10 Months – The Beginning of The End

I can’t quite believe that Leo is now 10 months old. I’m sure every parent who has ever lived says this – but where has the time gone?!

I don’t know why, but 10 months seems so much older than 9. Perhaps it’s because of how much Leo has changed over the last four weeks; it seems like every day he is fine tuning a new skill and better understanding a little more of the world around him.

At times I see him pick something up, a toy or the TV remote, something he has seen a hundred times before, and really study it; as if looking at it through new eyes. He quizzically tilts his head to one side, and gently traces his finger over the buttons, or round its edge, then looks up at me, as if to say ‘Hey mum, did you know it did this?’ 

I love how chatty Leo is now too (of course, any child of mine was going to be a talker!) He babbles away to his toys; copyies sounds from our favourite songs; and Rosie the dog is greeted with a soliloquy each morning when she bounds into the bedroom. We meet up with our antenatal buddies each week, and when the gang gets together it’s a cacophony of squeals, shrieks and ‘doo doos’.

Then there’s the moving. I think I’m in denial that I have a mobile baby; when people ask me ‘is Leo crawling yet?’ my response is always, ‘almost’ or ‘he’s nearly there’ when in actual fact, whilst he isn’t zooming off in every direction, he is more than capable of manoeuvring himself around. And don’t even get me started on the climbing! This boy just wants to be on his feet all. day. long. I really should start babyproofing…

It is wonderful to see Leo’s personality starting to develop; he is turning into his own little character, with likes and interests and free will (plenty of this!) and each new day reveals more of this. It is a joy and a privilege to watch him learn and grow; he is loving and affectionate, cheeky and funny, and (nearly always) spends each day with a huge smile on his face.

And yet, lurking in the background of our happy days is the knowledge that they are numbered.

Every evening as I hastily tidy up all mass of toys and games, my eyes flit to the pile of documents towering on my desk and I feel a knot tighten in the pit of my stomach. They urgently require my attention (and my signature) yet I cannot bring myself to face them. They signal my return to work; the end of maternity leave.

This morning, as I turned over the calendar to reveal squares marked with days out, baby sign and swimming classes, and blanks for things as yet unplanned, my heart sank at the knowledge of what the next page brings. Nursery drop offs, commuter traffic, family time squeezed into the fringes of the working day.

It feels like we’re hurtling towards the end of our time together at breakneck speed, and I don’t think either of us are ready.

As I type this, I look at Leo curled up in bed beside me: snuggling his face into my elbow, his little fingers grasping onto my sleeve. Unable to fall asleep unless my body is pressed against his, how will he manage a full day at nursery, without me there to sing to him, and rock him?

And there is so much left for Leo to discover and do. Who will be there to hear his first real word? Will mine be the hand he tentatively releases as he braves his first, tottering steps alone? Where will he be when he does his first painting, or sings his first song?

Of course, I recognise that I am very fortunate to have been able to take the best part of a year off, and to be able to return to work part-time, but that doesn’t make going back feel any easier.

People keep telling me ‘it’s not as bad as you think.’ In fact, many friends say they relish the time when they can be their ‘old selves’ again: having adult conversations, drinking hot coffee, not having to constantly worry about their baby nose diving from the sofa or attempting to eat the dishwasher tablets.

I’m sure all this is true, and I know Leo will enjoy spending a day with his Nana, as well as making new friends at nursery. He is generally a sociable little boy who is happy to go to others and I don’t need convincing of the benefits of day care.

But still, whenever I think about the realities of spending 11 hours a day apart from him; rushing home to catch the end of bedtime; him hurting himself, or missing me, and me not being there, it fills me with guilt and dread.

Like many, my road to motherhood has been hard won. After losing Findlay, and the life we were denied together, the thought of being away from Leo day in, day out, breaks my heart.

We have 5 more weeks together; 5 weeks before reality intrudes on our little world. And I will try and enjoy every moment of those 5 weeks; this precious time which we will never have again.

