When that guy at work sends you cupcakes…

A lot has happened since I last wrote and I don’t just mean Christmas and a hangover on New Year’s Day.

It began one morning about a month after I’d started back at work when the nanny appeared in the kitchen looking green to the gills and told me she was too sick to work.

Little J and I stared at each other, both slightly horrified at the prospect of a day in each other’s company. She’s learnt that mummy doesn’t do things like messy play and all-morning swing sessions in the park. And I was on my way to deliver a mega-important presentation to a new client and in the process justify my position at the office.

My lips were saying “Poor you, Paula, go upstairs and rest until you’re well again” and my brain was saying “Fucking typical.”

I emailed my boss to tell him the great news and predictably he put Dan (I’ve written about him before here) straight onto the job. My phone buzzed.

It was Dan, asking me to send him the work I’d done on the campaign. Several evenings and one Sunday when I should have been at a hen party’s worth of work. I nearly started vomiting myself.

J and I had a relatively nice day together, ruined slightly by a call from Dan to say the presentation had gone really well and that we were to go together to their offices the next day to meet the rest of their team. I crossed my fingers that Paula made a drastic recovery and told him that I’d do my best to be there.

She did recover, and I would have been good to go had it not been for the fact that I woke up, ran to the bathroom, and didn’t emerge for the next five hours. I don’t think I’ve ever been so sick.

I texted Dan, who asked if he should postpone the meeting. I said yes please, and it was rearranged for the Friday at their offices near Carnaby Street.

Why battles with working mums aren’t worth fighting

Friday dawned and I arrived at the door on time and sent Dan a text to ask where he was. “It’s my mums birthday so I’ve taken the day off,” came the response. “It’s you they want to meet anyway, not me.”

I breathed a sign of relief that he wasn’t going to be there and immediately felt overwhelmed with guilt that I’d misjudged him so severely. Maybe he’s not trying to steal my job after all.

The meeting was good. I think they liked what I was suggesting and their figures didn’t seem to be insane and then they handed round some croissants and my stomach turned…

I went straight to Boots afterwards and then to the loos in McDonalds, and bolted myself into a cubicle. Two pink lines confirmed my suspicions.

That was just before Christmas and I still haven’t told anyone apart from my best friend Helen who had a baby at the same time as me and looked rather horrified. What am I going to do guys? I’ve just gone back to work.

My husband says he wants a three-year gap and now our kids are going to be just 18 months apart!!!

Yesterday Dan and I were leaving a meeting with a different client and he asked me if I was ok. I said I wasn’t and burst into tears. The poor guy didn’t know where to look. He patted my shoulder and suggested I went home, he’d tell the team that I’d stayed on with the client.

I got on the Tube, dizzy with nausea, arrived home and lay face down on my bed.

A couple of hours later there was a knock at the door and I opened it to a guy standing in the pouring rain holding a box of Hummingbird cupcakes. There was a note: “Looks like you might need these love Dan X”

I took it up to my bedroom and ate two in quick succession.

Does he know, I wonder, or is he just being thoughtful? Either way, I’ve totally changed my opinion on flannel trouser wearing 25-year-olds.

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How I survived my first day back at work after my baby

 

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