You might think that when you have school aged kids, working becomes a bit easier. But you still have a lot of juggling to do and still not a lot of time to yourself!
This week’s working mum is Simone from Dog Days and Delights who’s talking about fitting work around school and negotiating flexible working with your boss.
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I’m Simone and I live on the Sussex coast with my husband, our five-year-old daughter and a geriatric cat. I write a blog called Dog Days and Delights, and I also write stories (mainly for children at the moment) and poetry. The main subjects that my blog covers are family life and creative writing.
What do you do for a living?
I’m a Business Analyst for a well-known insurance company.
How many hours a week do you work?
21 hours a week.
Who looks after your daughter while you work?
She goes to school and I fit my working hours around this. In the holidays, my husband and I take annual leave to look after her or she goes to a holiday club.
Are you in the same job before you went on maternity leave?
Did you return to work on the same hours?
I went part-time, initially working three days a week. Since my daughter started school, I’ve been working three days a week in school holidays and four short days a week in term-time.
How long was your maternity leave?
Six months. I cut it down from a year because I had postnatal depression and needed to be in the company of grown-ups.
How did you feel about returning to work?
Relieved! I might not have felt this way if my mental health had been better.
What do you find the hardest about being a working mum?
There aren’t enough hours in the day for work, my family and myself.
What are your favourite things about being a working mum?
Being able to have a career and still spend time with my child.
Do you have any tips for other mums thinking about returning to work after maternity leave?
I have stayed with the same employer for years because it seems easier to negotiate flexible hours with someone who knows you than propose them to a new employer. If you’re starting a new job, be clear about what hours you’re prepared to work and set any expectations about children coming first upfront.