So, there we have it. My second (and last) maternity leave is over and I’m back working full time. Here’s to going back to life as a full time working mum. This blog looks into the question, can you be a career woman AND a mum to young children?
Life as a full time working mum
So I’ve done this before. I’m not new to the guilty feeling you have leaving your kids with others for the day. If I’m being honest, my first born loved every single day at the childminders so the guilt didn’t last long as I knew how much fun she was having every day. Which really helped. But the last time I went back to work I only had one baby and I was office based.
Now I have 2 children, 1 at breakfast club/nursery school/playgroup/out of school club and 1 at a childminders. Oh and this time I’m working from home too.
Working from home
Now that my first few weeks are over I’m going to share the pros and cons of working from home so far as life as a full time working mum, working from home.
- I’m closer to the school and childminder now, so shorter commute time
- I seem to be more productive at home without the distractions of a busy office environment
- I can get deliveries during the day
- I can put a wash on, hang out and fold on my breaks
- I can get tea ready before picking the kids up
- I can now go for a run or watch tv on my lunch break without stressing about the kids
- I miss the distractions of a busy office environment
- I miss the office banter and general chit chat
- I miss having lunch breaks with my mates
- I miss the canteen bacon butties and Costa coffee
That’s it really. There are definitely more pros than cons… At the moment.
Can you be a career woman AND a mum to young children?
If you have read my previous blogs, then you will know that I spent most of my 20’s living my life foot loose and fancy free. Oh what a ball I had!! I also squeezed in a Business Degree and then my CIM Marketing level 7 qualification in my early 30’s. I remember a friend of mine giving me a great bit of advice, which I will lovingly share with you now; If you’re not in a rush to start a family, then work on your career beforehand. Once you become a mum, your whole world changes and you will lose the first few years running around after kids. Get to where you want to be BEFORE settling down.
Now, some of you will be reading this and thinking ‘What a load of crap!’ and if you are then fair play to you! I mean that. I thought exactly the same until it happened to me.
It sometimes just comes down to the logistics of it all
I met my partner and he’s a builder. He’s out of the house at 7.30am and can be home any time between 5-6pm on any given day. I, on the other hand work 8.30-4.30pm and as I’ve stated, now have the benefit of working from home too.
So, without even thinking about it we have fallen into the routine of me doing the majority of housework, pick ups etc as I am the one working later and finishing earlier to do the school and childcare pick ups. Oh and as I am an office worker, I am also the first one to admit that any phone calls about the kids from the school or childminder comes to me to deal with too.
I have to add here, that this isn’t a pity party by any means. My partner would if he could, but it’s just how it is for now and that’s ok. He has his roles within the family as do I.
It’s not just me making the career sacrifice it seems
I’ve been looking into this a bit more and there was a very interesting article on the BBC news website, published in March 2021 which stated that women with dependent children are 7 times more likely to work part-time then men, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
More than 15% of mums also say they are economically inactive because of caring responsibilities, versus 1.9% of dads. One analyst said “millions of mums” were being forced to “pay the price” of a less secure career.
It seems there are a fair few of us out there ladies!
Missing out on great career opportunities.. Because you’re a mum
I recently saw 2 job vacancies within my organisation that I could easily apply for and if successful do a good job at. Both were higher salaries and full time hours. Great!
However, they were both office based and located at least 30 minutes drive from my home. Not so great!
Before I became a mum I would have applied for both as soon as I could and not looked back. Now? Well, it isn’t all about me, myself and I anymore is it? How would me getting either of these jobs improve my current lifestyle? Well one things for sure, the money would be really handy right now that’s for sure! But that’s about it on the pros to be honest.
When you’re a full time working mum you become a logistical genius. You have to! You are spinning lots of plates at any given moment and if one were to fall, then it’s a whole lotta work to fix it all up again.
After consulting my partner, I decided that now is not the time to go for promotions. I’ve just been through a pregnancy, birth and maternity on lockdown with a baby and a testing toddler! Now is the time to get myself back on track and find the rhythm of life that is facing me as a full time working mum of two girls.
It’s not over, it’s just on hold.. For now
I am happy with the current work-life balance I have at the moment and for us, as a family it’s working (so far). But I know deep down in the pit of stomach that I hadn’t quite reached my potential on the career ladder and still want to achieve those goals, some day.
I’m at peace with the fact that my friend, who gave me that advised me all those years was right. I’m at peace with the fact that for now, being a mum is where I’m supposed to be and timing is everything. When both my girls are in full time education and settled into a routine then that will be my time. My time to work on my figure, mind and career. So it’s not over, it’s just on hold… For now.
Follow my journey on Instagram!
I write about my life as I go along (oh and when I find time!). But if you are interested in following a fellow, full time working mum who shares WAY too much and likes to share all things good, bad and very often ugly then follow me on my Instagram account and get in touch. I’d love to have more mum friends who are in the same boat.
Oh, I have a podcast and YouTube channel too!
With everything going on, I decided to start a little hobby and launched my podcast in March 2021. I needed something for ‘me’ and with life in lockdown getting me down I thought it would be a great way to meet other parents. Here’s an episode that I recorded with a full time working mum of teenagers! Enjoy 🙂