Today I’m going into work for my sixth KIT (keeping in touch) day. For those who don’t know what these are, keeping in touch days are a set of days (10 in total) that a mother on maternity leave is allowed to work (in agreement between employer and employee) without affecting her maternity pay.
My work have been fantastic about me working my days. They pay me a daily rate based on my salary and have been very flexible about when I do these days.
I read about KIT days very early on in my pregnancy and knew quite quickly that I was keen to do them throughout my time off. As I was planning on taking a whole year off I was concerned about losing touch with what was happening and these seemed a great solution.
As a Mummy to be I started asking the other mummy’s in the staff room if they had taken KIT days, how many they had done, how the pay worked and how you organise them. Much to my surprise I couldn’t find a single Mummy that had taken the KIT days on offer.
I then approached my works burser about KIT days and sadly recieved a rather negative response (along the lines of….. well only if we need you and agree, said in a rather abrupt manner) and left feeling rather unsupported, quite disappointed and a little upset. After discussing this with my husband I then approached my boss, who was the opposite! Very keen, immensely supportive and made me feel a valued and important member of staff.
Once I’d been on maternity leave for a few months and visited work several times to introduce my colleagues to Harvey I raised the issues of KIT days with my boss again and she jumped at the chance to have be back in for the days.
Since then I’ve compleated six of my days and really enjoyed them and I have every intention of taking all ten days. I would definitely recommend taking KIT days to any mother on maternity leave. They have been fantastic for a number of reasons, here are my top ten reasons for taking KIT days!
Keeping in touch with my colleagues.
Keeping in touch with what’s happening at work, changes etc.
Feeling valued in my work place.
Feeling like me still (not just Mummy).
Practice spending a day away from my little man in preparation for when I have to go back.
Trusting that others can look after him 🙈 (even when you know they can).
Getting my little guy used to not spending the whole day with me.
Remembering how to work and that I still can.
Enjoyment – I LOVE my job and think it’s one of the best jobs ever!
The pay…. especially when my maternity pay is so low and stops altogether for the final 13 week.
When I pictured married life with a baby I had this romantic image of me and my husband and long dog walks with the buggy on warm summers evening or crisp winters days! How wrong I was. I’m sure, especially in my heavily pregnant state, I was living in a dream land or Hollywood movie…… instead most of the time its just Harvey and I! Don’t get me wrong Mr R loves to spend time with us and does when possible, but his job is seven days a week. He doesn’t get the weekend off like other daddies might and I will happily admit I’m very envious of my NCT friends when they discuss their weekend plans as a family.
That being said we were lucky enough to enjoy a few weeks together over Christmas, which were lovely! Someone else to help feed him, play with him and clean up after him. In fact I got so used to having the extra pair of hands around that I actually felt quite anxious about him going back to work and having no help.
This last week Mr R has again had a rare few days of respite and we were quick to fill it with walks, shopping, dinners, family catch ups and copious visits to coffee shops. Again it has been lovely having the extra hands about the house. But I know it will be short lived and once again I feel a little anxious about him returning to work and the wait for his next day off (sometime in mid March!) However, this time my anxiety is not about doing things alone but is about being alone.
Although being a mummy means that you are never really alone. Perhaps to some, including my husband at times, its not easy to understand that despite having a permanent mini companion being a mummy can be a very lonely job! When Mr R returns to his usual 24/7 job on Saturday I intend to find lots of activities to keep Harvey and I occupied. We have found several new mother and baby clubs to attend, a new play café to investigate and we also have a kitchen to redecorate!
I love being a mummy and I feel so lucky to be able to take time off to spend with my precious little man. I certainly love being able to stay wrapped up warm in bed when my husband heads off to work. But being a mummy isn’t always easy and there are some things that you don’t know, can’t know and never understand about motherhood until its happening to you.
I now know that as much as you wish for it you can’t always be prepared. But I feel as I become more of a dab hand at the mummy malarkey I can become better equipped. It’s the hardest and most unpredictable job I’ve ever had but I know that Harvey and I can do it!
So I’m always on the look out for great little outfits for Harvey and whilst browsing the shops and scouring the internet. I can not seem to get away from the overwhelming amount of woodland themed baby clothes, in particular the fox inspired outfits.
I have to admit I’m a slight fan (despite Mr Rustics constant teasing) and I am keen to get Harvey one or two pieces. Lets face it why should he have to miss out on the baby fashion trends when us mummies don’t want to miss out on the latest style staples.
If your keen to get in on the trend here’s a look at some of what’s available on the high street shops at the moment…
Wow doesn’t time fly, I find it hard to believe that Harvey has just passed his four month mile marker, I’m sure the pregnancy didn’t go this quickly! at Harvey’s last weigh in he had grown from a mightly 10lbs 4ozs to a humongous 18lbs.
He now consumes milk at an unbelievable rate (around six feeds of 8ozs a day) and is nearly out of his 3-6 month clothing! Harvey’s weight sits on the 98th percentile and his length was off the scale, the only fitting and simple description is that he’s a ‘Big Boy’.
His daddy, being a rugby player, is immensely proud of his size and is already envisaging his little boy charging around the pitch in a few years time!
So how much have our lives change since our little man came along? The only answer for that is an indescribable amount. Harvey has seen every aspect of our previous life as a couple change. Mr Rustic and I have been together for five years and had only been married for a few months when we found out I was pregnant with Harvey. We were of course over the moon by our news but we were also daunted by the mammoth challenge we were about to face and boy has it been a challenge.
The first four months have both passed in a flash (we can’t believe how quickly he has grown) and at times felt draw out and slow (numerous night feeds, smelly nappies and baby sick). Most of my mummy friends say to me that they can’t remember their life without their little ones, I’ll hold my hands up and say ‘I can!’ but it was only four months ago and my memory is not that bad, maybe in another six months time I’ll have forgotten what life was like pre baby….I’ll let you know!