Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Which Hat?

Everyone is known by the different hats they wear. I am a Daughter, a Sister, a Wife, a Mother, an Auntie, a Christian church-goer, a Friend, a crazy cat owner and a Teacher. Today I put my teacher hat on again for the first time in a long while. Today I went back to work.
I love my job. I work with children with profound and multiple learning disabilities. It was the area of teaching I would’nt have ever expected to find myself in when I was studying for my degree and qualified teacher status. But I cannot imagine ever being anywhere else now. My class are treasures.
Even though I have always loved my job, going back to work is one of the biggest steps I was going to have to take in this journey, and I was nervous. Last night and this morning my stomach was in agony. But I did it! Today I taught 3 sessions and stayed the morning. Friday I will do the same. Over the coming weeks I will begin to work full-days.
Starting work today has taken weeks of preparation. I had a meeting with occupational health to organise my phased return, I’ve popped in and out of school to join in the odd session, mainly so I could face everyone before my first day of work again. But popping in is very different to wearing the hat again, like I did today.
I’m really feeling quite proud. I’ve left work today feeling positive and like I’d never really been away. I think this is a good thing. I think the routine of work will do me good.
But the tradegy of it all? It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Today marked the end of the saddest of all maternity leaves. I would’ve done anything to make my maternity leave different. I was on maternity leave with no baby, instead of enjoying her first weeks and months. I should’ve been off with Anabelle until May, at least, but instead I am back in work in November. Because what else should or could I do. These are steps I know need to be taken, I couldn’t avoid work forever.
I know I say it often, but how unfair. Why couldn’t I have a normal maternity leave? Every time I see or hear a comment where others are getting upset about going back to work after maternity leave and having to be parted from their babies for a few hours I have a moment of angry thoughts. Don’t people realise how lucky they’ve been? They’ve had 6, 9, 12 months with their baby and you know what, they’ll still be there when you get home from work.
I had 12 hours with Anabelle before I had to give her up, I’ve been at home 4 and half months without her, I don’t have a baby to come home too.  But then I feel mean, because if she was here I’d feel the same about going back to work.
Today I’ve also been made aware of another hat I’m apparently wearing. Depression. My counsellor did a quick assessment sheet with me and I scored high. The purpose of the test was to hopefully see progress the next time she asks me to complete it. It’s hardly surprising that I’m scoring high for depression, but I don’t like it.  Because I don’t know how to fix it; Anabelle cannot be bought back can she, so how can it be fixed? I hope this hat doesn’t fit me for very long. I guess over time I just recover somehow. I won’t ever be truly healed, but I will learn to cope and react differently. Eventually I’m told it will feel different to how it does now. It won’t always be so raw.
But for now, today has been a massive day, I was reacquainted with my teacher hat and I’m pleased I was able to do it.

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Caz
After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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