Being a working mum is hard whatever your background. Being a single working mum to three kids definitely sounds like a challenge!
This week’s working mum took a risk and left her job to go self-employed, allowing her to spend more time with the kids.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m Jane, single parent to three – eleven-year-old twins and a seven-year-old. Plus adopted mum to one 18-month-old puppy and three very grumpy cats who kindly let us all share their home.
What do you do for a living?
I wear a few hats, I am self-employed and work as a recruiter, recruitment trainer, blogger, social media support and copywriter. So anything within the realms of my working experience. It can get confusing…
How many hours do you work?
It varies depending on which role is dominating my working life; I think it averages out over 18 hours a week, mainly because I work a lot less during school holidays as the kids demand I spend time with them (or money on them.)
Who looks after your children while you work?
Our fantastically under funded free education service.
Are you in the same job before you had your children?
Hmmmm, sort of! I worked a four day week until my youngest was three. We had a rough few years as a family, with the kids picking up medical conditions like other kids pick up sweets off the floor. In a three year window, I had a child diagnosed with epilepsy, hip dysplasia, Type 1 Diabetes, major mastoid problems, hyperglycemia, Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome – eventually the hospital appointments overwhelmed me and I gave up employed work, took a huge gamble and went self-employed.
I used to be a manager of a recruitment business, and I am lucky that the owners of that business have been incredibly supportive and have had me back in the business when they have needed support in their training function
How long was your maternity leave?
With the twins, I took 18 months (there were two!), with my third I took a year.
How did you feel about returning to work?
I loved being at home, but it wasn’t enough for me when they were babies. I had to have other projects, I started a card making business once (which was a disaster as I have the crafting skills of a toenail). I got married during my first maternity leave and moved house in my second. Going back to work was welcome but of course, I missed the kids.
What do you find the hardest about being a working mum?
Nowadays it is the juggling and I work from home so it can be hard to distinguish when I am working and when I am parenting. I am a single mum and we depend on my salary so often I can find myself working as I am parked outside school on pick up, or sending emails between laundry loads. Generally, life feels like a mish-mash.
What are your favourite things about being a working mum?
I love earning a wage, and knowing I work hard for my pennies – I think I am setting a good example for the kids.
Do you have any tips for mums thinking about returning to work after maternity leave?
It is never as bad as you think! The children still love you unconditionally, and it is always nice to drink a hot cup of tea!