Blogging and using social media is great for introducing you to other people who you have things in common with. This week’s working mum is a lovely Canadian mum (or mom!) who I ‘ve been chatting to online for a while. It’s nice to know working mums on the other side of the pond face the same struggles!
Tell us a bit about yourself…
Hi, I’m Jessica! I am 37, married, and I have 2 daughters aged 6 and 8. We live in Kingston, Ontario Canada. I love being a mom, but I struggle with time management and staying connected with everyone in the family in our hectic life!
What line of work are you in?
I’m a pharmacy assistant – that’s the same as a pharmacy technician without having taken schooling to get the diploma. I enter prescriptions, count and fill orders, and do pharmacy maintenance like ordering, invoicing, inventory control and lots of customer service.
I worked my way up from cashier and delivery person as a part-time job while I was at university to a career. I still love working where I do and I’ve been there 16 years now!
I’m also a blogger. Sometimes I feel like that takes up every other minute of my not-at-my-day-job life…
How many days do you work?
I work 4 full days a week – works out to 32 hours per week. Then I also create 2 blog posts per week, and spend a TON of time on social media trying to promote my work and grow my following.
Who looks after your kids while you work?
My kids are at school full time and they attend an after-school program at the school provided by our local YMCA. They love the afterschool care, and they also offer PA day care as well as care over Christmas Break and March Break. They do offer camps through the summer, but this year we have the kids doing about 6 different week long camps. They will also be visiting with grandparents for most of a week, and we’re taking a week off to “holiday” together.
Are you in the same job as before you had children?
I actually took a step up at my job after my first baby. I asked for a “set” schedule upon my return from maternity leave so we could adjust our routine but have it be the same every week. This meant my boss had to nail down a schedule, and he’s not very good at that. So I got bumped up “behind the counter” because we were having some staffing changes at the time. After my second kid I didn’t have any real changes, just took my time off and returned as before.
How quickly did you return to work after having your children?
In Canada we get a year paid leave. The leave is paid at 45% of your working income (if I remember correctly.) There are options to split the leave between both parents but the “maternity” portion is just for the mom and it’s 12 weeks. I was nursing and I had such a
tough time figuring that out and getting my supply up I was glad there was no early pressure to return to work. By the time my year was up I was still nursing at bedtime and my baby still barely slept on her own.
Did you want to return to work?
Yes. I had some pretty good anxiety about leaving my first baby, but we had an excellent daycare andonce she was into a routine there she slept a smidge better for us. I was very ready to go
visit with other grown up people after a year at home with my baby. And after my second baby I felt like I could have gone back after just a few months. (She was a much better baby!) Now that my kids are older I am dying to cut back on my work hours – funny how that changes!
What do you think are the hardest things about being a working mum?
The feeling that there’s just no time – everything is a rush. I often feel like there are many things we miss out on doing because I have to fit in household chores on weekends. I also find that my
husband works way more than me so it’s like I have to fit in working, child care, plus all the household work while he “gets” to be out working, often with his friends. I struggle with not
resenting him sometimes when I feel like I’m doing all the “work” at home.
What are your favourite things about being a working mum?
Getting out of the house. I’m a bit of an introvert, so sometimes I need that push to go be social. I realize work is different from social time, but with my job it’s really not. We visit with our regular customers and we’ve all worked together for so long we’re like an extended family. I also use my break time to sneak in social media or blog time, or at lunch I’ll fit in a walk for exercise.
What are your least favourite things about being a working mum?
Missing out on stuff with the kids. I’m not one to take time off to go with the girls on a field trip (because I can’t really afford that), but if a trip falls on my day off I’m there in a heartbeat. It also sucks that I can’t pick up the kids until 5:30 and Rose is in bed by 7:30 so that’s not a lot of time to connect with the girls when there’s dinner, homework, and sometimes extra-curricular activities.
Do you have any tips for mums returning to work after maternity leave?
Be ready for all the feels! It’s a total jumble of emotions, an upheaval of everything you’ve been doing for the past however many weeks, and it’s going to be exhausting. Part of the reason I write my blog posts is to help working parents survive the hectic life it creates. Make sure you talk through your feelings with your spouse and family – and even with those folks at work. Being open and honest about how you’re doing and feeling will make it easier to deal with any unexpected things that crop up in the life of a working parent!