My new life as a working mummy
It has now been 2 whole months since I returned to work from maternity leave. Did I want to return to work? Hell no. Do I still want to be at home full-time? Um, actually no. The strangest thing has happened, from being a crying, whimpering wreck the whole week (actually make that month) before I returned to work and left my son in the care of a childminder I am now (relatively) happy about going to work. Yes, I miss my son and do wish I could have more time with him but working isn’t the devil and leaving him has probably been of benefit to both of us. He has other kids of all ages to play with during the day and he has already learnt so much. Yes, he is only 9 months old but his progress has suddenly leaped forward. I have realised I don’t have to be joined at the hip with my baby to be close to him. He still has a special smile that is just for me. He still needs me and I haven’t been forgotten now another nice lady looks after him during the working week.
It isn’t all plain sailing but I am coping far better than I ever imagined and, although I doubted it when people told me the following, I actually do enjoy talking to others about non-baby things and actually dressing up each day and concentrating on something that isn’t around a baby’s routine. The only problem I have found is that although I get to chat to my work colleagues I now have limited time for my actual friends.
As I am currently working full-time due to a failed flexible working request, I can no longer pop to see other part-time working friends during the week. I (as do all working parents) only have the weekend to do a food shop, wash all the clothes, clean the house, prepare the weeks meals for my son, spend time with my son and partner and dare I say it relax. After all that I am usually too tired to even move off the sofa. I have had one girls night out about a month ago and I can’t remember the last time him and I went out as a couple. It has also taken me many attempts to write this very blog as I always seem to get distracted or am so tired I can no longer see the keyboard as my head droops down trying to locate the nearest pillow.
There is one very positive aspect of having less time for friends and that is I no longer do the things I didn’t really want to do but did anyway. I can now happily say no to the boring requests with “friends” blaming work, baby or sleep deprivation. And I am getting better at staying in contact, even if only by phone or e-mail, with the friends who I actually like.
One surprising turn of events is a friend who has children has seemingly gotten annoyed with my distance over the last 2 months. Her kids are now a bit older and she never had to work when they were very little but I still thought she would gage how hard it must be working full time and being mum. Obviously not, and she was actually one of the friends I tried to make the effort to see. I am hoping this is just a blip and we’ll get through it. It would appear me my working full-time has affected more than just my immediate family!
The worst part of my working day is the dash from the childminders to work and then back again at the end of the day. I hate sitting in traffic anxious to get to work on time or to pick my son up on time. I hate the knot in my stomach that forms when I think I’ll be even one minute late collecting him.. This is for two reasons; 1) I HATE being late and 2) It cuts into my time with him after work before he collapses into his cot at 7pm.
Luckily, that will soon change as I have managed to get a job round the corner from home and the childminders. I can’t wait to hand my notice in and start my new job. *Hurry up CRB check* Plus, although it is again full-time (I struggled to find a 4 day week in the NHS) the hours are much better and as I won’t have commuting time I’ll have more than 2 extra hours with my son every day. #perfect
So, working full time and being a mummy might not be perfect and if money were not an option I’d probably not work or at least only do a couple of days a week. But life doesn’t always do what you’d like it to and you just have to get on with it the best you can. I might not have got the time management thing right outside of work yet but I’m sure we’ll get there eventually.
*finished as I eat my lunch at work – multi tasking ;)