After Maternity LeaveI finished my statutory maternity leave during 2012 and it was time to return, once again, to the world of work. Ryan enrolled in Private Day Nursery where Owen already attended and positively thrived.
Ryan got on well to begin with, they were pleased that Ryan already had a routine. He went with Owen every day from 8am – 6pm. It wasn't long however that cracks began to show. The term I heard on an almost daily basis was ‘He’s a busy child isn’t he’. This became the most over used phrase known in Ryan’s life over the next 5 years.
Ryan wouldn't settle, wouldn't eat, wouldn't interact with the other children. I began getting more and more calls asking to collect him. I wasn’t enjoying generally not seeing my children for long hours. They were spending longer at Day Care then at home with us. I asked work to be considered for flexi hours, my boss said to me “We dictate your hours, not you. You chose to have children so you choose between work or them”.
Well I didn't need more than a microsecond to make the choice. My letter of resignation went in the following morning and 2 days later the same boss begged me to reconsider and offered me any choice of hours. Too little too late good boy. It was the best, most liberating decision I have made to date.
Being at home with the boys was wonderful. Why I didn't think of it before I don't know, but I was fortunate to be able to manage financially, although once we had calculated the maths of day care cost compared to my monthly wage we found I was only earning a couple of hundred pounds a month.
Owen started reception at the local primary school in Sept 2003 and continued to thrive. Ryan (now almost 2) and I joined a local mother and toddler group two afternoons a week. By the following year Ryan started to attend playgroup on his own 2 mornings a week, but once we tried him on 5 mornings a week at the beginning of 2005 (he was 3), things began to fall apart again.