I had always prided myself on not being the sort of mother who got all soppy and upset about being separated from her wee bambino.
Because we are all sorts of mothers, right? Working mothers, stay at home mothers, breastfeeding mothers, bottle-feeding mothers. Like, it’s ALL ABOUT THE JUDGEMENT.
Anyway, I had previously poured scorn upon those who worry about their child’s first day at school, or their own return to work after maternity leave. After all, I braved it like a champ. I went back to work full time and all guns blazing (read: work gave me very little to do-cheers work!-and I spent most of my day chilling out reading novels and exclaiming “OOH! THIS IS A BIT OF A RAUNCHY NOVEL TO BE IN THE SCHOOL LIBRARY!” to over-worked colleagues whilst they got on with, like, actual work all around me, and cursed me from the very depths of their souls for being a freeloading peasant who actually enjoyed having a few short hours away from a mewling baby and wearing something other than a pair of baby-snot stained leggings.
Well, people, that all changed this week. I have been back at work. Proper work, this time, as opposed to sitting at a desk for a bit while Piglet goes to the childminder and has the time of his little life languishing in the paddling pool. And it has been HARD.
Two days, it has been, and it feels like two weeks, if not two entire years.
I am basically worried that Piglet is going to forget that I am his mother. He is going to think that Granny is his mother, and I am just some sort of part-time joker who pops up occasionally and sings ridiculous songs about poo. Like I’m his dad or something. An old-school dad, obviously, like Mr Banks in Mary Poppins. Or perhaps Mrs Banks, who was flying the flag for feminism, going on suffragette marches in the days when fighting for women’s rights was roughly akin to joining ISIS in terms of polite dinner party conversation, but sadly neglecting her children and leaving them to be raised by Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke in matching stripy blazers. That is me. Flying the flag for feminism and neglecting my child and is he going to grow up to be a juvenile delinquent and aargh aargh aargh.
Karren Brady, I keep telling myself. Think of Karren Brady. She went back to work about three days after her first child was born, or some kind of ridiculousness, and I’m sure her children are perfectly all right. GOD, KARREN JUST TELL ME IT’S GOING TO BE ALL RIGHT, WILL YOU?