It's been more than three months since the family increased by one member, and two weeks since I started going back to full time work again.
In this country, you're entitled to a whole year of Maternity Leave, but whether you get paid or you're just guaranteed your position depends on the company. Most women take the whole year off, but I decided to come back after only three months for a number of reasons - the main one being so that we don't drown in my repayments.
There was a new paid maternity leave scheme released by the government at the beginning this year, but it only covers 18 weeks and wouldn't have covered the four weeks I took off before the actual delivery date. It was more beneficial to take the Baby Bonus instead, and in the end, this decision paid off best because as it turned out, my maternity cover turned out to be a real flake. She quit two months before I was due to return - leaving my team hanging out to dry with mangled bits of code and documentation and a major (like MAJOR) project deadline due at the beginning of June (when I was due to return).
So I offered to go back to work at the beginning of May on a part-time, choose-my-own-hours basis because I like work, and work is awesome, and my DD (apparently that's "darling daughter") fortunately wasn't as much of a handful as everyone else had me believe.
Looking back over my three months experience, I would have to say that anyone who get down on Stay At Home Mums should GDIF (go die in a fire) because to take care of kids (and do it well) requires large amounts of investment in time and patience - especially if you're taking care of newborns. You could easily lose half a day trying to figure out how to calm meltdowns never mind all the extra housework that gets generated: washing and sterilising bottles, cleaning up after milk puke, laundry, laundry, laundry...
As for going back to work early, my current schedule is gruelling. Everyday it's get up at 4:30am/5:00am, leave the house at 6:00am, come back from work at 5:30pm, bring home DD/put her to bed, eat dinner, wash up everything, prepare all bags and clothes for the next day. Before you know it, it's already 11:00pm - time to crash or risk not functioning.
It's manageable as long as I remain super organised, disciplined and resigned to the fact that I won't be able to pursue favourite past times such as late night movie/karaoke sessions with "the gang", NCIS marathons, 'Net bludging and heavy-duty gaming on weeknights for a while. It also helps that we have two sets of awesome grandparents who're willing to look after her while we're away.
As for my little tamagotchi, she's doing pretty well. It's amazing how fast they grow and how much they change from newborn to infant. She smiles a lot - especially in the mornings and when you bounce her in front of the mirror. She talks a lot too. She looks like she wants to do commando rolls, but she's not quite there yet. She kind of kicks her legs in the air until she tips side-ways.
I also lament the loss of the billard table at my parent's house - it's been converted into a change table and play gym for the time being *lol*
Speaking of Mother's Day, I got treated to lunch by my parents, given a present from by in-laws and made chuuchuu do some housework. But I think it would be more fun later when DD is old enough to draw me crude hand-made greeting cards and popsicle stick fruit bowls.
This long weekend was a reminder of how lucky I am to have such awesome friends and family.
Love youse all!! <3 <3 <3