Being a working mum is stressful. Whether you work full-time, part-time or from home, there will always be struggles with juggling work and a family. I’m sure you’ve already come across plenty of ‘working mum dilemmas’ since you went back after maternity leave.
I work part-time (though at 30 hours a week I think it’s nearer full-time) and there’s plenty of challenges to face every single day.
The working mum dilemmas I’ve encountered (and I’m sure you have to!) are…
The obvious one is the big drop in your salary if you’re part-time. I still go to work 5 days a week so have the same expenses as if I was full-time, but a lot less money at the end of the month.
Attending school events
I feel like I’m pushing my luck a bit as it is, with working the hours I asked for to fit around school. When there’s an assembly or play to go to it’s awkward asking your boss if you can come in later or leave even earlier. We had a little exhibition to go to this week that was at such an awkward time of the day, by the time I got back to work it would have only been a couple of hours before I had to leave again, so I booked the whole day off. Which leads me on to…
Although I work part-time I’m in the office every day, so when it comes to school holidays I simply don’t have enough days to cover it. Mine and my husbands holiday put together don’t even cover the 13 weeks of school holidays per year so we have to take advantage of grandparents and pay for holiday clubs.
I can’t get on the phone 15 mins before I have to leave for the day or join a meeting less than an hour before otherwise I just won’t make it out the door on time. If I’m more than 5 mins late leaving the office I’ll end up having to park miles away from the school and run down to the school gates, so I have to leave dead on time which sometimes can be frowned on in the workplace and leads to…
Being called a “Part-timer”
This winds me up! I might only be at work part-time compared to everyone else, but by the time I’ve done the school run, taxied Little H to after-school clubs, tidied up the house, spent time with my child, and got dinner sorted, I don’t actually get to sit down until 4 hours after I’ve left the office. Part-timer my arse.
Fitting the work in
I know that most part-time working mums feel as though they pack a full-time job into part-time hours, especially when you’ve gone back to the same job that you were doing full-time before kids. You definitely feel like you’ve got to work extra hard and prove yourself to keep your job.
I find it can go from one extreme to the other. You can either have the work piled on because people don’t appreciate you have fewer hours in the day than they do, but on the other hand, you’re also overlooked when it comes to promotions because you’re “just part-time”. Definitely a no-win situation.
A Part-time mum
It’s not so bad now that Little H is at school, but I definitely felt like a part-time mum when she was at nursery. It can be hard as you’d obviously rather be there for your kids all the time than sitting at work, and you end up missing so many milestones when they’re small.
Sometimes having a child’s a fantastic excuse to get out of things you don’t really want to do, but it’s also tough when your colleagues are going out for leaving/birthday drinks and you can’t
attend because you have a little person’s dinner and bedtime to sort. The ones without kids don’t get it and think you’re boring/old/unsociable – which actually is true some of the time!
Getting Everything Done
When you work part-time or full-time it impossible to fit in all your mum duties as well. After work, I want to spend time with Little H rather than doing housework so my house is a mess as I don’t have any other time to clean it. I either do the food shopping late at night or have to remember to do it online a few days before we run out of food. Our washing machine and tumble dryer are spinning all night, and weekends are mainly spent doing housework, homework, and errands.
It’s never easy, is it?! If you work, what struggles do you face?