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- 11 Apr 17

I returned to work at the beginning of this year after chid number two and I can safety say that we have been winging it ever since. Over 3 years ago I returned to work after my first child and I can’t really remember it being a terrible time and we did decide on having another child so it must have been ok?

Returning to work the second time round I used all my keep in touch days, this meant when I went back I was up to speed with all the changes that had happened in the year. This helped me with the anxiety of returning and to get back in the loop.  I still remember how to type, seriously there were times when I had forgotten how to type.

It was a shock to me and my husband as we weren’t ready and suddenly for three days a week we had become like passing ships in the night. It has been known for my husband to walk out of the door as I walk in. Grace who has always been a good sleeper started to wake up at night and in desperation for sleep we had to started feed her. This sleep deprivation meant we were walking round like zombies. I kept thinking “why am I feeding her again?” but sleep was what was needed so a bottle is what she got.

I thought about the main things we needed to survive, everyone needed to be fed, everyone needed cleanish clothes and everyone needed to be in the right place at the right time. I didn’t except the return to work with two children to be stress free so I had already said to myself that things were going to slide for the first month.  For example, dinners are not going to be perfect and I’m not going to be eating at 4:53pm every night and I might not make my three gym sessions a week. However, I was willing to let this go and not put too much pressure on myself and everyone else.

I prepared a three week meal plan, this was entitled “Don’t Hem Us In”. This title came about because my husband felt sticking to a strict meal plan felt too organised and he felt “hemmed” in. This meal plan did last for about a month and worked well. Now I’m going for the order more food than you need as you can always freeze it approach (I love freezing everything). I do still scribble down rough meal plans for the week but “Don’t Hem Us In” meal plan is gathering dust.

I think on the four days I’m not at work I probably complete about 12 washes, I loathe putting the washing away, its one of those things that I really can’t be bothered with Nothing gets ironed and everything gets tumble dried and whipped out quick when finished so I don’t have to iron it, lazy I know but just saving precious time.

I don’t know how everyone gets to the right place at the right time but myself and my husband work as team, dodging tantrums, predicting naps before they even know they want them and fuelled by a lot of caffeine.

A couple of months in and I would say we have reached a good balance and we don’t eat too many takeaways, the children are happy and I appreciate them a lot more the four days I have with them. I kept telling myself everything is a phase and it will get better and it has.

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Jeni Dibley-Rouse

I'm a mum of two children, Joe (5) and Grace (2), married to the husband and I quit my job of 15 years in post production TV (mainly working in advertising with a few documentaries) to run the family full time. I enjoy laughing through every phase of being a parent with the Joe and Grace.   I look on the brighter side of life 99% of the time. I'm aways on Instagram doing an insta story of our day to day life so if you fancy it come and follow us over there too @everythingisaphase

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