Although the benefits of not giving birth to Kyan are great (no stretch marks, no weight gain, no PAIN) there are definitely some setbacks….WORK being the biggest!
The person who came up with the idea that Paternity Leave should only be 2 weeks was definitely someone who just has kids for the sake of it and would rather be at work while the ‘mother’ raises the children. It is the most ridiculous thing ever. I mean really, 2 weeks?? What are you suppose to achieve in 2 weeks? Especially when your child is not even at home in those 2 weeks…
Now I must say, in my case, I have been extremely lucky with having time off work. I just happen to have a particularly understanding boss who has supported me from day one. Kyan came five weeks early so conveniently joined us in the school summer holidays. That gave me one week off with no hassle! You see when you are a teacher you can’t ‘take holidays’ whenever you like, so Paternity Leave really only is 2 weeks.
So many people whinge about the fact the teachers have so many holidays, but actually if you know a teacher, I know your opinion is different. Yes we get lots of holidays – but we work most of them! And during the week most teachers work from roughly 8am-10pm – and all weekend as well, of course. And then there is the added cost of paying twice the money for a holiday…
Anyway, as I said I was lucky enough to get lots of time off work. This was because Kyan spent the first month of his life in Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. I went back to work when he was at our local hospital, and then was given more time off when he came home (one week). After that, I was on and off until half term, for all different reasons – hospital trips, ambulances, Lauren not being well etc.
From September to December it was very stressful going back and forth from work and home. But if I’m honest, I did enjoy being at work. For one, I love my job. I am a Primary teacher but have a very unique position in my school – I only teach P.E! I get to teach P.E. to all of the children from years 1-6 (I avoid reception children as much as possible!) and also do some outdoor learning (numeracy) with year 5/6. So I actually love going to work. I work with some great people and am in a great school. Don’t get me wrong – we have lots of challenging children, but majority
of them love P.E. so I’m safe most of the time!
The other reason I liked going to work was to get a break. I know that sounds horrible but when you have a tiny baby who refluxes at any given moment it can be extremely stressful. I really don’t know how Lauren does it every day.
Although I would get a break when going to work, things were still very stressful -some mornings I didn’t want to leave Lauren, and other mornings she didn’t want me to leave her. Because of how Kyan’s reflux happens (ie. No pattern or reason at all) it leaves everyday
different and every morning we have the same feeling – anxious about what the day would bring. Poor Lauren would sit and watch Kyan and just wait to see if he would reflux and wonder whether she would be calling 999 later.
I would go to work with a knot in my stomach hoping that both Lauren and Kyan would be ok. While at work I would be distracted every so often but find myself checking my phone constantly throughout the day. I have only broken down once at school and that was when things were really bad and someone asked me if I was ok. As soon as someone asks how you are, suddenly you’re not ok! Each evening, when I drove home after work, I found myself wondering about what sort of house I would be coming home too. Sometimes I would sit in the drive for a few minutes thinking ‘please let them have had a good day’.
Since New Year things haven’t been as bad. Kyan’s reflux is still there but his attacks are less frequent. He has definitely changed again and has so much more personality. I find it so hard leaving for work in the morning now!
I get up at 6:30am with Kyan and change and feed him. I love this time that I have with him. Lauren comes down just after 7am and makes my lunch (so nice of her!), and then at about 7:45am I have to hand him over. I start work at 8am and I find it really difficult passing Kyan to Lauren as he is just so gorgeous and he is full of smiles in the morning! It is really hard having to go to work and seeing as I don’t get home til 5:30pm, I really feel I am missing out on so much these days!
I wish I didn’t have to work and we could both be at home raising Kyan together but I know that is not possible. Someone has to work, and seeing as Lauren carried Kyan for 8 months, I guess it’s only fair that she has the time off with him while I earn the pounds!