Posts Tagged parental_leave
How long did it take for you to settle back into work?
This is what people will ask me, down the track. What people have already been asking for a few weeks now.
I started work just after bub turned 11 months, and now she’s 13 months. It’s my ninth week back.
It took nine weeks to get ‘with it’.
I think I have successfully: decided where to get coffee and lunch; remembered most of my passwords; stayed back at work a couple of times; stayed up late working after bed time; said hello and had a chat to most people at least once; started teaching, with three lectures under the belt; presented a conference workshop; established a new dinner time routine.
Working. Enjoy responsibly.
So, in January 2016 I’ll be returning to work.
This fact has been a source of mixed emotions for a few months now. Once I hit the halfway mark of my parental leave, the reality started to sink in that my time at home looking after bub would come to an end.
The first time I had back on campus this semester filled me with anxiety. ‘I’m not ready!’ I thought. ‘I’m not going to be able to do this work anymore!’ – my sleep addled brain couldn’t grasp how I would remember my log in password, let alone check my emails. Let alone read and write scholarly work.
But visiting campus again this week filled me with joy and excitement.
Am I tired? Yes. Woefully so. I haven’t had more than 4 hours sleep in a row for six months, more than 5 hours sleep for eight months. Mostly I sleep in 2-3 hour cycles between feeds (feeding the baby that is).
Do I feel out of the loop? Yes. There have been massive staff changes in my Faculty while I’ve been on leave, and an entirely new degree has started. I’ll be teaching units from the new curriculum when I return, and commencing a new research project to boot.
But as the start date draws nearer, I think I can do it.
One of the reasons I’m excited about returning to work is that I feel like, despite the sleepless haze, I’m coming back with a healthy dose of clarity. People talk about this happening after you have kids – you can no longer afford to waste time at work, to waste your hours away from your family. But they’re often talking more about efficiency than anything else.
For me, I think clarity has come simply from having time away from the job. It’s been a chance to get some perspective, to realise how much I was comparing myself to others, worrying about ‘output’, fretting about research funding, lamenting student feedback, feeling the weight of all those metrics…so many metrics.
But now I feel refreshed. I feel ready to come back and set personal goals, to work hard on the things that matter to me.
I’ll let you know how it goes 😉
I’ve been on a blogging hiatus for awhile now. For anyone asking ‘Where’s Kelli?’, I’m still here! I was just a bit busy being pregnant, and now a bit busy with the baby that resulted.
She’s amazing by the way!
I’m resisting starting a ‘new mum’ blog…I don’t think I’d keep it up well. Parental leave keeps you well busy.
I’ll be back at work in January 2016. Might post a little before then. Might not! In the meantime, I’m tweeting away in between naps, feeds, and loads of washing. See you over there 🙂