Going back to work is always hard, even more so when you’re looking after other people’s kids all day instead of your own!
Tell us a bit about yourself…
Hi, my names Rebecca. I am Mummy to J who is 2 and has additional needs. I’m married to J’s Daddy and we live in Suffolk.
What line of work are you in?
I am an Early Years Professional. I work in a private preschool for ages 2-4 years old. I am responsible for the planning and educational side of the preschool. I also specialise in Special Educational Needs so support a lot of children with different needs.
Are you full-time or part-time?
I used to work full-time Monday to Friday (and often paperwork or training at weekends). Once I had J I returned but on part time hours. I now work 3 days a week (and fit in paperwork around J’s nap times).
Who looks after your son while you work?
J has one day with Nana and the other two with me at the preschool. Before he turned 2 J would stay home with Daddy as we managed to arrange his days off to fit into my working week.
Are you in the same job as before you had your son?
Yes I am. I still do all the planning, assessments and leading the sessions. On the two days I don’t work then the deputy leader follows my planning. I am very lucky to have an amazing employer. She was supportive all through the pregnancy and was more than happy for me to return part time (as long as I did the full planning still). As my son has additional needs we have a lot of appointments and therapy. I’m fortunate that I am able to attend these but swapping days when needed.
How quickly did you return to work after having your son?
I returned after 9 months. This worked well as it meant I returned in the September so was in time for the new academic year.
Did you want to return to work?
Yes and no. Yes, because I love my job. Seeing children progress and having fun is amazingly rewarding. However, I missed my little man and did worry I was going to miss him achieving his milestones (which I didn’t luckily). There were hard days where I would sit and sulk thinking ‘I’m looking after other people’s children whilst mine is at home without me’. Now I get best of both works as J is with me now.
What are the hardest things about being a working mum?
For me, it was a weird feeling that I was missing parts of his life. I hated not knowing what he was doing at the moment in time. I wanted him to be happy but at the same had a jealousy that he was happy without me. Also, when he was poorly as I just wanted to stay home and cuddle him all day.
What are your favourite things about being a working mum?
If I’m honest it was nice to have a break. J’s additional needs can make him a bit full on at times. It was nice to be able to just relax with other people’s children and have a different set of challenges to work on for a few hours.
And what are your least favourite things about being a working mum?
The fact that I still have so much paperwork to do at home. I hate that once J goes to bed I sit and do planning or research a new scheme to introduce at work. I feel it takes away some ‘me time’. It is something I’m working on though.
Do you have any tips for other working mums?
Do what is best for you and your family. If working full time will allow you to have the quality of life you want then go for it. If you want to spend time with this child that you ‘made’ and brought into this world then don’t feel bad for that. There is no right or wrong.
Couldn’t agree more with that Rebecca – doing what’s best for your family is all that should matter!
Look forward to seeing you back here next week!