Being a parent can be difficult and hard work, but being a single Mum is even more so. I knew the split was the right thing to do, it was difficult getting used to life on my own with Harry.
I had to change my hours in work, to start a bit later and finish a bit later so I could do the nursery run both ways. Something we had shared before, and meant I hit a lot more traffic in and out of Manchester. It also meant that for 3 days a week I had to drop Harry off at Nursery at 7.30 when it opened and picked him up at around 5.30pm. I felt awful he had such a long day in nursery at 2 years old, I felt like a bad mother, and I really didn’t think this was what life was going to be like. It was horrendous trying to establish the new routine. Harry has never been good at going to bed, so now having to get up a bit earlier and be one of the first to nursery was very difficult, we had tears most mornings (both of us).
I know a lot of parents have to do these early starts, getting children to child care providers at the crack of dawn, and I know you can sympathise. I’m not saying those whose children are at childcare for long days are bad parents either, it was just the way I felt about my situation. The other two days a week Harry went to my parents, his Dad dropped him off, so I just had the three mornings to do. Thank goodness I didn’t have to do this 5 days a week!
I picked Harry up around 5.30 from nursery, so by the time we got home it was a crazy 1 ½ hours of trying to get something to eat, bath and the dreaded bed time. Harry has never been a good sleeper from birth. People used to say its great when they’re babies, all they want to do is sleep and eat! Well that wasn’t the case with Harry, even as a small baby, he just didn’t want to sleep, and I can honestly say now at 5 years old, he still doesn’t want to sleep (I’m speaking to a sleep expert later this week, hoorah)!
I was exhausted, Harry was trying to get used to his new routine, I felt like the only time I saw him he was tired and grumpy, which then = a tired and grumpy Mummy. Harry spent half the weekend and 2 nights with his Dad, people used to say ‘but it must be great having a break?!’ but it wasn’t, I missed him terribly.
It was a horrible time, and I knew things had to change. I’m a great believer if you don’t like the ways things are then change them. I’ve worked with people, and I’m sure many of you have worked with people who moan about their jobs and don’t do anything about it! To me that’s just crazy, you spend so much time at work, and often a lot of time commuting there, so its really important that you enjoy it, at least a bit, whether this is working with great people, or just enjoying what you’re doing. There has to be something in it for you.
I knew I wasn’t happy and had to do something about it. I started job hunting, my main requirement, it had to be close to home. A few interviews and a couple of months later and I got offered a job, Marketing Manager for an oil distributor. It was a small family run company and more importantly, it was only 3 miles away! I was over the moon! 8.30 – 4.30 and a 5 minute commute. This changed things drastically for Harry & I, not so much rushing around, and a bit more time together. Losing the commute meant I gained an extra 9 hours a week back, that’s a full work day. I can honestly say it saved my sanity and really changed things for the better.
The next chapter of my life was about to begin…. and the pursuit of my active maternity wear