Monday, 25 November 2013

Returning to work

There is a horrible amount of stigma and judgement attached to mums (from the moment they give birth in my opinion!), especially when it comes to being a stay at home mum or a working mum-whichever choice you make-people will judge you! I highly suggest you read this Daily Mail article just for amusement-I particularly like the "blimey not you again.." section!  The perfect balance for me I think would be to work part time, and I think this is likely once at school age, but for the near future at the very least-I will be going at it full time! The plan at present is for me to return to work doing full time hours condensed into fewer days. 

What i'm looking forward to:
  • Getting my brain working again.  
Whilst off on maternity leave I have felt my brain gradually turning to mush.  This could be something to do with the dreaded baby brain and lack of sleep but I'm someone that enjoys learning and feeling purpose-work gives me both of those things. 

  • Furthering my career:
I know that post children people say it is hard for women to further their careers but I'm not sure how heavily I buy into that.  Surely if you value that part of your life and want to find your way to the top whilst juggling a family you'll find a way? My work is not a job, it really is a career and one that can still take me so very very far if I choose it to-for example the heads of Adult social care in my area are both FEMALE OCCUPATIONAL THERAPISTS- That could be me! Not just that, I get great interest in geeking out on the ins and outs of policies and new research which affect my role and client group-I miss that whilst i'm on maternity leave.

  • The money!
Of course this is a shallow one but it is a no brainer on so many different levels! I won't go into the ins and outs of why it is so so important to us as a family in the "right now", however I will go into the immediate future and further future.  We currently rent a 1 bedroom flat in Brighton, needless to say we have far outgrown this poor little flat-funnily enough we didn't anticipate an addition to the crew when we first rented it! The original plan when we found out our landlord would let us stay here, was to just stay until January 2014, or July at the latest and then rent a 2 bedroom flat in the area.  As time has gone on, we are lucky enough to be in the position to buy our next property, however we need my income in order to get a mortgage for the size property we are after and in the area we desire.  It means we need to buy asap though because once Ophelia starts crawling we really won't be able to stay here much longer!   In the long term, whilst money has never been important to me, I am now keen to be able to properly provide for my daughter and save for her future-whatever that may be, without us being stretched. 

  • Socialising Ophelia.
Whilst I am at work, the idea is for Ophelia to spend one day with each Grandparent and then two days at nursery-that way she isn't spending too long at nursery but long enough to get the socialisation and stimulation that is so important, whilst at the same time getting valuable time with her grandparents. 

What i'm not looking forward to:

  • Working after very little sleep!
Obviously, the wishful part of me is hopeful that Ophelia might be sleeping better by then (HA!), but I have already seen (and heard) first hand how my colleagues with young children cope! Of course, this is a difficult part of any working mum's life, but our job really is life or death at times and requires such high level of attention to detail that an urgent visit after a bad night's sleep is a recipe for disaster and could result in injury or death.

  • Leaving Ophelia.  
Whilst I definitely wish to have a clear identity away from only being Mum, at the same time I love her dearly and of course do want to spend so much time with her-I can imagine there being a lot of days at work when I sit and miss her deeply.  I think it will be especially hard getting up in the mornings and leaving her, especially if she is crying or unwell. 

  • Work/life/child balance.
I dread to think how exhausted I am going to be; working all day, getting home doing the bedtime routine, making dinner, doing chores, going to bed, waking up in the night and then waking in the morning and doing it all over again.  In fact, i'm exhausted just thinking about it! The good news is that once we move I am DEFINITELY getting a tumble dryer and dish washer-these will mean evenings spent hanging out clothes and doing PILEs of washing up are a thing of the past. THANK GOD!

Are any of you working mums or did you go back to work after having your children? Any words of advice?


  1. My baby is due in January and I plan to be off for a year but go back full time or at least 4 days a week and I'm already dreading it. I work about 60 hours a week as a primary school teacher and I really love my job but I'm often shattered now never mind once I have a young child to look after. I just don't think there is a right or an easy answer unfortunately. Best of luck when you do go back and I'm sure that even though you will have some difficult times you will make it work. X

    1. Thank you!To you too and with the rest of your pregnancy.

  2. I'm a working mum. It was necessary for us, because I'm the higher earner (now). When aiden was born, I had 2 weeks off then had to go back to uni for my final year - thankfully, only 2 days a week. And his daddy had those days off work. Then I had to go on a full time placement when aiden was 6 months - that was hard, leaving him and being completely exhausted! But it was worth it - I graduated & started my teaching career. I wouldn't like being a SAHM. I need some adult interaction (says the woman who works with! But it's good for your health, I think, and adds variety. It helps you appreciate the time you have with your wee one, and you set a good example for them. It an be hard leaving the wee one for the first time, but we just made sure new routines were in place so it didn't throw Aiden off too much. They get used to new routines quite quickly! Good luck my dear xo

    1. You have the same position as us in terms of wage!Thank you so much for your comment!You have the same point if view as me re appreciating time with them, variety, health,not wanting to be a SAHM and wanting to set a good example. Thankfully im going to start work at 715 which will work with her (current) wake up of 6, fingers crossed we ll get it all nailed down.xx