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 Kim from Raising A Ragamuffin talking all things working mummy!
Tell me a little bit about who is in your family
I’m Kim, a Software Engineer and mum to a 2.5 year old daughter. I’ve been married to my husband, who is a Maths Teacher, for 4 years.
What age were your children when you returned to work?
My daughter was 9 months old when I went back to work.
Did you return to a job away from the home or within the home?
I returned to my job of 7 years, a job away from home.
Did you choose to return or did your circumstances force you back?
It was a little bit of both. I felt ready to become me again but money was getting tight.
Did you return to work full or part time?
I reduced my hours from 37.5 over 5 days a week to 30 hours over 4 days a week.
What childcare do you have in place and how did you go about choosing it?
My daughter goes to nursery while I’m at work. We have no family within a 2 hour drive so we always planned to use a nursery or childminder. This was part of my reason to reduce my working hours when I went back to work, I didn’t want my daughter spending most of her time with strangers.
I originally planned to visit a few local nurseries, but I knew when I visited the first one that it was the one for us. It’s a 2 minute drive from our home so my daughter doesn’t spend much time travelling to and from nursery.
What do you find the most difficult about being a working mum?
Leaving my daughter at nursery. Don’t get me wrong she has flourished there and loves it, but even after she’s been there almost 2 years, I hate having to leave her with non-family members.
How do you deal with the working mummy guilt?
It can be hard. If I didn’t work then we wouldn’t be able to afford luxuries like days out and holidays. The way I look at it is that my daughter gets a better quality of life because I work, and I also feel like I’m setting a good example to her by working and having a career.
How did you feel when it was time to go back to work?
I was ready to go back but it felt a little bit odd; up until my daughter was born I’d always been ambitious, eager for promotion. When she came along, something changed, I’m less driven now. I still give my all when I’m at work, but I’m happy to stay where I am, for the time being anyway.
Is your work/life balance what you want it to be or would you rather work less or more?
In an ideal world I’d like to work less so that I could be home more for my daughter. It’s part of the reason that I blog, I’d love for my blog to become my business so that I could organise work around my home life.
What advice would you give to a mummy heading back to work?
If you can, exercise your right to flexible working. Reducing my working hours made me feel easier about returning to work.
For me, planning is also key. Every weekend I batch cook one recipe to freeze so that we always have healthy meals to eat even when time is short. I also have a calendar in our living room where I can easily see it with everyone’s appointments and events on it.
Kim, thanks so much for taking part in this interview. It sounds like reducing your hours was the right thing to do and it’s great that you were allowed to do so. I know exactly what you mean about being less ambitious – I was quite happy to be non managerial so that it was easy for me to pick up my stuff at the end of the day and head home. Your priorities completely change when you become a parent. It sounds like you have the organisation side worked out – it can always feel like you never know whether you are coming or going!