I have never felt so hopeless as this weekend. I have had to stand to one side and watch The Wife go on an emotional roller-coaster; after 10 months of maternity leave, the time has come for her to return to work. There are no words that I could say to stop the tears, no way in which I can help her come to terms with the situation ahead of her.
I can totally see why she is so upset. I was lucky enough to have 2 weeks off with The Poo Monster when he arrived and I was gutted to leave him and The Wife when my paternity leave was over. I find it hard to comprehend the struggle she must have faced this weekend after over 40 weeks of quality time with the little man. She is scared that she will miss out, she fears she is abandoning him, she worries that he will get to the stage where he would rather be soothed by Grandma.
There is very little I can do to keep her tears at bay. The only solace I can offer is the fact that she will now experience the same look that comes across the little guy’s face when he realises daddy is home! Even on the shittest of shit days (read about them here!), I can leave work at the door and come home to a bright little lad who adores his dad (I hope it lasts). His smile lights up the room when he sees me and at around 5:15 on Monday evening she will experience that feeling first hand.
I know this doesn’t fully compensate for feeling of ‘missing out’, but seeing his little face and knowing that she is a fantastic role model for him will hopefully soften the blow. The Wife has done a truly remarkable job raising our son so far and I am immensely proud of what she has achieved in her career and as a mother. We will get through this next phase as a team, as we always do, and make sure we provide the best platform possible for his development.
To all the mamas, mums and mams out there returning to work – I salute you! You’re doing great!