So we’re in the middle of Week 2 of trying to combine parenting with studying ‘fo realz’, and after a disasterous week one – including an ambulance trip because she was projectile vomiting everywhere and I thought she was dying, a nasty bout of gastroenteritis, all three of us coming down with coughs and SB only managing two days of nursery and spending the rest of the week with D – week two is going pretty smoothly so far (touch wood).
It’s difficult, but I knew it would be. I hate leaving her in nursery every morning, but it’s bittersweet. The nursery workers are so welcoming and friendly, she beams for them and always seems quite happy, whether we’re dropping her off, picking her up, or popping in during the day to make sure everything’s alright. So far her activities have included watching the fish (which is why we’ll be getting a fishbowl and fish soon, as she seems to love these fish they have at nursery) and ‘singing’ with all her ‘new friends’ (seriously, this baby diary is freaking ADORABLE. They write it from her perspective!).
As for lectures, it’s going really well. I’m starting to have a few more ideas for my dissertation, so I’ve got a nice bank of possible topics now. The Christmas show this year is Grease; the long rehersals are going to be tough being away from SB, but that’s what I signed up for with this course, and having my friends around me makes it so much easier. We’re kept so busy that really, I don’t have time to be lonely or think about it too much.
As for people’s reactions, I haven’t encountered any negativity, thankfully. Most people ask about SB but don’t really mention her being in daycare, which is fine by me, and those who do mention it have all been positive, although some have mentioned that they don’t know how I do it, when really there’s hundreds and thousands of people doing it every day, because we have to. As much as I’d love to take the full amount of maternity leave, or be a stay-at-home mum, it’s not right for my family, it’s not right for me, and I can’t imagine myself doing it right now. That’s not saying I don’t feel maternal, or I wouldn’t love to spend all day with her – of course I would! – but I started my degree and I’m going to finish it. I love being busy, having work to do and tasks to get on with.
Plus, that first cuddle and smile when we pick her up from nursery makes every second of the separation worthwhile.