Interview With A Working Mum – Hannah Massey

Welcome to the next guest blogger in my Interview With A Working Mum series.

Being a working mum is  stressful enough as it is, without employers making returning to work even more difficult for new mums. This week’s guest blogger is a mum of 2, who didn’t have an easy return to work after her second daughter was born.

Interview With A Working Mum - Hannah Massey | www.digitalmotherhood.com

FIRST UP, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF…

Interview With A Working Mum - Hannah Massey | www.digitalmotherhood.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m Hannah, 30, married to Matt, and we have two daughters, Ava 5, and Wren 15 months. We live in beautiful Plymouth in Devon.

WHAT LINE OF WORK ARE YOU IN?

I work in construction and social housing. I’m currently a Community Engagement Officer for a large property, construction, residential and services group. I essentially make sure that the local community is happy with the work that is being carried out within their neighbourhood, and I get involved and support local community projects, including helping the unemployed back into work.

HOW MANY Hours PER WEEK DO YOU WORK?

I currently work 12 hours a week, more if I need to. My employer is very flexible and allows me to work around childcare, even working from home on the days that I struggle.

ARE YOU IN THE SAME JOB AS BEFORE YOU HAD YOUR Children?

I have only been in this job for a month, as after having Wren my request to work part time was declined by my previous employer. This was disappointing for me as I had worked for that company for 6 years, but I knew that with two children I wouldn’t be able to cope. The cost of childcare alone was ridiculous, coupled with the fact that I was still breastfeeding, ‘surviving’ on 4 hours sleep or less, and suffering from post natal depression and anxiety. To me it was a no brainer – when they told me my request was denied I resigned on the spot. The bitter pill was then repaying my maternity package, but I know that I have done the right thing for me.

HOW QUICKLY DID YOU RETURN TO WORK AFTER HAVING YOUR Children?

After having Ava, I returned to work within 10 months. I felt ready and I returned 3 days a week. However, after Wren I did not feel ready at all! I had 15 months off work with her and enjoyed every minute.

DID YOU WANT TO RETURN TO WORK?

I didn’t particularly want to return to work, it was only recently that I felt a desire too. I have been struggling terribly with self image and not working has added to my poor self esteem. 12 hours a week has been a perfect remedy, however I find the school day is remarkably short so I struggle to get everything done in my time off.

WHAT ARE THE HARDEST THINGS ABOUT BEING A WORKING MUM?

I think the hardest part of being a working mum is actually managing to do it. Employers can be so inflexible when you have children, and it is so difficult to find a job that suits. I have come to the realisation that it is very difficult to ‘have it all’; inevitably a ball will drop somewhere, whether it’s not being allowed time off for a school play, being late to pick your children up, illness, housework being neglected etc. It’s very hard to successfully do everything, but we need to give ourselves a break sometimes!

DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR OTHER WORKING MUMS?

I think my greatest tip would be to manage your time wisely and stay strong! I have been a stay at home mum and I’ve been a working mum, and both come with their pros and cons. But I think if women want to return to work the process should be much more flexible and employers need to be embracing returning mums more, and not make it so difficult. Women in the workplace need to be valued more, we can offer so much.

To find out more about Hannah you can follow her on Twitter.

If you’re interested in guest blogging for the Interview With A Working Mum series please feel free to drop me an email.

Sarah

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14 thoughts on “Interview With A Working Mum – Hannah Massey

  1. Cardiff Mummy Says - Cathryn says:

    Such a shame that Hannah’s previous employer was so family-unfriendly, like she says, it would be good if mothers were valued more in the workplace, but it sounds like she has found a much more accommodating employer now.

  2. Where Roots And Wings Entwine says:

    Interesting interview. Such a shame your previous employers could not be more flexible but great that current ones are. Completely agree about employers needing to embrace mums more and be more flexible to make it easier for working mums.

  3. Sonia Cave says:

    Whilst the new employer sounds so lovely and accommodating, I can’t believe the original one got away with a mothers request to be part time! Companies need to be flexible to allow mothers to work or else it just doesn’t work.

  4. Jessica - A says:

    I’m always outraged to hear there are companies out there who are so inflexible. Good for you, Hannah, for finding something that works better for you.
    I like this series. Great questions Sarah!
    ~Jess
    #StayClassyMama

  5. Talya says:

    Being a working mum is so hard as it’s like having two jobs not one! I think her advice to stay strong is absolutely spot on. Thanks so much for linking this up to #coolmumclub xoxo

  6. Rebecca says:

    It is so hard to fit in everything isn’t it! I work 30 hours a week on 4 days… its such a struggle and I find it very stressful. I am cutting down my hours when the little man gets free childcare in September (strange way round I know but I will have paid off my wedding so won’t need to save as much!) and am looking forward to the extended spare time and breathing space! <3 #coolmumclub

  7. The Squirmy Popple says:

    I’m glad you managed to find a role that has the right balance for you – it can be hard when employers are so inflexible. I currently work 31.5 hours a week and it feels like too much, but we need the money. My husband’s work is sporadic so he stays home with our daughter most days which cuts down on childcare costs, but even one day a week for nursery is expensive! #stayclassymama

  8. Everything Mummy says:

    Ah its great that your work is really flexible I did look at going employed a couple of years ago but I couldn’t find anything that would fit with my families schedule! Self employed from home just worked for us 🙂 xx

  9. The Aloha Mummy says:

    I didn’t think you flexible request would n that easy for them to dismiss hmmmm, not good. Glad you’re doing OK now though, nice to hear of another south West mum! Lovely names you have given your daughters too. X #stayclassmama 🌺

  10. Cass Bailey says:

    My work are amazing as far as understanding that family comes first and I’m so grateful for it – I couldn’t enjoy my job nearly as much if it wasn’t for the flexibility x x

  11. The Mum Project says:

    Can totally relate to not feeling ready to go back to work. I did 6 months maternity leave and thought I was ready but once I returned I realise I wanted to spend more time with my son. I felt in a way that I chosen career over family which is ridiculous and my boyfriend had to go back after two weeks! I love this series, a really great idea and I would love to join! Thanks for sharing with #stayclassymama!

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