Being back at work

I can’t say that I was dreading going back to work per se, I wasn’t, but I was dreading not being with my Abigail every day. Those two things are not the same. I work in a supportive environment with and for people who are reasonable and compassionate (a rarity for law firms!) so I am unquestionably lucky.

In some ways it is invigorating to be back. It is refreshing to have some time to myself and it is nice to be drafting and thinking in a lawyerly capacity again. I always balk (inwardly) when people returning from maternity leave say ‘it’s nice to use your brain again’. It makes me think: what were you doing when you were looking after your child? Because I felt I was using my brain then, albeit in a different way. It’s strange that work now qualifies as ‘me time’ though – if that doesn’t show that everything in life is about perspective then nothing does!

I am lucky because Marc’s wonderful mum has Abigail two days a week. She adores Abigail and Abigail adores her. I can be totally calm when Abigail is with her Bubbie. I want Abigail to have a special bond with her grandparents and to love other people apart from us. I think that will help to make her a confident person. Abigail is in nursery two days a week – I am not sure she loves it yet but I hope she is gaining something from it which she doesn’t get at home. Fridays are my days with my girl and the thought of them fuels me during the week.

There will no doubt be ups and downs. This morning as I handed Abigail over she cried hysterically and clung onto me, and it broke my heart and made me cry. But other times I pick her up and spy on her for a moment before going in and I can see she is having fun and being stimulated.

There is no perfect solution, of course, but I am doing my best to find an acceptable balance. I have an hour with Abigail in the mornings and an hour in the evenings. That is more than many other working mums get and I know I am lucky.


  1. I am SO glad you’re back! I’ve missed your writing for so long!

    • Vanessa says:

      Aww, thank you so much for this, it is so lovely to be in touch after all these years and this support means an awful lot! Are you still writing? xoxoxo

  2. Becky Brown says:

    I’m definitely at the stage where I need to ‘use my brain again’! After almost 4 years of looking after my boys I feel the need to spend time doing something else. But I think it’s more that in looking after children 24/7 I’ve stopped doing so much. I can’t remember the last time I read a book/watched the news properly/had more than a few hours to myself. I’m hoping that when we move to France, with Andrew around more and Reuben at school full time, I might be able to rota in some alone time each day to start rediscovering myself and things I once enjoyed doing.

    Everyone struggles with the work/life balance, and what works best for one may not be the solution for another. The most important thing is that you are all happy!
    Becky x

    • Vanessa says:

      You are so right and I do understand! So excited for you for your business venture – it is a fantastic idea! Going to miss you so much though! xxxx

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