Does anyone else struggle with the thought of going back to work?

Those who have gone back, do you have any top tips for making the most of my final few weeks, or things which you found made the transition easier?

I’d love to hear from you!

Dear Bear and Beany
Cuddle Fairy
Twin Mummy and Daddy


  1. June 1, 2017 / 2:19 pm

    They do suddenly seem to grow up once they’re mobile and pulling themselves up on to their feet. Going back to work is hard and you have my sympathies – I went back to work full time when my eldest was 13 months and he was in nursery for 9 hours a day. Those ladies in nursery saw so much more of his 2nd year than I did. They do cope though, and you’ll adjust – you just have to make the most of the time you do have to spend together. And my top tip – if you can afford it get a cleaner! £20 every two weeks was well worth it for us when it meant we didn’t have to spend our precious weekends cleaning 🙂 #SharingTheBlogLove

    • June 1, 2017 / 3:24 pm

      That’s exactly it – it feels like he’s just grown up all of a sudden after months of ‘baby’. I’ve already said to the husband we need to discuss getting a cleaner, the thought of weekends spent with a mop in hand rather than playing makes me shudder! Full time sounds tough, but I’m glad you managed to adapt and find a balance which works for your family.

  2. June 2, 2017 / 3:22 pm

    I find the thought of returning to work emotional, then when it comes around to being at work it’s not as bad you believe it to be. I can’t quite believe my baby is on the move and find it hard to say she’s 9 months and not 6 months. These months just fly! #bloggingclubUK

    • June 2, 2017 / 4:01 pm

      Don’t they just – I honestly don’t know where the time goes! Pregnancy was the slowest 8 months of my life, filled with anxiety, fear and hope, yet I can’t quite believe it’s the end of another week. I just want time to slow down and Leo to stay my baby a little longer.

  3. June 2, 2017 / 3:26 pm

    I hope all goes well with him settling into nursery and you get to have quality Mummy time on your days off 😊

    • June 2, 2017 / 4:03 pm

      Thank you Charlotte, that’s such a good point – I need to try and focus on the days we will have together 😊

  4. June 2, 2017 / 10:09 pm

    Ah, that’s a lovely last photo.

    I went back full time with an hour commute each way when N was 11.5 months old and it was fine. Yes there’s always the panic about the nursery calling, but mostly it was worry about the inconvenience because I knew that ultimately N would have been fine. It is hard to adjust, but you can, and I couldn’t imagine not working (admittedly doing part time hours on my existing wage would be nice, but unlikely to happen!) . Hope the last few weeks goes well..#sharingthebloglove

    • June 4, 2017 / 2:46 pm

      Thanks Emma, it’s so reassuring to hear others say that going back to work has been fine and you’ve both adjusted. I’m hoping the thought is worse than the reality!

  5. June 6, 2017 / 12:17 pm

    Beautiful photos. Going back to work will be better than you think!

  6. June 6, 2017 / 1:28 pm

    Gorgeous photos! 10 months is such an adorable age, their personality starts to shine through and you get to see what type of person they will be become. Going back to work is tough, it’s like you go back just when they start to become a bit more fun and what to do more things. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • June 6, 2017 / 4:29 pm

      Thanks for having me 😊 Yes I think that’s just it – we’re having so much fun together now, and Leo is really becoming his own little person…seems so unfair to have to leave him now!

  7. June 6, 2017 / 2:18 pm

    I think it’s harder to think about going to work and the logistics than actually doing it. I felt exactly the same as you when I was about to go back to work full time after my first child but in reality it turn out to be ok. Just don’t put too much pressure on yourself and take each day as it comes. Thank you for sharing with #StayClassymama

    • June 6, 2017 / 4:30 pm

      Thank you, that’s a great tip about just taking it one day at a time – makes if seem more manageable than the thought of whole weeks!