All The Feelings You Feel As a Mum Going Back to Work

I go back to work next month. First of all let’s get the giggles out of the way, yes I’ve had a year off to raise my little guy. No I’ve not been on ‘a vacation,’ you wouldn’t call having a major operation, shit up your arm and sleepless nights (and not for the fun reason) a vacation. Ok, maybe it does sound like a stag. You got me.

I’ve been helping Freddie grow into a tiny person all year long. And this tiny person will one day be a big person who can make his own decisions and run his own life. But for this past year, it has been mostly just us bumming around, crying, giggling and pulling faces. Every little trick is a milestone and I didn’t want to miss any of it.  And I love him, and I love this, but as he becomes less dependent on me and ventures out into the big wide world, I also need to keep a foot in my own grownup world. For my own happiness and sense of self.

Upside down baby

So what will my first week be like? I am sure there will be guilt, there will be tears, there will be wine. I will not be the same person I was at work before Freddie. I can’t be. I see the world completely differently since having him, every emotion is so much stronger. I love harder. I cry harder. I am more political and easily moved by risky events. Movies I watched before having Freddie that meant nothing, all of a sudden have me in floods of tears. I am more confident in myself and need to have a voice so I can speak up for Freddie.  This is motherhood and nothing can prepare you for it.

6 months

Luckily for me, I find real value in my work and my studying. Both things make me a better mother.  A more sane mother. But this thing called mom guilt is real, and society has a way of making us think that if we aren’t staying at home making little fairy cakes with our children we are bad moms and if we aren’t back at work making money to buy our children i-pads we are bad moms.  Basically, you’re selfish and have always made the wrong choice if you are a mother in the West.


I have always been ambitious and hard on myself. Basically that just means I am female. The whole thing though about having a baby is that while you may be just as ambitious and more productive, doors close, you are a sitting duck between babies and your male and non-pregnant colleagues have continued to race up that career ladder while you reproduce and rear offspring. I’m watching my friends and myself struggle with this. The balance between career and family is so tough and one that every family makes differently.

One thing I know is that  the ‘baby brain’ thing is legit- but not in the way everyone thinks. You can’t finish a sentence for months after having a baby, not because you’ve lost half your brain, but because you are learning to think for yourself and your baby. You are learning a new language and tuning in to someone else full time. That shit is hard and takes lots of concentration in the beginning, soon though it becomes second nature. What I don’t know is how that works when you are away from your little one. Will baby brain make me easily distracted and feel guilty because I am not with him? Will not having baby brain, or enjoying my time at work away from him make me a bad mother?


I have been obsessing over how it will be when I go back, how many hours I want to work, how will it affect Freddie, what I want to do while away from him for months. And I guess like everything so far with motherhood, you can’t guess how you will feel until you experience it. Oh the feelings you feel as a Mum. If you could bottle this much emotion and just release it every once in a while before major decisions are made in the world, there would be no such thing as war, genocide or Miley Cyrus.

Its’ the End of Abe As We Know Her

Well, the time has come. It’s the end of an era and the start of a new chapter. We finished Abe (or Abe finished us) over the summer and are in the process of selling this big beautiful queen.

We are so proud of all we got through with this one. I intend on doing a before and after post for every room, just to help us document and remember everything that we went through (although some days we’d like to forget). Abe was a real labour of love, leaks and learning. I think we learned just as much about each other, as we did about putting a home together.

Luckily, at the end of it all, not only is Abe in much better shape, but so is our relationship. I mean, we made a baby during the process, so that’s got to tell us it wasn’t all ‘The Money Pit’ and there was still a bit of ‘The Notebook’ involved.  Although I promise you, if he ever dumps cement in the toilet again, this would not be the case.

26 Cleave Road bedroom226 Cleave Road bedroom126 Cleave Road bedroom326 Cleave Road ground floor bathroom26 Cleave Road dining room 26 Cleave Road first floor bathroom 26 Cleave Road garden1 26 Cleave Road kitchen diner 26 Cleave Road kitchen 26 Cleave Road lounge1 26 Cleave Road lounge2 26 Cleave Road main

All pictures from David Rannard

We both think the living room is our favourite room, although the kitchen is superb and comes a close second. We spend most of our time in the kitchen and love it when we fill it up with friends and family who are very good at chatting and drinking away the evenings with us.

But onwards and upwards, we are on the prowl for our next Abe. We want another home to do up, this time in Canterbury near Will’s shop, so that he can see more of Freddie.

What….. you didn’t think we would stop now? We are just getting started.

Four Months of the Fredster

In so many ways Mama life is better than the one I had. My little man is over 4 months old now and he is just starting to get a personality. He giggles, wants cuddles and loves to play. All of these things make him less of a boob sucking creature and more human (well a human, boob sucking creature…. basically a man). And I love this little man more than words can describe.



This new life requires flexibility and the willingness to learn. I am a rookie at this, but so far there are a couple of things I would suggest to my friends without babies, just little titbits that I’ve realised over the past 4 months.

1). Mom Jeans

They shouldn’t be called maternity jeans; they should be called new mom jeans. You don’t just wear them when pregnant. In fact, spandex, fat pants and maternity jeans were the only thing I could fit in for ages.

2). Magnificent Baby Makers 

The appreciation you have for your body. Your body gave you the best gift ever, and then it’s also able to feed that baby and help it grow. It’s bloody amazing. I have this new respect for my body, despites it’s new bumps and curves. The media is whack, a woman’s body is beautiful not because of how it looks, but because of what it does.

3). Business of Babies

There is a whole business around babies that will try to convince you, you are doing things wrong if not using their product. Some moms can be like this to.  If you are not spending your days speaking in 3 different languages to your baby, whilst Beethoven plays in the background, there is no hope for your little one. The products are unbelievable, like the baby wipe warmer, so your little ones bum stays warm during the nappy change. And even if you do buy this ridiculous use of plastic, the earth mother will say you shouldn’t be using baby wipes, the chemicals in them will permanently damage your baby’s turd cutter. It’s shitty for everyone.

4). My Way, Is Better Than Yours

Hippies are everywhere- tromping around with no shoes and children named after spices, food or flowers. Watch out. For being a peaceful bunch, they judge hard.

5). Make New Friends

Fellow parent friends are where it’s at. You know how when you go to college and the people who are in your dorm become your friends for life, you might not have much in common with them besides being petrified of your new environment and a shared need for someone to sit with at the lunch table- but one crazy night playing beer pong and you are friends for life? We have been lucky enough to have friends going through the baby business with and this would be really hard without them. Coffee and play dates are the new beer pong for making mom friends.

6). But Keep the Old

Old friends and family are priceless. I keep telling Freddie how lucky he is to already have an army of fans and people who love him. Our friends and family have been unbelievable, from making us meals to showering Freddie in gifts and love. I can’t tell you how much it means to us to have such wonderful people to share Freddie with and who remember who we are, before we became parents.

That’s all I’ve got. The rest is a madness. You think you’ve figured something out, like how to get him to nap, and it works for 3 days, then it doesn’t and you’re back where you started. You know the saying ‘the only sure thing in life is death and taxes.’ Well that was written by a man who was not that involved in childcare and didn’t know enough about off-shore accounts. If a woman wrote it, it would be ‘the only sure thing in life is your baby will cry, your baby will love you and eventually yes, your baby will nap.’

Teething has just started so if anyone has advice on that, we could use some!