Thanks for coming to read another guest blog post in my Interview With A Working Mum series. Almost 3 months in and I’ve had some fab mums feature so far.
Being a working mum is always hard work – try being a working mum of twins like this week’s guest blogger!
First up please introduce yourself
My name is Sam, I am married and we have 5 year old boy/girl twins. We live in Southampton and have done for 5 years together as a family.
What line of work are you in?
I have a BA Honours in Accountancy so went straight from my degree course into a large insurance company to work in their Finance department.
How many hours a week do you work?
Having just increased my hours, I currently work 28 hours a week.
Are you in the same job as before you had children?
I have worked for the same company for 17 years this year so yes, I worked there for 12 years full-time before taking maternity leave. I had some resistance to the ‘low’ number of hours I wanted to work when I returned. I had applied for flexible working to return on 15 hours a week across 3 days. I was eventually granted 18 hours a week across 3 days on a job share basis. I then increased to 22 hours across 4 days a week about a year or so later and then 28 hours across 5 days last year.
The job share was within the same team but slightly different work and work I had done before so I was happy with the slight change in direction.
How quickly did you return to work after having children?
I took 9 months maternity leave plus 1 months full-time holiday so returned when the twins were 10 months old.
Did you want to return to work?
Yes I did. It has always been the plan to and my mum had offered to be our childcare at no cost which was amazing.
Did you find it difficult to return to work?
The twins were born a month premature and very small and I was diagnosed with PND about 10 weeks after their birth. Therefore for me, returning to work was quite a stressful event and I really didn’t want to agree to more hours than I felt I could manage. I was glad I had support around me to encourage me to do what was right for me. Be that staying with the Company for a few more hours a week or resigning completely. I am glad it turned out the way it did in the end.
What are the hardest things about being a working mum?
The awful guilt you feel when they are poorly. Are they too poorly for school? Can they go to grandparents? Or do they actually need mum or dad and just to be tucked up at home?
I also hate the feeling that evenings seemed rushed when trying to sort dinners, reading, play, chat etc and still achieve a reasonable bedtime!
What are your favourite things about being a working mum?
That I have a chance to earn money so we can afford the nice things we get to do at weekends and holidays.
I also love that I have a chance to exercise my own mind on other things than Lego, transformers and calming riots over broken biscuits! I also get to go to the toilet ON MY OWN and drink hot (yes HOT!) drinks 🙂
What are your least favourite things about being a working mum?
The pressure to remember everything. My mind is awash with work, home, school and child reminders. I love to be organised and hate losing control of any of it but it happens sometimes. When it does I always question whether I am doing the right thing by working these hours.
Do you have any tips for mums thinking about returning to work after maternity leave?
Research your childcare options and be ready with a proposal for hours when returning to work. Be open minded but also stick to your guns. My initial proposal was rejected but then it turned out another staff member wanted to go part-time so we ended up on a job share at a few hours more than I had asked for.
It was also useful to have done some KIT (keep in touch) days during my maternity leave to still feel ‘part’ of the place.
Thanks Sam – I agree that KIT days are a great way to ease yourself back into work gently!
If you’d like to know more about Sam you can follow her on Twitter here.
Would you like to feature on my Interview With A Working Mum series? If so, please drop me an email.