Monday, 26 November 2012

From career to motherhood

I popped in to work today for a visit. It's weird that instead of walking in to the office with just my handbag, I am now walking in with a bright yellow pram and a nappy bag the size of Gibraltar. And Instead of being asked 'how are you?' I am now greeted with 'How are your nipples?'. I quickly change the conversation - some sort of dignity and respect has to be kept for one's body and there are some things that do not need to be shared (until I have a slight urge in the future to reveal what I've written in my diary to, you know, a close friend... or the world wide web :-o).

I glanced over to my desk and it was already occupied by a work experience girl who looked like a supermodel, and I just stood there with my rather rotund belly and sick-splashed t-shirt and felt like crawling into a hole. My boss asked if I needed to breastfeed, and said I could use the couch. What, you mean the couch where the whole office can see me? A few months ago they were all discussing my 'assets' very differently, and now I am expected to suddenly switch into 'function' mode and whip them out like I'm an ice-cream van. Not that I'm a fan of any sort of attention in that department, but I am now to be viewed very differently - something along the lines of a sack of potatoes.

They suggested we arrange a night out in a couple of months and I enthusiastically (but with some apprehension) signed myself up. I'm desperate to be normal again; to be part of the team again; to be respected for more than the quantity of milk I'm producing. By the time the work night out comes round we should be more or less in a routine and, despite looking like I could do with a bit of 'nip and tuck', I do look like I've had major surgery elsewhere. For the first time in my life, I have somewhat of a 'natural lift' and if I could physically jump (which I can't due to my c-section scar), I would with the sheer excitement of being able to fit into low cut dresses. So much for retaining one's dignity.

I could quite easily go back to work tomorrow but, then again, if I did I would say I wanted to be a stay at home mum. The grass is always greener. Sometimes I feel like it's deeply unfair that women have to give up so much - I know I just feel bitter because life feels very hard at the minute, but surely it's one thing to carry the equivalent of a melon for 9 months, another entirely to give birth to it, and then after all that you are expected to do everything else as well. How will I cope at my desk on five hours sleep? How will I act professional in meetings with sick in my hair? Welcome to life as a working mum.

Based on diary entry 17/02/11, Albie approx 1 month old).

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