When you first go back to work after maternity leave it can be hard to leave your little one behind. It’s perfectly normal to struggle with going back to work, and it does get easier as this week’s working mum has found out.
Jaki from JakiJellz tells us a bit about her life as a working mum…
Tell us a bit about yourself…
My name is Jaki and I am a mum to one little boy who is 4 years old and has just started school. I have been married to my husband for six years and we have been together for nine years. We live just outside of Stratford upon Avon on the border of the Cotswolds. I have lived here all my life. It’s a lovely part of the world.
What do you do for a living?
I work for a Family solicitors looking after their social media. I started out covering admin tasks and still do when I’m needed, but primarily I look after all of the social media and blog elements to the business.
How many hours do you work?
I work twenty hours a week. Just the mornings, but every day, Monday to Friday. My working day is done at 1pm! I love it.
Who looks after your son while you work?
Well, my little man started school this September so childcare is not the same issue it once was. Prior to that, he went to nursery three mornings a week and my Mum & Dad used to collect him and have him until I finished work. On the other days, he would be with Mum and Dad or my In-Laws. We are very lucky in terms of childcare and having grandparents on hand. We anticipate that this will be the case in the school holidays when we can’t be off with him. Other than that, I am lucky enough to be in the position that I can work at home if and when I need to. This is a godsend. Something that I am always grateful of.
Are you in the same job before you went on maternity leave?
I’m not. I left a company I had been with for ten years after I had the Little Man. I worked 26 miles away from home. The drive was a chore before I had a child, let alone with one. Not only that, I knew I didn’t want to go back full time and the distance just wouldn’t have been worth it.
How long was your maternity leave?
I took the full nine months. I would have had longer if we could have afforded it.
How did you feel about returning to work?
I hated it. I won’t lie. I struggled and feel that because of this, it spoiled the last few weeks of my maternity leave. I wasn’t ready to leave him but it was a case of needs must financially. In hindsight, it was the right thing to do, but at the time I hated it. I’m just glad it was part-time.
What do you find the hardest about being a working mum?
Time! There is never enough time to get everything done! I always feel like I’m chasing my tail. Admittedly now Little Man is at school I get a precious couple of hours in the afternoon to catch up with any jobs that need doing – a reason I won’t be going full time anytime soon!
What are your favourite things about being a working mum?
It’s a few hours a day I get to myself. I get in the car, turn the music up loud to drive to work and just sit and concentrate on something else that isn’t being a Mum! Of course, I never switch off and always have the Little Man in the back of my mind, but it’s good to do something else. It keeps the brain sane!
Do you have any tips for mums thinking about returning to work after maternity leave?
Just to be prepared if you are feeling sad about it. It is hard at first, well it was for me. But long term, it’s absolutely fine. In fact, it does you both good to get that bit of space after an intense few months together.