It’s half term this week and for a change, I have taken a week off work for no other reason than to look after my girls. We haven’t gone away anywhere, we don’t have visitors staying, just a week of us all off together. So far the week has been pretty uneventful, we spent the day at Stanwick Lakes on Sunday with Mr D and his 2 children. Then on Monday the curse of the Autumn cold hit our house and me and B both felt pretty rotten, so we had a duvet day!! Tuesday and Wednesday H was in nursery, as I had taken her funded nursery place as 12 hours per week until Christmas rather than 15 hours per week of term. I had hoped to do some more grown up stuff with B, like Paint a Pot and swimming, but as we were both still a little under the weather we went shopping instead!!
I’ve sat and helped B with her homework without us falling out, I’ve set up sticker charts to try and get their behaviours a bit more on track, and I’m currently listening to Justin Fletcher’s new album “Hands Up..The Album” for about the 4th time today!! (Watch this space, the album is released on 21st November and I’ll be reviewing the week before!!) My house is a mess, small people are jumping around all over the place, I’ve read a book in 2 days and feel a little guilty for doing nothing. It’s great!!!
It’s all got me thinking though, what if…….?
I think it’s one of the hardest things about being a parent, getting the work life balance right. The choice varies for all of us, no two families are the same and so no two people’s decisions are or can be seen as the same. For me, going back to work was a bit of a rollercoaster ride. H was only 16 months old and I hadn’t looked for work nor had any thoughts of returning to work. As much as I am sure people judged me for it, I was receiving benefits that saw me through each month, I’d been thrown into a situation I had no choice over and after paying my taxes since 16 when I started my first job, I figured I was entitled to take stock of my life and be a mum until I had sorted out what path to follow.
Then it was all a bit of a whirlwind, a friend told me about some jobs coming up working with families and children in the area, she said she thought I would be ideal for it, so I applied expecting that my minimal experience would generate a “thanks but no thanks” letter. I was pretty surprised when one November morning 2 years ago a letter turned up offering an interview. I arranged for a friend to have H and travelled the 50 mile round trip for the interview and then found out just over a week later that I had got the job! There was worry, would I actually be better off, would I be able to handle the part time job on top of bringing up two girls, lots of what if’s?
It’s now 19 months on and I love my job, I love my girls, I love my life and what I have built but there’s still that “what if?” which this week has brought out. I could have had every school holiday like this, I could have been able to make every sports day, every assembly, H could have been at home more. I’d have less stress about childcare and what to do when I have to work late. But then I wouldn’t have been able to go on holiday this year both with and without the girls, I wouldn’t have a car on the road making days out very difficult. I wouldn’t have met some really inspirational women who I now work with, and I wouldn’t have developed how I have as a mum and person in my own right.
I know I’ve missed out on some things with my girls, but I am hoping that what I gain by working is worth it and out weighs the negatives. Both the girls seem happy with the arrangement and I know H loves nursery. I guess the hardest part is working with families and trying to help them put routines in place, or helping to manage behaviours and wishing I was at home with my own children reinforcing the same boundaries! I guess this is all proof I needed this week off with my girls!
How do you make sure your work life balance is right for your family? And do you ever wonder What If…..?
- Current Affairs
- Family Life
- Guest Blog Post
- Me, myself and I
- Mummy Tummy Begone
- My 101 Things
- Product Reviews
- Race for Life
- School and Childcare
- Secret Post Club
- Song Saturday
- The Gallery
- Working Mum