Finding a job you love that also fits in with your family life can be a bit of a challenge, but totally worth it. This week’s guest blogger Victoria from Parenting Peace and Quiet has managed just that.
Tell us a bit about you and your family…
I’m Victoria, Mum to ‘Peace’ aged 2 and ‘Quiet’ aged 5 and wife to a wonderful husband. We are a chaotic spirited family and love adventures.
What do you do for a living?
Currently, I teach babies to swim with a well known national baby swim company.
What hours do you work?
I’m in the pool around 10 to 15 hours per week spread over 4 days.
Who looks after your kids while you work?
Currently, I use a childminder to cover my work but I have used up to 3 childminders over the course of a week to cover wraparound care for Quiet at school and my 2 year old Peace. When I went back to work after Quiet, he started with a childminder (which didn’t work out due to a 2-week school timetable and working different days on different weeks) then used a day nursery who could accommodate my work pattern.
Are you in the same job before you went on maternity leave?
I left Secondary school teaching as a Biology teacher and relocated 3 weeks before number 2 was due.
Did you return to work on the same hours?
Due to relocation, I wasn’t able to return to my post prior to Maternity leave after number 2. I was on a fixed term contract with number 1 so again I did not have a job to return to after maternity leave.
How long did you take off for maternity leave?
Mat leave for Quiet was 9 months and I returned to work after 18 months with Peace. In both cases, I returned to part-time work.
How did you feel about returning to work?
Returning to work was easy for me, I really looked forward to it and gave/gives me a sense of self. I felt I could be a better parent and attend to their needs if I was able to reset and be myself at work.
What do you find the hardest about being a working mum?
I find the hardest thing ….juggling mornings. At one stage I had two drop-offs before 8am which meant getting the kids up at 6.30am, washed, dressed and breakfasted before leaving the house at 7.30am!
The two sittings for dinner, kids and grown-ups. Washing – particularly with my line of work, the endless washing of swimming kit!!
My husband works away, or very long hours, and juggling Hubby’s needs too. Also, I have to work at least one weekend day, which can suck as I have missed out on so many family events.
What are your favourite things about being a working mum?
My favourite thing about being a working mum is some financial independence. I love my job it’s so very rewarding and I get to cuddle babies too and spend time in the water all day. I love seeing little ones and parents grow in confidence in the pool and have loads of fun along the way. The only thing that would make it better would be to have my kids with me! I also find teaching babies to swim a lot less stressful than working as a secondary Biology teacher. I find the hours more agreeable and there is less pressure and work to bring home that eats into your family time, (well apart from soggy swim kit!). Peace also gets free swimming lessons which is a huge saving.
Do you have any tips for other working mums?
My top tip would be to consider the impact of your work on family time at home and to do something that you really truly enjoy which does not impact on your family or your health in a negative way (that’s financially viable). I know child care can be expensive and to consider these options when going back to work.
If you want to know more about Victoria and her family you can follow their adventures on Facebook.
I still have a few slots for guest bloggers before the end pf the year so if you’d like to take part drop me an email!