My 9 months is nearly up and my hunt has begun!
Shortly before giving birth to Millie, Stuart and I discussed my plans for returning to work. It wasn’t a question of would I as I enjoy working – I love the adult interaction, I love my job (as an IT Trainer) and I’ve put a lot of effort into getting where I am in my career so I don’t want to give up on it yet. The question was when. I said I expected I’d be ready around 9 months and as that was when my Maternity Allowance ran out so money would be tight(er than it already was) it seemed like a logical plan. It did mean there would be a few months of full time childcare for 2, however, so finding a job that would cover those costs for those few months would be the biggest challenge.
Well, here I am with Millie just turned 8 months and my job search has begun! Mentally, I was ready to go back after a couple of months but my heart definitely wouldn’t have been ready then and is still struggling a bit now thinking of all the firsts I might miss. I was lucky that I had 18 months with Callum so got to see a lot of his firsts!
But, I know Millie will be fine and I will be a better mummy for working! I’m not me when I’m not working and think I’m often feel quite low as a result.
Anyway, all this talk of work is really unsettling me and making me quite anxious with so much going on in my mind. I may need to write another post to get it all out but for now my thoughts are turned to Millie and routines!
Up until now I have pretty much been baby-led. Not just with weaning but with everything. I’ve been relaxed and gone with Millie’s signals for what she wants when. Therefore, we haven’t really had any fixed daytime routine. We established a nighttime routine around 12 weeks (if not a little before) but Millie has otherwise been fed on demand (which is ‘usually’ 3 hours but sometimes more sometimes less), naps when she yawns and starts to grizzle and sleeps for an unpredictable length of time. When someone asks me about her routine or when she naps, for example if she is being babysat by my parents, its all a bit sketchy! But I realise, if I’m going back to work and Millie will be in full time nursery, they’ll want some kind of routine!
So, consciously but still led by Millie as much as possible, I’ve been trying to establish some kind of routine around times! Looking at her nap and bottle times, it does look like she may be naturally slotting into a routine herself. She still wakes up at random times between 6am and 6.45am so I’ll average that it is 6.30am and this is what I’ve noted for the last week:
6.30am – wake up, bottle, dressed
7.30-8am – breakfast
8.30am-9.15am – nap (45 minutes)
9.30am – bottle
11am-1pm – nap, bottle (2 hours)
1.15pm – lunch
4pm – bottle
5pm – dinner
6.30pm – bottle, bed (sometimes this is nearer 6)
At the moment I’m going to remain quite flexible around this times but keeping them in mind. She is still not guaranteed to sleep through every night – like last night she woke at 10.45 and wouldn’t settle then downed a whole bottle so its hard to be fixed during the day plus I find being too strict just causes me stress and babies do kind of do what they want to do whether you like it or not. As hard as they have been I do think I enjoyed the first 6 months a lot more than with Callum because I was more relaxed and therefore Millie has been a lot easier baby (aside from the not sleeping through at night until later).
Now….about that job….!