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 it’s over to Sarah at RunJumpScrap.
1. Tell me about your family
Hi! My name is Sarah. I’m wife to Chris and Mummy to my 18 month old little daughter, who is affectionately know as gremlin on my blog. That’s been her nickname since she was born.
2. What was your job/position before you started your family?
Before we started a family I was working full-time as a Metabolic Dietitian in a local hospital. I’d been in this post about 3 years. I look after people with genetic disorders which means they can’t break down certain parts of food. For example a part of protein or fat. They are on special, restrictive diets.
3. What was your work-life balance like?
I always think I had a good work-life balance. My hours are good; 8.30-4.30 and I rarely worked over unless we had a late clinic. I love my job. I have a great work colleague who I would class as one of my closest friends now. The job isn’t really stressful, it’s interesting, you are always learning and I look after some lovely people and help them follow very difficult and restrictive diets. However, I never have lived to work and never claimed to do so. I enjoy being at home and spending time with my family. I always wanted to be a Mum, enjoy my job and earn enough to be comfortable which I feel I have achieved. My blog talks about fitness and scrapbooking and these are also things I wanted to have time for out of work, as well as seeing friends.
4. How did you find being away from work when you were on maternity leave?
Absolutely fine. I did stay in contact with my team and my colleague was also on maternity leave at the same time. She went back 6 months before me so kept me in the loop. I was far too deep into the “new Mummy” bubble which involved copious amounts of tea, breastfeeding, meeting other Mummies and walking the entire area I live in 10,000 times with my gorgeous girl. It was great!
5. Have you returned to some kind of work since having baby and how did you come to that decision?
I now work 3 days in the same job. I was always going to go back. I knew I needed to continue my career, bring some money home but also allow my little girl to socialise and become independent at nursery. I wanted to be a Mum but not just “Mum”. I still wanted to be Sarah the Dietitian and be a good role model for my daughter.
6. How (if at all) has work changed since you returned (if you did)?
I wasn’t stressed at all about going back but I’d say it took me took me 2 months to settle back down. I was quite anxious and had some insomnia for a bit but this has passed. Work has changed for me. I’m not full time so cannot be as involved with all the patients like I used to. I can’t take on projects and get them done as quickly either. When I worked full-time work was more my life and I probably used to talk about it more at home. Now I’m working 3 days this isn’t the case. I still love it and get excited when my colleague and I come up with new ideas for our service but getting home, seeing my family and having time for my hobbies are more important. I want to be home in time to have a bath with my daughter!!
7. Describe your work-life balance now in 3 words.
Relaxed, just right
8. This might be difficult to answer, but are you happy with your work-life balance?
Yes I am. I think working more would be too much and working less would mean I’d miss out too much at work. I get 4 days a week with my daughter and we always do things together like baby classes, walk, shop, play and visit family and friends. I’m very lucky as my hubby works from home and I can fit in early morning gym sessions so give my exercise-addict brain some down-time. I must admit, as my hubby does the nursery drop offs and pick ups, my gremlin is always a bit more of a Daddy’s girl on those days and I miss her but it’s great they have such a good relationship,
9. Would you change anything about the family and work balance that you currently have?
Not at the moment. If hubby was getting up and going out early and I was doing all the drop offs and pick ups I think I’d find it a lot harder but currently it works and we are all happy.
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.