I have been a working mum since 2013. I have worked part time, full time and as of now, I am working from home as a blogger. Some days being at full time work was extremely difficult while on others it was nice to be able to sit and have a hot cup of tea without having to wipe a nose or change a bum! I know there are a heck of a lot of working mums out there, some who love it, some who hate it and others who are somewhere in the middle. I thought it would be interesting to see exactly how others feel about being a working mum and maybe we can all learn a little something about dealing with that dreaded mummy guilt!
Today we meet the lovely Lizzie from A Curious Journey talking all things working mummy!
Tell me a little bit about who is in your family
I’ve been married to J for 9 years and we have two boys age six and three (known as Big Bear and Little Bear for blogging purposes) who both have global developmental delay and hypermobility. The eldest is being assessed for autism.
What age were your children when you returned to work?
They were both about a year old when I went back to work.
Did you return to a job away from the home or within the home?
I work as a business journalist in Leeds. Our office is about 3 miles from our house.
Did you choose to return or did your circumstances force you back?
Financially I could have been a stay-at-home mum, although money would have been tight. I chose to return because I enjoy my job and I wanted a balance between mummy life and work life.
Did you return to work full or part time?
I work 3 days a week so I can have a more even work/life balance. Due to the sheer number of hospital appointments we have, I don’t think I’d be able to work full time. I’d always be taking time off.
What childcare do you have in place and how did you go about choosing it?
The logistics of choosing the right childcare are a nightmare! When I went back to work after having Big Bear I put him into nursery. He later moved to a pre-school, which is in a church hall. The care, support and help he got was amazing in the year before school. Little Bear went to a childminder for three days a week when I first went back to work. Now he goes to the same pre school 1.5 days a week and spends one day at the childminder.
What do you find the most difficult about being a working mum?
The logistics! Pre-school only operates between 9 and 12 or 9 and 3, which doesn’t fit in with my working day. I rely heavily on my mum and mother in law – neither of which live nearby – to collect both boys on one day each. On my third working day, Little Bear goes to the childminder until 5.30 and Big Bear goes to after school club.
How do you deal with the working mummyguilt?
I don’t feel guilty when our little system is working. The boys both get to spend time with their Grandma and Nanna during the week which is a lovely thing. However, if one person can’t do their pick-up then it can complicate things. Sometimes I’ll work from home so I can pick up if I need to but then I’ll have to continue working when we get home. That’s when I feel guilty.
How did you feel when it was time to go back to work?
I was a bit anxious – particularly when sorting out childcare – but the anticipation of going back was much worse than actually doing it.
Is your work/life balance what you want it to be or would you rather work less or more?
I have a pretty good balance. I know when I’m not around they are being well cared for and everything is in place to meet their current needs.
What advice would you give to a mummy heading back to work?
Look at lots of different childcare options to work out what would be the best for your family. I didn’t even consider a childminder when I went back to work the first time but it’s worked out really well for my youngest.
Lizzie, thanks so much for taking part. It seems like you have a really solid support system around you to make things work as you need. I totally agree about the childminder thing. Nursery is perfect when there is only one child but a childminder gives such better flexibility and options when there are two or more. I’m glad you managed to make it all work so that you get your balance right and your job certainly sounds like a good one to have gone back to 🙂