I’ve now been back at work after maternity leave for 5 months. I was lucky enough to take 12 months of maternity leave (actually 13 if you include annual leave), so I was a bit apprehensive about going back. I negotiated going part-time and now work 4 days a week, which I’ve found is a pretty good balance for me.
There have been some challenges along the way, but here are the things I love (and a couple of things I hate) about being a working mum.
Things I love about being a working mum
- Me time. One of the best things about going back to work has been having a bit of me time. I get to eat my lunch in peace. I can drink hot tea. I can go to the loo without a companion. I even get time to listen to podcasts on my way to work. I read the news so I know what’s going on in the world! It’s brilliant.
- Using my brain. As much as I love spending time with Jacob, I did feel like I needed something else to do while on maternity leave. That’s why I started this blog. I needed an outlet and wanted to learn something new. Now I’m back at work I can feel my brain cells starting to wake up a bit!
- Not being covered in snot. Self-explanatory really.
- Appreciating it when I’m at home. Being at home all the time is hard. Much harder than being at work. Toddlers can be pretty difficult. I was reminded of this over Christmas when I spent 12 days in a row with Jacob. It can all get a bit relentless, so it’s nice to have a bit of a break from it at work. I then really enjoy my day off with him. I salute you stay at home mums. I don’t think I could do it.
- Adult conversation. “Bubbles, bubbles, BUBBLES!”. That’s the extent of the conversation I get at home at the moment. It’s nice to chat to other adults at work.
- Money. Ok, so the part-time salary isn’t the best. Especially when you add in the cost of childcare. Although we are lucky that we only pay for 2 days a week. But my theory is that by going back to work, I should (hopefully) manage to earn more later on than I would if I’d stayed at home and gone back to work in a few years. I also feel more secure knowing that we have two incomes, just in case one of us got made redundant or ill.
- Eating a whole meal to myself. At home I always have a toddler trying to eat half of it.
Things I hate about being a working mum
- FOMO. I get major fear of missing out. I worry that I’m missing important moments in Jacob’s development. Deep down I do know that he loves nursery and spending time with his grandparents. I think nursery has been really good for him.
- Playing catch up. I’m always behind on something, whether that’s the never-ending washing pile, buying food or life admin. My New Years resolution was to get more organised. It hasn’t happened yet!