All working mums face their own struggles, whether it’s childcare issues, getting the right hours, or just getting everyone out the door in the morning.
I hope that reading the interviews from my guest bloggers is making you feel less like you’re the only one facing these struggles. I’m really pleased to say that I’ve still got plenty of great working mums to introduce you to!
If you’re worried about only being able to have a short maternity leave then you may be interested in this week’s working mum…
Please tell us a bit about yourself…
I’m Amy. I’m 28 years old and live in the village of Frodsham in Cheshire with my son, Mason, who’s 18 months old and my husband, Wes.
What line of work are you in?
I’m a fully qualified solicitor (as of February 2016 and it was a long hard slog to get there!) and I specialise primarily in personal injury and losses in road traffic accidents. Sadly, there’s no way to make that sound any more exciting than it is!
How many days do you work?
I work full time. Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm, leaving me just enough time to whizz down the M6 to pick Mason up at the end of the day.
Who looks after your son while you work?
Four days out of five, he’s in a local nursery with one day with my sister-in-law (which is a massive godsend). Most of our family either work themselves or live miles away so nursery or a childminder was really our only option that didn’t involve one of us quitting our job.
Are you in the same line of work as before you had your son?
I am in the same line of work, but not the same job. At the time I was pregnant I worked for a far smaller firm than the one I am now. One of the two Directors (the female, surprisingly) was frankly appalled that I’d decided to have a child. She wasn’t necessarily obstructive in relation to my pregnancy, but when I came back to work our relationship completely broke down. She wasn’t happy that the nursery would call me if Mason was ill and was outraged when I asked to leave. When it looked like I was going to be made redundant towards the end of last year, I took the decision to leave the firm and move on to bigger and more stable places.
How quickly did you return to work after having your son?
I spent a total of ten weeks off work. Mason was a week late, so he was eight weeks old when I returned to work.
Did you want to return to work?
No. Absolutely not. If I’d had the realistic option of never going back to work again and living comfortably, I’d have probably taken it.
What are the hardest things about being a working mum?
How much you miss your children. I never even contemplated missing him when I went back to work, but I did and still do. Nursery tell you what he’s been up to and all the things he’s achieved and it makes you sad you weren’t there to witness it. It’s a horrible position to be in but you just hope you’re doing the right thing in the long run.
What are your favourite things about being a working mum?
I’m proud that I’ve achieved what I set out to do when I was 18 and starting my Law degree and I’m carrying on with it. Hopefully, I’m teaching my boy that working hard is a massively important and fulfilling part of the lives of everyone. Also the added bonus of being able to contribute to our lives financially, meaning we don’t have money worries and can afford nicer things like holidays and home improvements.
What are your least favourite things about being a working mum?
The time I spend away from home. I leave the house before he’s woken up and that’s really hard to get used to. Also the guilt when you get “the call” from nursery and sheepishly asking to leave. I will never enjoy that conversation.
Do you have any tips for other working mums?
You might be (you almost definitely are) knackered each and every day when you get home. But take time to enjoy your kids when you’re home. Cuddle them, play with them, make them laugh. Not so much for them, but for you. No matter how rubbish your day has been, that will always make you feel better about what you’re doing and ultimately why you’re doing it.
Thanks Amy, great advice!
If you’d like to find out more about Amy you can check our her blog The Mighty Duxburys.