So it’s been 3 months since I went back to work after a long maternity. I was so lucky to be able to take longer this time around and I’ve loved every minute but let’s be honest we kind of go back to work for a break don’t we? And of course to earn a bit of money.
So how is it going?
Surprisingly very well, I’ve hit the ground running and feel like I’ve got a little bit of myself back. Is that really bad, to say that going to work gives me an outlet for me? I suppose what it does is allow me to use my brain for something other than motherhood and gives me time to focus on the important aspects of parenting when I’m not working. Not only that I feel more empowered, organised, have a better routine and actually get to go to the toilet alone, when I’m not running around like an absolute lunatic trying to actually get to work!
In an ideal world we would all love to be able to spend every waking hour with our kids but the reality is most of us need to work and is it really bad to admit that sometimes we actually enjoy it. I speak to so many mums who breathe a sigh of relief at the fact they are back to work tomorrow or the kids are back to school, not because they don’t want to parent or love their time with their children but because it supports them to be overall better at life, at being a mum!
Before I had kids I imagined spending the first five years of my children’s lives at home caring for them every waking hour, becoming the perfect housewife (not like that was ever gonna happen) but ultimately life doesn’t always work that way and I also want a nice home, to provide opportunities for my children and family holidays.
Was it hard going back?
Very!! Don’t get me wrong even after taking a years maternity I was reluctant to go back to work. In fact the idea filled me with dread as I was going to need to hand over the care of my children for 3 days a week to someone else and being a control freak I tried to look for any reason why actually going back to work just wasn’t doable. Now I’m back, I get to have adult conversation, drive to work on my own, be known as someone other than so and so’s mum and use the skills I spent so many years training for. I remember why I need to work, I remember that I’m actually good at something else.
Yes there’s days when I just wish I could lock the doors and stay at home with my little family, watching movies and dancing around the living room but that’s also what makes our days off even more fabulous.
Finding a balance
My friend used to tell me how important it was to take some time for myself but being at home I found it hard to find that balance. When I’m not working I’m with the kids every minute of every day and find it difficult to be enthused by anything else but now that I’m back at work I’ve realised how important some time out is, not just for me but for my children.
I want to provide my family with opportunities for the future, for my children to have a good work ethic and ultimately know that everything we do is to provide the best life for them. However I actually enjoy working and I’m good at what I do so rather than feel guilty about leaving the kids I need to realise that actually their mum is better when she works.
Working part time
I knew this time around that going straight back full time just wasn’t an option with a little girl starting school and relying on family for childcare working part time was the best case scenario for now. Weirdly I actually feel like I get more done at home in this time I mean lets admit it being at home full time is hard work. Your house is never clean, you do constant washing and cleaning but when your husband gets in he thinks you’ve sat with friends drinking coffee all day as the idea of changing nappies, dealing with tantrums, cleaning, naps and lunches just doesn’t come into it.
Pressure to be perfect
Life in general puts so much pressure on mums but everyones circumstances are different and we should take into account that what may be right for some will never be right for another. I love the quote “There’s no such thing as a perfect parent, So just be a real one”by Sue Atkins. This reminds me that we are all one of the same.
I recently watched the film “Bad Moms”, if you haven’t seen it yet it’s a nice bit of light relief and I think there must be aspects of every mum that can relate. My life is totally like a whirlwind at times juggling work, home and family time and I love it. I make mistakes every day and constantly assess my parenting ability, striving to be the best at work and home. Although I realise life is far from perfect and no matter how much I want to be the perfect parent and professional it’s pretty much impossible, so I’ll just try my best to make it work and love my life with my children every day especially on those days off!