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Tuesday, 27 February 2007

"The shoes don't work"

Even the new black wedges didn't work. I bought them as a compensatory gift to myself - something to make the return to work that bit more pleasurable. They were really nice shoes, the type that make you feel less Mumsy, more 'yummy mummy'. But they didn't fill the hole in my heart left by having to leave my kids this morning for the first time in six months. That sounds uber-dramatic, I know, but I don't feel like apologising for it. Back in the office today after my third maternity leave in 5 years. It doesn't get any easier, this going-back-to-work business. One day an almost completely new human being is 100% reliant on you, the next you up and leave them for 10 hours or so at a time. But it's weird how everyone copes somehow. Eden (5) asks the most questions about it all. Her current obsession is about an acrobat she saw on 'Will I be famous?' and whether Daddy could learn to dance like that and earn millions so that Mummy wouldn't have to work..... I have to say that she's more likely than anyone in this family to make her millions in the entertainment industry. Her capacity for drama knows no bounds. The whole crying-through-the-letterbox-'Don't leave!'-thing this morning as I walked up the drive was one of her more Oscar-deserving moments. One of the better bits about being a 'working Mum' though, is how everyone always marvels as though at a walking miracle if you manage to come into the office wearing some make-up and matching shoes, and how people at least pretend to be impressed by one's capacity to juggle the different aspects of one's life. Back in the office I was greeted with cries of, 'Hey, you're back! You look great! And you have a waistline again!'.... 'I don't know how you do it, I can't even look after myself, let alone three kids as well as holding down a job!' And my young, non-Mother maternity cover person simply stared in wonder (or disbelief?) at me when I segued neatly in and out of a conference call to explain to my beleaguered husband (at home) how to reorganise the baby's nap around an outing and how long it takes to heat up leftover lasagne in the microwave. Maybe it's something to do with the ability to compartmentalise, I don't know. What I do know is that the best bit of my day was eating sausage and mash with the whole brood this evening when Eden (5) and Nathan (2) burst into song along with the radio. Waving their hands above their heads, grinning at each other maniacally, they caterwauled along to 'Ruby' by the Kaiser Chiefs. Now that really is cool.