This lovely lady is Nelly, she lives at the Farm at the top of our street and I have watched her get bigger and bigger over the last few months. She had these beautiful piglets two years to the day that I went off on maternity leave and a year to the day that I returned to work following maternity leave.
She looks tired, though I have one, not a brood, I know how she feels!
This is a post about my year as a working mam. I have selected pins from my Back to Work Wisdom board that I share with other mums making that journey back!
I realised early on that for us there wasn’t a choice about going back or not, and that at some baby groups where we’d been together for the year there was a divide between the soon to be working mums and those who were staying at home. I have a clear feeling about this and the judgements that can go on behind it; as far as I am concerned all parents are working parents, it’s hard work whatever the setting when you were up all night with a teething toddler or a preschooler that’s full of cold.
I also worked hard personally to shrug off a) guilt, having to work made that one easier, and b) possessiveness about a child that I loved so fiercely I found it hard to share. This helped:
I explored flexible options, but knowing my child, and knowing how it had been to do uni work with a newborn and then a toddler I knew this was unrealistic (and not something I aspired to!)
But then nor was this!
What worked for us was working through naps, and if work couldn’t wait until bedtime it was something I would commit half an hour to or nothing. For that half an hour I felt better about working when I got Joss set up with an activity in the same room, lego, sorting toys, puzzles or books, whatever she was into at the time, I could keep a close eye and get a few emails done. If she needed me or was whingy I downed tools as soon as possible, and came back to them at a better time, I’m not saying it’s easy to work this way, but its what I found worked best.
I saw this in a magazine and thought it made a strong, delegatable and manageable household cleaning guide, above all it’s realistic! I’ve been doing this for a month now and it works for us and takes off the pressure of coming back from work in a fug and wondering where to start when yesterdays dishes preclude being able to cook for the family the next night.
It’s possible to keep on top of it and then do a big spring clean twice a year, but this helped too if I was being hard on myself:
As did remembering that as well as being a wife, mother, student, employee and colleague I was still ‘me’ in some way shape or form, and so I try to treat ‘me’ nicely, uncritically and give myself the occasional treat along the way