What a week it’s been. The most testing since returning to work and one that I’m glad to see the back of. Let’s just say, a poorly baby, lack of sleep and a mountain of work equals one stressed out mummy.
I will spare you the details, as I’m sure those of you following me on Twitter will have seen my endless mummy rants throughout the week. I do apologise. At times I just needed to vent and believe me, I held back. But, these babies really do get it tough don’t they?
It all started last Sunday while we were enjoying a family day at Bournemouth air show with the in-laws. Madeline had gone to bed the previous evening not wanting any of her tea, which was a little strange but not abnormal and had woken up early that morning in tears, instead of her usual cheeriness (I think we have a morning person on our hands!).
I knew something was up; her temp was a little on the high side, nothing major, but all she wanted was cuddles. This is always the way when you’re trying to get out and do something nice, right? I assumed she was perhaps in pain from the molar I could feel making it’s way to the surface…. Ouch!
Either that or Madeline had previously suffered from a cow’s milk protein allergy and, after a recent negative allergy test, we were going through the gradual process of weaning her back onto dairy… a long and stressful story I will save for another day. I wondered if this change to her diet was causing her discomfort and we needed to take her back a step on the weaning ladder. If only these babies could tell us, or at least give us a little hint, as to what’s up.
As the day progressed it became quickly clear that Madeline just wasn’t being Madeline. Usually so independent, she wanted mummy cuddles all day – that part was nice actually, I’m not going to lie. But, she wouldn’t eat anything other than a nibble of a little Organix ginger bread man and was so lethargic. So, we took her home, had a terrible night and the next morning I made the necessary arrangements with work to stay home and look after my little girl. She needed her mummy.
I can’t tell you the worry I felt at leaving my team in the lurch at such a busy time in the office. At the back of my mind I had a stack load of to-dos that needed completing. I knew the team would be understanding and help out by picking up anything urgent, but I couldn’t help feeling like a bit of a let down. Yet, if I had gone into work and taken Madeline to her auntie’s for the day as part of the usual Monday morning routine, I would have felt like the world’s worst mummy and probably sat at my desk in tears (as I did later on in the week!!). I couldn’t help but question what my colleagues were thinking though. Madeline was definitely not right, but was teething really a strong enough reason not to go in?!
I know I said that I would save you all the details, but that would make a pretty boring blog post! I will, however, save a bit of time by not going into each individual doctors appointment we attended and late night out-of-hours trips we made over the next couple of days. Madeline was first prescribed Penicillin for a terrible bout of tonsillitis before later in the week being diagnosed with a nasty viral infection complete with an all over body rash. Seriously, could anything more be thrown at my baby in one week?!
My goodness, how glad I was that I stayed at home for her on Monday as the guilt of ‘abandoning’ my poorly baby girl would surely have haunted me for quite some time. I swear now that I will never again question leaving my little girl’s side while she is sick. She is my priority first and foremost and always will be.
That said, the reason I work is for my daughter. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been ambitious and enjoyed working. I’m the type of person that gives 100% to what they do. If I’m going to do something, then why do it half- heartedly? Having a family was also very important to me, but perhaps came a little sooner than expected and I certainly wasn’t in the position or earning as much as as I would have liked before starting a family. So, now it is all about working hard to grow in my career, but mainly to ensure that Madeline and my future babies never go without. I suppose this is why I also find it difficult to ‘just take time off’.
For this reason, after a night of no sleep, I ventured into work on Thursday, feeling full of emotion but confident that Madeline was on the mend and her nana was looking after her at our house, so she could have another day at home to recover. I arrived at the office, sat at my desk, switched on my laptop and before I knew it, had tears streaming down my face. Bloody hell! What is wrong with me?! Thank goodness I work in an office of mainly women who understand hormones and sent me home to work for the rest of the day. I had to be with my baby until I knew she was fully back to herself. There seems to be a theme to these posts that I’m a bit of a crier – let’s just go with it! But, please tell me this has happened to someone else?!
After our first full night’s sleep all week, on Friday I successfully managed a day in the office with only a little mummy guilt. I kept my head down, cracked on with that to-do-list and got back on top of things before rushing home to my much better daughter. Madeline had enjoyed a lovely day with her nana, eaten all of her meals and been her usual cheeky self. Now, we are having a nice and relaxed bank holiday weekend – life is good.
I’m not going to beat myself up about the week just gone, it’s been a tough one, but it’s also only my third month back since maternity leave. I’m confident it will all get easier… Well, maybe. One thing I know is that Madeline must always come first from this day onwards. If ever there are days when only mummy will do, I will be there for her. That is a promise.
Keep going mummies. We are all just doing the best we can! X