Going back to work is hard, even if you enjoy your job. If you don’t enjoy what you do, it can be really hard to be away from your family.
This week’s working mum guest blogger is Jen from Mighty Mama Bear, she’s talking about the difficulties of returning to work and leaving her children.
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I’m Jen and I’m a wife and busy mum to three young children. I have two boys aged 8 and 6 and a girl aged 2. I write on my blog mightymamabear.com
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING?
I work as a dispenser in a pharmacy.
HOW MANY HOURS PER WEEK DO YOU WORK?
I currently work 11 hours a week, which is looking to increase at Easter to 16. I work 9am-6pm on a Wednesday and 9.30am-2.30pm on a Thursday (which will become another full day at Easter).
WHO LOOKS AFTER YOUR CHILDREN WHILE YOU WORK?
Up until recently, my husband and I managed the childcare between us. My husband works full time hours over 4 days. He has every Wednesday off work while I work so he is in charge of the kids. My parents recently retired so they have my youngest daughter on the Thursday while the boys are at school and I pick them up after work.
ARE YOU IN THE SAME JOB BEFORE YOU WENT ON MATERNITY LEAVE?
DID YOU RETURN TO WORK ON THE SAME HOURS?
I was originally working full time when I had my eldest. I became part time when I returned. I did originally work every Saturday, which I reduced to every other week after my second child. I stopped the regular Saturdays after my third child because I felt I was missing out on too much family time. My managers at the time understood this and were obliging. I was put on a rota where I would need to cover 1 in 12 Saturdays which I felt was fair. There are murmurings that the new management wants to make the new rota 1 in 2 Saturdays. This is a deal breaker for me. If this goes ahead then I will have no choice but to leave. Family time is non negotiable to me.
HOW LONG WAS YOUR MATERNITY LEAVE?
I took the full year I was entitled to, the last three months being unpaid.
HOW DID YOU FEEL ABOUT RETURNING TO WORK?
I hated returning to work! I find it such a wretch to being away from the kids, even for only a day or so. Perhaps if I had a job I enjoyed more, I may have felt different.
WHAT DO YOU FIND HARDEST ABOUT BEING A WORKING MUM?
I find being away from the kids the hardest thing about working. I remember my eldest son learning the word spider as a toddler, after my parents had been singing with him. I was (irrationally) upset that I hadn’t been the one to teach it to him! I wanted to be there for everything he learnt and experienced and I’ve had to learn that it’s impossible to always be there.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE THINGS ABOUT BEING A WORKING MUM?
The adult conversation is definitely the best thing about working! After spending my days talking to young children it’s nice to be able to talk about something other than CBeebies!
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR OTHER MUMS THINKING ABOUT RETURNING TO WORK AFTER MATERNITY LEAVE?
I guess the main advice I’d give is to consider what you really want and weigh up all the options. Find out from your employer what options are available to you. I was willing to take the pay cut to spend more time at home but that isn’t possible for everyone. Some mothers want to return to work full time and that’s fine too! Just do you!