I’m not overly keen on the phrase ‘working mum’ because, let’s face it, a mum’s work never really ends! But I do have paid job outside of wiping my kids arses and all the rest of the fun stuff that comes with having kids…
Except my work very definitely involves wiping kids arses! Sometimes I think I must be nuts to do what I do, but I can’t lie I do enjoy it. Most of the time! And the fact that I get to say
“Have good weekend – oops, I mean rest of the week – guys!”
when I leave on Wednesday afternoon makes it just that little bit sweeter.
We Were On A Break!
I gave up my career just after Amelia turned one, and I felt certain that I didn’t want to return to paid work for at least a year, more even. I lasted about 6 weeks. The reality of being at home 24-7 pretty quickly ate away at what little self-confidence I had, and after the novelty wore off (somewhere around week 3) I rediscovered what I had always known about myself. Working keeps me sane.
Even before having kids, I’ve always been the type of person to throw myself into whatever paid work I’m doing. Be it collecting trolleys in Sainsburys (true story, when I was doing my A-levels) or running a retail business, I’m the type constantly trying to find ways to do it better. I like the challenge of doing a great job, of learning new things, and I definitely like the feeling of achieving something great.
I don’t know that I’ve found my calling doing what I’m doing now, but I do know that it works for us as a family right now. The hours are good, the pay is ok, and the work/life balance is the best I’ve ever had it.
That being said, at the moment I feel like I’m fighting a constant internal battle. I know that I can’t not work; before long I’d be in a desperate downward spiral of depression. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do to never go back to that place, so working part-time eases most of that for me. But a huge part of me misses the sense of fulfilment in working full time and achieving amazing things (including the pay packet).
What’s Right For Me Might Not Be Right For Them
I never wonder if I’m doing the right thing for the kids by working part-time. In fact, I know that right now it’s probably the best thing I could do for them. They get to enjoy days at the nursery they both love and are thriving in, I get some time away which ultimately makes me a better mum the rest of the time, and I am teaching them that working is an important part of life.
But I do wonder if, in the long term, it’s the right thing for me. What if, by the time it makes sense to go back to full time work, I’m so far out of it that I can’t succeed and thrive anymore? What if it’s too late for me to re-ignite the successful career woman in me? What then? As much as my job now is perfect for family life, I feel like I’ve taken ten steps backwards, and I’m worried it’s going to end up being too late to take the eleven steps forwards that I eventually want to.
I feel like I should end this post with some kind of knowledgeable epiphany about how I’m definitely smashing life, being a mum is the most successful I’ve ever been, and when the time is right my career will be whatever I choose to make it…
That’s all probably true. But I’m actually going to end with this;
If anyone has a full time position going for a creative entrepreneurial type, paying about £40k+, with a private healthcare scheme, that will allow me to work flex and from home, and will happily give me time off for all pending future sickness bugs/poorly tummies/school plays/half terms and 6 weeks in the summer… I’M YOUR WOMAN!
For the right job, I’m even willing to be flexible on the healthcare *wink wink* Hit me up in the comments, I can start
Monday tomorrow right now!