That I’m snacking on plain dark chocolate is testament to the fact that not a lot of baking has gone on here this week. Partly because I’m stockpiling eggs to make a glorious chocolate mousse cake (chocolate mousse heaped into a flourless chocolate cake shell, oh heavenly heavenly concoction) and partly because I’ve worked a couple of shifts at the hospital. I’ve been back working for about two months now, long enough that it doesn’t seem new anymore but brief enough that I’m still running into colleagues I haven’t seen since I was pregnant. That’s one of the perks of working shifts on a rotating roster in a public hospital – an ever changing mix of colleagues to ride through the eight hours with, new gossip to catch up on, old arguments to revisit. The novelty factor of being back on the roster lives on a lot longer than it might in an office, giving me lots of opportunity to bang on smugly about the small one and how excellent he is. And giving other people lots of opportunity to offer up platitudes, disguised as questions about why I’m working again.
You’re back! (sympathetic smile) Needed some adult company?
No. No that’s not why I’m back. I have no shortage of adult company. I might cohabit with a one year old and he might be divine, but thrillingly he is not the only person in my life.
Welcome back! (knowing smile) Wanted to use your brain again?
No. Not that either. Shocking, I know, but being a parent does require that you use your brain. If I really wanted to be a bitch about it, I’d say that good parenting requires more brain power than bad midwifery. The small person didn’t come with a check-the-box Care Pathway and even when I want to I can’t delay decisions to be made and hand them over to the next shift after eight hours. As the saying goes, children don’t come with any instructions, but midwifery comes with a lengthy policy and procedure manual, codes of practice and ethics and several relevant laws.
And my favourite:
You’re back! (conspiratorial smile) Wanted to get back to the real world?
As opposed to the Fantasy Island where brainless mothers go to hang out?
So, no to all of those. I’m back because I love the job and I missed it. I love the endorphin rush of seeing a new person slip into the world, the buzz of seeing a woman realise her own power, the satisfaction of knowing I have helped. And I love being the one who comes home, who gets to be regaled with the stories of the day, who is missed.