May 22 2014 is a very special day to me. It is the day my favourite person in the world was born.
Okay, I’m her mummy so I may seem a little biased when I say she’s the coolest kid that ever lived, but I’m pretty sure if you met her you’d agree with me. She truly is the dictionary definition of those lovely knees belonging to that charming bee.
Not to say motherhood has been all smooth sailing. For the last 12 months, I’ve existed in what feels like a constant state of near-panic. It’s a cliche, and with good reason, to say ‘nothing can prepare you,’ because Nothing Can. I’m grateful for every day I’ve managed to keep my beautiful daughter alive and honestly have no idea how anybody managed to do anything as complicated as raise a child before the invention of Google.
And then today, after a year of round-the-clock breastfeeding, thousands of nappy changes and more Peppa Pig than anyone should have to endure, I finally returned to society. I left behind the thrill of scraping industrial strength dried Weetabix off of chubby little cheeks in favour of going back to work and being a ‘grown-up’ for ten hours a day.
And I’ll admit, I was dreading it. After all, when I (rather smugly) set my email ‘out-of-office’ 13 months ago, May 2015 seemed a long way away. As the months till my return turned to weeks, and then days, the idea of going from full-time mummy to the woman who shows up just in time to put my little bundle to bed four days a week made me feel a bit sick. I’ve been there for every ‘first’ - big or small - and am the one who can explain what every facial expression means, and which toy or meal is her current favourite. I don’t want to be out of that loop! And then there’s the worry that I may have forgotten how to speak to anyone whose age falls into double digits!
I pulled into the office carpark this morning and emotionally checked myself over - the same way you might gingerly probe a wobbly tooth with your tongue to see if it was going to fall out or not. I decided I was okay. No crying in a heap on the steering wheel necessary, at least not yet.
Two hours later, it was as if I’d never left. It was actually pretty great. I spent my first day back talking in full sentences to anyone who would listen and getting to go to the bathroom anytime I felt like it, without my little bathroom monitor. I drank piping hot coffee safe in the knowledge there was no one to burn themselves on it and ate a banana without someone pestering me for a bite.
Oh and I did some work too - brilliant!
* Nicola Brear, New mummy & potential Bridezilla