Going back to work after maternity leave is hard, and you can feel guilty about leaving the kids. There are so many benefits for children going to nursery though, as my latest working mum guest blogger has realised…
Tell us a bit about yourself…
My name is Stacey, I run a blog SimplyStacey.co.uk – I recently rebranded as felt I want to be taken more seriously in the blogging community and want to push myself more, and a rebrand and shiny, new blog was the way to go.
We moved to Wiltshire last year and used to live in Gloucestershire. I live with my husband Antony and our two children. Josie is 8 and Rowan is 2. We also have a temperamental cat called Pickles and 5-month puppy called Bibi.
What do you do for a living?
I am a Quality and Regulatory Manager/Marketing Manager for a Medical Devices company and have been there for 15 years.
How many hours do you work?
I work 3 full days a week. Quite often I take work home too which I have tried to limit to two nights a week.
Who looks after your children while you work?
Josie goes to school and Rowan goes to nursery. Josie always went to nursery too. Nursery has made them both confident having separation from us and also has got Josie ready for going to school. They both have got on great from being around other children. The only downside is constant germs and nursery fees.
During school holidays Rowan will still go to nursery as gives me time with Josie one on one. Sometimes I will work from home and she will amuse herself in the holidays. I try to split it and Antony will use holiday. The days I don’t work I have Rowan with me so can spend time with him. Term time we use after school club which is on the same premises, which Josie loves.
Are you in the same job as before you went on maternity leave?
Yes, same job with both of the kids
Did you return to work on the same hours?
I used to be full time, but when I went back with Josie I only had one day off and felt wasn’t enough as this was also time to do washing etc and chores. So with Rowan, I have 2 days with him which gives us a day to do chores and a day for spending together playing. I work for my parents so they have always been understanding with childcare needs, but they are with all the staff that have children.
How long was your maternity leave?
With Josie I went back when she was 4 months old due to money needed for the mortgage. Rowan was 7 months old but started getting clingy so I decided to go back slightly earlier.
How did you feel about returning to work?
I struggled at first due to the guilt of leaving them. But I enjoy the mix of working and being Stacey, then next minute you are being Mummy. Plus doing a mix of both makes the time you spend together more precious. I need to work to pay the mortgage, but I would choose to work too even if I didn’t have too.
With Rowan I was a bit down after and had real trouble remembering things, which for me borderline OCD of being organised, this was extremely frustrating. I struggled more with Rowan going back than I did Josie, but more mentally about me. I know the kids are fine and safe and happy so that was easier to leave them.
What do you find the hardest about being a working mum?
Missing the kids. Josie at school is no different as she would have to go anyway, but you still miss them. I am lucky as I always go to any events, so I never miss out on anything.
What are your favourite things about being a working mum?
Coming home and seeing them run up to you all excited, or when you pick them up. I also hope this shows a great work ethic for the kids and makes them want to have their own careers. Regarding the blogging, Josie has taken a real interest in this and vlogging, and since she used to be shy she has got very confident in front of the camera.
Do you have any tips for mums thinking about returning to work after maternity leave?
It gets easier, the crying on drop off soon stops. I used to struggle with the crying, but the joy on their face when you pick them up beats the crying drop off. It really does help having a separation, also for yourself.
The fees for nursery have been hard and nearly stopped us trying for Rowan. But we know he will be at school in a few years and they will stop. The benefit of the kids going to nursery has outweighed the costs. The main tip I have is routine and planning. Juggling being a working mummy, blogging and doing any other activities, I have to be highly prepared and planning constantly. It makes it much easier in the long run. Plus having time apart makes it all the more special when together.