When I found out I was pregnant, and starting getting everything organised, the prospect of going on maternity leave was kind of alien to me.
I have always worked, in some capacity, ever since I was old enough. Since I was 13 years old and worked one afternoon a week at my piano school teaching the little kids their scales and theory. Waitress, sales assistant, dental nurse, library staffer, law clerk - part time whilst studying, usually, up until I finished my degree, but always something.
The thought of doing nothing, no structured work day, of not earning a salary especially, was really difficult to contemplate. A huge part of my identity is "Solicitor" - I love what I do (most days!) and was honestly worried I would feel like a nobody without my job. That my brain would atrophy from lack of use!
Almost 18 months on, and as I contemplate my return to work next month, I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to stay at home with our little girl for an extended period.
I have found parenthood to be, on the whole, a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I have been blessed with an easygoing and happy little girl who is a joy to parent, and a delight to spend time with. I can honestly say, I am rarely bored - and I would take her at her most challenging over a narky partner, aggressive client or supercilious Judge any day of the week!
I definitely could not do this ongoing - much as I know I will miss her, like a part of me is missing, I am so looking forward to getting back into it. Giving the old grey matter a workout, challenging myself, heck, adult conversation! Two days per week will hopefully be a good balance for us, an easing back into it for me, and some time apart which I believe is healthy for both parent and child.
V turned to me last night and said, "Evie really is such a relaxed and happy kid, she's really thriving - you do an amazing job with her." Aside from making my day, that gave me such a feeling of accomplishment - I've been doing not much else but raising her for the past year and a bit, so knowing I've done a good job is just lovely.