I have been fascinated by the reactions that people have had to me when I was on maternity leave, when I was getting ready to go back to work, and now that I am back at work. I find that some people are very judgemental about how they expect families to work. Well, I’ve got news for you everyone, we’re all different, we all have different needs and that is one of the amazing things about us.
My aim is to share the stories of families of all different types and spread the word that we are all playing a #BalancingAct to get through and raise our little people the best way we can. Let’s celebrate the diversity between our families, let’s not judge each other.
So, this week I’d like to hand you over to L Plate Mummy.
- Tell me about your family.
I am Rachael, I live with my husband James and our two children who are 5 and 3 years old.
- What was your job/position before you started your family?
I was a feature writer for Your Dog Magazine before I fell pregnant with my daughter.
3. What was your work-life balance like?
Before children my work/life balance was fine. My job was not always 9-5, Mon-Fri but as my husband is in the same industry it worked.
- How did you find being away from work when you were on maternity leave?
I didn’t take to maternity leave as well as I had hoped I would and missed work a lot. I couldn’t wait to go back to work after having both of my children and returned when they were 6 months old.
- Have you returned to some kind of work since having baby and how did you come to that decision?
I did return to the same type of work. I had my first baby quite young and having been quite career focused before, and having worked very hard to get to where I was, I was not ready to let go of that.
- How (if at all) has work changed since you returned (if you did)?
I moved from my career in journalism to a career in PR which involved leaving for work at 7am and not getting home until at least 7pm. I was rarely seeing my children before they went to bed, and as a big part of my job revolved around social media I never really switched off from it. This, coupled with my daughter starting school on the horizon made me realise that something had to give.
- Describe your work-life balance now in 3 words.
My work/life balance is great now. My daughter goes to school 5 days a week and my son to Kindergarten two-and-a-half days a week, those two-and-a-half days are my working days. The other two-and-a-half days I am a stay-at-home mum to my little boy. I also love that I am now able to do the school pick-up and drop-off, and as I can pick and choose my hours, my children get much more opportunity to attend various social engagements – all things that would not have been possible if I had not made the decision to leave my full-time role and go freelance.
- Would you change anything about the family and work balance that you currently have?
There has definitely been a level of adjustment on my part and a year-and-a-half later and I am still adjusting. I do miss being a part of a busy, buzzing office, and the stability of a full-time job. However, the benefits to the children far outweighs any niggles I feel.
If you think you’d like to get involved in this feature and share your story, please leave a comment or tweet me @mamavsteacher