1) Tummy time isn’t so bad after all
You read all these books when you are pregnant and in the first few weeks after the baby is born about all the things you should and shouldn’t do each week. I remember nodding wisely to myself and thinking “Of course I will make him do tummy time every day so he can build up his muscles”. Tummy time, if you don’t know, is when you place the baby on his front to encourage him to lift his head up and strengthen his back muscles. A couple of weeks in I thought we’d attempt this so I placed him on his front on the living carpet. He had been relatively happy up until this moment. Well, he lay there for a few seconds as my husband and I waited expectantly for him to raise his head, secure in the knowledge that our very clever baby would manage this straight off the bat.
Except he didn’t. He managed to combine being facedown on the carpet with hysterical screaming resulting in a mouth full of fluff for him and the conviction that we were about to suffocate him for us.
Even so, I tried every once in a while with him over the next few weeks and every time was met with the same reaction. Until yesterday that is. His neck control has come on leaps and bounds in the last week so I thought I’d give it another go. I turned him on his tummy on our mattress and sure enough he didn’t freak out. At first, he kept his head to the side so I moved in front of him and chatted. After a little bit he turned his head to the front and pushed up with his little hands so that both his head and his chest were off the bed. He looked interested and didn’t cry for a whole couple of minutes. I was so proud I had tears in my eyes.
Another milestone in his little baby life achieved.
2) I need to work out what to do about going back to work
My boss emailed me to see if we could meet up this week to discuss my going back to work. In the UK you are entitled to one year off whilst still being able to keep your job. A lot of people go back before that, mainly for financial reasons though. After a certain period, depending on your employer’s policy, you go onto Statutory Maternity Pay which is about 115 pounds a week. I had thought originally about returning to work after Christmas. This will have given me about 6 months off and I thought I’d be dying to get back.
I love my job, the people I work with and the company but I have to admit the thought of leaving the baby with someone else terrifies me and fills me with guilt already. The dreaded mummy guilt! I talked over my various options with my husband yesterday during our afternoon walk. We both think my going back part-time would be a mistake as I’d end up trying to do 5 days work in 3, would get paid less and potentially could hold myself back careerwise. Both of us realised that finding the right care solution for the baby is crucial in quelling the persistent feeling of panic I have about the whole thing.
I’ll be exploring various options this week: nurseries, childminders and nannies. Lots of pros and cons for all 3 options but the most important thing is that we are happy he’s getting the best care possible. Whoever it is will be looking after the most precious bundle in the world 🙂