Back to work?

Work and Home

So it was around this time last year that I started my maternity leave!
The Belgium system gives you 15 weeks (which is pretty annoying when most people I know get 6 months), and the rule is you have to start your leave a week before your due date.
Okay honestly I actually started 2 weeks before my due date, lets just say hot weather and public transport didn't exactly make me the best person to be around. So all in all with Finny deciding it was better to stay inside (result me being induced), my final leave with baby, was 3 months (back to work for October).
Way too little! Bring on the next! Thankfully here there is another type of leave... governmental. It is 4 months and can be taken anytime until the child is 12. You can take it in one go, part time, 1 day a week, or spread it out over the years. I decided on the part time (2.5 days work 2.5 days off), which allowed me to still work, spend lots of time with Finny and have this situation till June 2013, basically a win win situation!

I have to say when October came I was less than enthused to go back. It was so hard to leave Finny (gaga was looking after him so I had nothing really to fear), but little did I know that wasn't the hardest thing. That instead came in the form of 8 piece appliance...a breast pump!
Pumping at work was the worst! First my work is open plan, with only a handful of closed rooms all of which have no lock and a large glass panel on one side. At the time this meant: find a free meeting room, cover the glass wall with paper, place a sign on the door saying 'please do not disturb', then quickly pump while hiding in the corner. Believe you me, there is nothing worse than a boob out, squashed in a device and an overwhelming fear someone will walk in on you, for 30 mins, twice a day!
Secondly these pumps aren't discreet, its like some constantly shouting out 'She's pumping milk from her breasts in here'. Ah the countless times I would hear people talking in the next meeting room (seriously paper thin walls) only to have them stop when I started pumping (its the worst when you have to get the rhythm right). Lets just say I kept my eyes fixed straight ahead when I passed that room after. So after all that I need to then clean the machine get it sterilised and ready to use a few hours later, and then find a suitable place in the fridge to store the gold dust I had collected (usually nothing) which wouldn't cause too much curiosity. Lets just say I'm glad my pumping days are behind me!!
A positive side to going back was the fact I can finally get a little 'me time', a chance to talk about things that aren't just baby related and actually a chance just to have a two way conversation.

Well June has come and gone meaning back to full time!
Like I'm sure most mothers felt, the thought of not seeing my little boy everyday was too hard to imagine (as well as not being able to lounge around in pjs all day, but we'll keep that one to ourselves), so something had to change. Mark and I decided maybe I could do something selfish. Could be a stay at home mum and expand on my illustrations?
Lets just say thats not how it exactly worked out! Instead an even better situation arose, after discussion with work they kindly allowed me to continue my days. So I can now officially say I am a part time employee! (2 days one week, 3 days the other). And lets be honest with those days off there shouldn't be an excuse for not its a little less drafting (so many in there) and little more publishing to come!

No comments: