory is not the same as it once were and I struggle to out sentences together some days. Wether this is a lack of a social life outside of those four walls or sleep deprivation, I don’t know. Regardless, I must return to work and live my life again. Come four months time, my spell of nine months maternity leave will be over and reality has to kick start. Staring with returning to work and having Eleanor into a care routine.
I’m well aware that Eleanor needs to start living her life and interact with other babies of her age to learn from them. I can’t offer her everything that she needs on my own and I feel that interaction with other babies and children can only benefit her development and personal growth. I can imagine she will come on leaps and bounds from the day she steps into her first nursery session.
With starting back to work in the pending months, I thought it best to get stuck in early and begin the search for a local nursery that will cater to our needs. I wanted some place close to home and close to my Mum’s all the same, a care centre that provided healthy and home made meals, introduced plenty of play and interactive activities with support from staff around the clock.
I hope to be return to work for three days per week. My Mother will care for Eleanor some of those days and the other days, she will be on the care of a private nursery. I’d happily have my Mother watch her each day I work but I deem it unfair for my Mum as she too works and I would hate for her to struggle with Eleanor on a bad day then have to get ready to go to work in the evening for a twelve hour shift. That isn’t fair.
With that thought, I decided to look local and check out a nursery in Cove Bay. Close by and handy for my Mum should she do the pick up run for whatever reason. I went to view the nursery and meet with staff to get a better idea of the daily running of the centre and the care that the children receive. I must say, I left really pleased with what I seen and the information I received.
There are several rooms for the children, three outdoor play areas all of which were spacious and there were staff around wherever you looked. The manager met with myself and gave the walk around tour with the appropriate information and answered any questions I had. There is a kitchen on site where both a vegetarian and meat option of meals were cooked and snacks were home baked goods with limited salt, sugar and fat content.
I was really pleased with the whole home made food consensus and with Eleanor going to raised as a vegetarian, this too was perfect as it would suit her dietary requirements and I could be at ease knowing she was getting a healthy meal provided. I can’t stress just how important healthy eating is to me and I want my baby to be well catered for with a wide variety of healthy and nutritional foods.
I actually caught feeding time during my visit and it was good to see that the staff were at large and sat with the children, helping to feed when necessary. I also discovered that if Eleanor is still taking her milk, I can provide the nursery with breast milk for her and they would store a supply to give her as she wanted. It was really nice to see how the staff cared for the children and that the meal times were well organised and ran smoothly.
The nursery also has an online journal that is updated daily and gives parents the opportunity to check on what their child has been up to each day and of any news that is new to the nursery. There are day trips out to the local community and local parks and the children are encouraged to go out and play together.
Getting out is something which I too find very important and part of a healthy and active lifestyle. I’d hate to return to work and think that my baby was couped up inside all day, I do not feel that would provide a full release of energy and I imagine come time, Eleanor will be full of plenty of energy!
I felt really content with the nursery and the whole running of it. I liked that healthy food was provided with plenty to choose from, there were staff at hand and the children can play outdoors and get on trips. It makes the day a bit more exciting and offers a little fun for Eleanor. The opportunity to meet and play with other babies will be real great for her and help with learning life lessons and her personal development, such as sharing and kindness.
I have opted to register Eleanor for this Cove Bay nursery for the days in which she is not at the care of my Mum. I looked online for reviews and input from Mum’s for many nurseries, Clive included and this certainly came out near enough the top of my searches. I’m unsure where I will return back to work, the days of work I will be offered and what days my Mother can care for Eleanor but I’m happy and feeling a little more settled now that I have found a nursery for her to register with and attend for some sessions each month.
The nursery offers morning and afternoon sessions as well as full days, I think that to begin with, I may opt to have her attend for around three afternoon sessions per month. This will give a better idea of how it will all pan out before committing to any set plans and full days or weeks of care.
I will get to know how she is coming on with her sessions and if they are worthy for her development. If I were to think that her development was being hindered, I’d have to then rethink my plans and look to find a new replacement nursery. However, I think that this could be a great day care centre for her and I felt really happy with my insight of the building and staff.
I’m thinking of it more as a taster right now, before devulgung in and going for full days right from the get go. I’d like to break her in easy, if not just for Eleanor, but for myself. I imagine waving her off to her day care will be a very upsetting experience. My baby will be growing up, drifting a little further from me to allow herself room to grow and mature into her own person.
Before attending her first session, parents are encouraged to meet with the staff and create a personalised profile for their child. This means that the staff will try to cater to your child’s needs and each child is seen as an individual with their own choices, strengths and weaknesses. The nursery work on the strengths and weaknesses of your child and allow them dedicated time to do the things which they favour. Your child isn’t seen as just a number, they are allowed to be their own person and encouraged to be the best version of themselves.
I think it is something quite powerful yet saddening when you send your first born off to nursery care. I know I will feel an element of guilt that I can’t be there with her each day forever and I will definitely see tears but it will be a proud moment all the same and I can’t wait to watch her grow into the most perfect little human.
I know that I still have time to cherish and treasure with Eleanor for now as she is only just five and a half months or twenty two weeks if you’d rather. I’m due to be back to work for mid May but will stretch it out to June if possible through use to annual leave. I’m desperate to hold onto the time that I have with her. I don’t want to let go. This is the first time and only time I will ever have with her to myself for such a long period and I’m not ready to wave goodbye just yet.
Waving goodbye to baby will be tough and finding routine again – another new routine will take time. My return to work will be such an emotional rollercoaster. I will be once again, stepping into the unknown and I won’t have my daily companion by my side, she will be in day care or with her Grandmother and I don’t know how I will cope being at work and not at home raising her by myself.
It’s a daunting feeling that will hang above my head until the end of my leave period but I am certain that I have found the right day care for her and knowing she will be well cared for puts me at ease (a little). I’ll have to stop myself from calling my Mum or the nursery every few hours to check up on her,i just know it. With time, I’ll adapt as she will and it will get easier.
Until then, I’ll just hold her close for as long as I can. Unwilling to say goodbye to the newborn stage and those first months, those first moments that are, oh so precious.
Has anyone recently went back to work after having a baby? Any coping mechanisms for this new Mum who is afraid to let go? I feel guilty and fear to be leaving her, I don’t know how I can work to get over this fear and just embrace this whole new and ever changing lifestyle that I have taken on?
This family life. My family life. My family.