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!)
4 thoughts on “THAT Decision!”
You sum up everything I have experienced, except I am now a full time stay at home mummy!
Initially after baby no.3 (4 including a step son) I hoped to be lucky enough to return on a 3 day a week basis, unfortunately this wasn’t possible with my company and I had to choose full time or nothing. So that was it, full time mummy here I come!
I didn’t initially feel happy or stress free, I felt a bit lost and somewhat like my entire time at university was almost wasted and Career to date was over. However I very quickly realised how fortunate I am to spend every day with my little ones, to not miss bedtimes due to traffic or meetings, or not being at work thinking about the kids and not being at home worrying about work.
I truly believe I can still fulfil any career aspirations in years to come, work isn’t going anywhere! I can have it all as I get time out with my most precious beans and get go back to work when I’m ready. Sure it will be hard and I will have a lot to catch up on but it’s not impossible. Until then I remain content with cooking dinners, changing nappies, being a personal taxi service and not forgetting ranting at people who park in parent parking bays without kids! X
In my opinion, you’re right to be content Debbie! It’s sbout knowing what you want and being true to yourself. Not worrying about what others may think! It’s something i’m learning more and more!
I did the full time work thing with my first, then part time with my second and by the time I had my third, I realised that I wanted/needed to be at home when my little ones were experiencing all their firsts, and help them grow into the children I am proud they are. Afer three years on a career break I’ve made the daunting choice to go back to work full time! My youngest starts reception in September and it is time for them to learn to be individuals away from me. For me not to act as their personal assistant and – let them take responsibilty for their own school bags, tidy up their own plates and for me to step back and let them make their mistakes and learn from them. If you dont remember your guitar in the morning you will miss your guitar lesson (he never did that again!). I am luckily enough to do every school run in the mornings and Friday afternoons (as my offices shuts at 3!). I will always be someones mama, but now I get to spend part of my day being Suzie too, and its taken me a while to realise that doesnt make me selfish. Life is about finding a balance, and that can be something different for every parent and happen at different times in their children’s life.
Sorry for rambling!
Good luck Suzie! It’s not rambling. You’ll fall into step quickly enough! It’s interesting hearing about the other people’s experiences!