I still don’t know if I can do this. I start work tomorrow, after a whole year off, with sleep deprivation still effecting my memory and my ability to cope, with my emotions always close to the surface.
I don’t know if I can be the mother I want to be and do my job well enough that I’m not letting everybody down. I do know it’s going to be really hard.
I was lonely and felt very isolated.
It wasn’t a choice I’d made, to go through life alone.
I hadn’t understood before you arrived how painful it would feel to be away from you. I hadn’t understood that I couldn’t leave you with just anybody. That you’d be a defenseless baby, just starting to crawl, when I went back to work after a generous year of maternity leave. I wish we had a few more months. Suddenly I have to be away from you for 8 hours a day, starting today, after having spent only hours away from you in your whole life until now.
It physically hurts. I know I’m spoilt, I’m privileged. Thank you Denmark, I am forever grateful for the generous paid leave. My god, I was only just starting to feel ready to leave the house at the point most women have to go back to work! It’s been the best and most rewarding year of my life and I don’t want it to end.
To top it off, on Monday, it’s my birthday. I’m 40.
"I don’t know if I can be the mother I want to be and do my job well enough that I’m not letting everybody down."
This production is made by me, Sophie Harper, in partnership with Wondery. I’m supported by generous listeners and the Australian Cultural Fund. Music from freemusicarchive.org - CC NC License: Simple Hop and Caught in the Beat by Broke For Free; Out of the Skies, Under the Earth by Chris Zabriskie; Don’t Say Goodbye by Candlegravity. Ad music from freemusicarchive.org - CC Commercial License: Drop of Water in the Ocean by Broke For Free. Thanks to my family, my friends and my daughter for your willingness to be part of the story. To Tally Abacissis who’s podcast series First Day Back inspired more than the title of this episode. Finally, thanks, Michael for the coffee, and thank you, Jenny for the cake. US listeners, support the series and eat well. Hello Fresh Has signed on to support me for 2017! Sign up at www.hellofresh.com and use the promo code 'noaccident35' to get $35 off your first delivery. Everybody wins!