I feel the need to cocoon. A random phrase I know, but this completely sums up how I feel after my first week back at work. I’m not going to lie, I am struggling to write this. I am so tired. But I haven’t written in ages and I feel I need to get over a barrier. I have been told to be careful about what I am writing and it kind of put me off a bit, my voice has been hindered, but I will give it a go.
I need to cocoon. To me this means getting under a blanket, preferably with snacks, but I’m trying to fit into a new dress, so water and a blanket will have to do. Random telly, boys in other room and no talking.
I just need to stop
This is what work does to me. I started my phased return to work this week. Three mornings this week with rest days in between. I have been absolutely fine while I have been there, very little anxiety on the journey in, some on the Sunday night but that’s ok. I have loved being with the kids and learning all their personalities. Since I broke in September there have been lots of new little ones and they are all lovely. It has been lovely getting to know them.
There has been some awkwardness on my part, and sometimes I don’t know what to do. I am used to having a list as long as my arm, but now I have very little to do other than the day-to-day jobs. So sometimes I can feel a little lost. I did however make myself, and probably my counsellor, very proud on Wednesday. A colleague asked me to do something for her which would have taken me out of my current remit, possibly me staying behind doing extra hours etc. As hard as it was to do, I said no! Not quite so bluntly but I did say no. That is a big step for me.
I said No
So I have been fine while there other than feeling a bit awkward and lost, but that will pass. It’s when I get home. I turn into a ball of mush. I just need to cocoon and have to crash in front of the telly, mostly nap. I have nothing to give my boys. Monday, I just about managed to get William to swimming, but we had McDonald’s for dinner. I had no energy/will to cook. Wednesday, I was left physically shaking while on the school run, and tonight I am just exhausted. This is not what I wanted! This is exactly what I feared would happen, and now I fear I will be back at square one before I realise it’s happening.
I know that it won’t happen. I am so aware now of how I am feeling and what I need to do to help it. My counsellor asked me to sum up how I got to where I was in September in 3 points. I think I did it in 2.
1: I was living by society’s expectations: all the shoulds and should nots in my head were making me run myself into the ground.
2: Not taking care of myself, not having any silence in my life, not giving myself a chance to recharge. Self care was non-existent.
I know myself better now
Therefore it will never happen again. Now, I don’t run my life according to what everyone else is doing. I am a ‘good enough’ mum and that is just what I need to be. I don’t need to do everything: there is no point! And also, I know myself better now. I have learned a great deal about myself and how to take care of myself. So I won’t get back there, will I?
Next week is another phased week, and then it’s back to 5 mornings a week. That really does fill me with fear. All I can do is hope that my stamina gets better and I manage to have something left for my own children. Please xx