Good grief! Maternity leave is over?
They felt familiar.
I had experienced them before.
I realised I was working my way through the five stages of grief.
It started with DENIAL. I convinced myself that I wasn’t going back. Ever. Even though I’d have to pay back all of my maternity pay.
We’d be able to afford that. Definitely. Yeah right!
Then the rage manifested. Irrational ANGER.
I felt anger towards Nick: How dare he not earn enough for me to be able to stay at home with my baby! (Ridiculous.)
I felt anger towards society: Why should I have to go back to work? The most natural thing is for me to be at home looking after my baby. How dare society split us up!
Anger at work: Why don’t they pay me a years worth of OMP and SMP?
It was Busby and I against a very unjust world!
The BARGAINING stage struck a few weeks before I was due to go back.
I bargained with myself: Hannah, if you let yourself have this time off as annual leave then you’ll feel more ready.
Then I bargained with my manager: Can I take most of September off as annual leave as I’m not ready to come back yet?
I’m still bargaining with myself: Give it the mandatory three months and then you can see where your freelancing career is at.
The DEPRESSION occurred whenever I thought about coming back and leaving Busby.
Tears. Glumness. Moping.
Trying not to ruin the last few months of maternity leave, but continuously being pulled back into the dark sea of sadness.
I’m now in the ACCEPTANCE stage. I’m here. I’ve done my first week. It went well. I feel appreciated, which is something I haven’t felt in a while. And you know what? After three months I can have a look and see where I am with it all, but for the time being this is where I am, and it’s nice to have money in my bank account again… Not that it’s in there for very long!