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 is over to Rachel from Mummy Melton.
Our family is Mummy – Rachel, Daddy – Rob and Baby – Eoin.
Eoin was born in Dec 2013. We live in Lancashire, we moved here from Scotland in 2009. We also have a furry addition to our family – Colbey the cat.
2. What was your job/position before you started your family?
Before we started our family I was a mental health nurse. When I found out I was pregnant I had just been offered a new job. I felt very guilty going into my new boss’ office on my first day at work to tell him I was pregnant. When I found out I was pregnant I worked in the police cells as a Criminal Justice Liaison Mental Health Practitioner my job when I went on maternity leave was as a Community Mental Health Practitioner.
3. What was your work-life balance like?
I had a pretty good work life balance. I enjoyed my job and the wages allowed us to be able to go places and do things in our personal time. There were days where it was hard to turn off but I think that is the nature of the job and an occupational hard. Most people I work with do the job because they care and if something happens it’s hard not to take that home with you.
4. How did you find being away from work when you were on maternity leave?
I didn’t miss it at all. I missed my friends/colleagues as there were times I felt quite isolated and lonely but I didn’t miss work.
5. Have you returned to some kind of work since having baby and how did you come to that decision?
We have bills to pay. We haven’t won the lottery yet!! It was the hardest decision I have had to make and I really struggled going back to work. I felt like a failure as a mum leaving my baby at nursery. I think I felt even worse as we don’t have any family near us so he had to go to nursery.
6. How (if at all) has work changed since you returned (if you did)?
I find it hard to concentrate at work sometimes. I am much more aware of time and wanting to get home. There are times I think about whether I still want to work but then we need the money and I don’t know what else I would do. When I first went back to work I would worry about something happening to me and Baby being without his mum. I work longer days so I can have every alternate Monday off with Baby
7. Describe your work-life balance now in 3 words.
Hard, priorities, family-led
8. Would you change anything about the family and work balance that you currently have?
I would love to work less or find a job where I can work from home.
For all the previous posts, see the #BalancingAct page.
If you think you’d like to get involved in this feature and share your story, please leave a comment, tweet me @mamavsteacher or email me firstname.lastname@example.org.