From the start of this post I’ll be totally honest. Until I had children, I was very judgemental of people who chose to stay at home and be a full time mum. I thought they were ‘wasting’ themselves. I thought it was a lazy decision… The easy way out!
Now, at 32… A bit older, a bit fatter and a mother of two with a little more life experience. I respect and admire people for making a decision and sticking to it. For doing something they want to do and fundamentally knowing what they want. There’s no judgement here and the time has come (again) for me to decide whether or not to return to work.
I think, like most women, once I had children I had a shift in my state of mind. Not only did I become a bit forgetful, lose all knowledge of vocabulary and possibly, at times, a little over emotional… I also became more tolerant! More tolerant to other people’s lives, decisions and beliefs.
I don’t presume to know how all women think (I’ll leave that to the men of this world!) but I can’t be alone in these changes!
After I had my eldest daughter, Lexie, I returned to work full time; determined that having children wouldn’t change me or my career. But it already had! I changed the moment I was pregnant and was fighting a losing, internal, battle. However, I did return to work full time and experienced all of those emotions of being torn between my original ‘baby’ (my career) and my daughter.
My decision this time round is to go back to work part-time. 3 days a week. I thought it would have been an easy decision to make, especially as it is the second time round, but it wasn’t. Once again my career is going to have to take a back seat. That baby, my first baby, the first thing that I really, really cared about, that I nurtured and put everything into for years, is going to have to take second place to my real children. It’s a hard pill to swallow.
Don’t get me wrong I’m as conscientious, hard working and ambitious as I’ve always been. I’m also determined (once again) to return to work better, with more ideas, refreshed from my time away from the office and with new goals in mind. But, I now only have 3 days a week to fulfill those goals and my time out of the office is somewhat, shall we say… Unavailable.
It’s this ‘unavailability’ I’m not used to. Learning to draw a line between work and home and separate the two. For a journalist I don’t believe that ever really happens. My mind is always aware of what is going on around me, the good things and the negative things… But I have to accept that in order not to have to ‘share’ my beautiful children; I’m going to have to share my job!
There will be times when my show, my work, is in someone else’s hands. Two days every week someone else will be taking over something that is very dear to me. That is a decision I have made and have to adapt to. It’s also one I am confident I won’t regret. Especially, when I look back at these amazing years watching my little ones grow up. I don’t want to miss those first steps, or first words or the hilarious things toddlers say and do.
But like with children… Nothing lasts forever… Everything is temporary! The crying in the night, the dirty nappies, the nursery bills and the part-time working! I do believe we can have it all and I will. I just need my children to be a bit older first! (I think!)