Balancing Act… Brea Getting Fit

LogoI 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 Brea from Brea Getting Fit.

1. Tell me about your family

I married my best friend (no really, we’ve known each other since we were 16, although we didn’t start dating until our mid-twenties), and we have two awesome little boys. My oldest son has a very rare disease called Severe Aplastic Anemia, which means that his bone marrow doesn’t work correctly. He’s currently doing well, but that could change at any time, so we are trying to soak up family time as much as possible.

We love the outdoors, hiking, camping, and beach combing. I gained quite a bit of weight while pregnant with my son, which led me to revive my blog and chronicle my healthy finds and my missteps. I’m certainly not perfect, but I’m okay with that.

brea getting fit

2. What was your job/position before you started your family?

I was a paralegal, actually! I have my bachelors degree in Legal Studies, and was considering law school when we found out we were pregnant. I knew that I couldn’t devote the time, and found that I loved the writing portion of the job (most attorneys don’t do all of their drafting, it’s approved and/or edited by them, but drafts are the paralegal’s job), followed by research.

3. What was your work-life balance like?

Well, I keep a daily schedule because I work from home. In addition to my blog, I also work as a Virtual Assistant. I put absolutely everything in my calendar-work time and play time. If I’m not careful, I will work around the clock. I went through about a month where I realized I had not properly spent a whole day with my boys because of my workload, so I drastically cut back. Now, my work-life balance is pretty great!

4. How did you find being away from work when you were on maternity leave?

I actually called my boss and informed him that I was not coming back. I was put on bedrest at 36 weeks with my first, and when he was born, I would have had to be back at work in 3 weeks. I just couldn’t stand to part with him, so I started working as a virtual assistant instead. I guess I really didn’t have maternity leave!

5. Have you returned to some kind of work since having baby and how did you come to that decision?

We needed my income initially, but as I’ve found work I love, I look forward to working. It’s a bit odd, I think, that I love my job and don’t want to give it up.

6. How (if at all) has work changed since you returned (if you did)?

I’m definitely working far less hours with two boys than one, and I no longer work during naps because I have my older son to watch-and that’s just a slippery slope that I need to avoid. So I work when they’re in bed, which means some late nights.

7. Describe your work-life balance now in 3 words.

It’s good now.

8. This might be difficult to answer, but are you happy with your work-life balance?

Yes and no. I wish I could work more, but then I wonder why. I enjoy my jobs, and I love being able to be home with my boys.

9. Would you change anything about the family and work balance that you currently have?

Can I hire a maid??

Details

Website: http://www.breagettingfit.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/breagettingfit

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/breagettingfit

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110079469346941470288

Pinterest: http://www.pinerest.com/breagettingfit


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 mamavsteacher@outlook.com.

mandw-2015-award-webIf you’ve enjoyed my adventures in parenting, working and blogging, could I be ever so cheeky and ask for your vote in the Mum and Working Awards – it’s the first time I’ve been shortlisted for an award! And it’s one that I feel really passionately about – The Working Parent Blogger of the Year. Follow this link to cast your vote Click me!

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Balancing Act … Rock and Roll Pussy Cat

LogoI 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 Cat from Rock and Roll Pussy Cat.

  1. Tell me about your family

I’m Cat, I’m 30 and live in the North East with my Hubby Martin and our 15 month old son Eli.

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2. What was your job/position before you started your family?

A Police dispatcher working 7am-7pm or 7pm-7am shifts. I was also studying.

  1. What was your work-life balance like?

Not too bad. I worked hard but days off were fun and I enjoyed relaxing and spending time with friends.  I was also studying towards a degree before I had my son.

  1. How did you find being away from work when you were on maternity leave?

I loved it! I was off for a year and enjoyed bonding with my son. I did have off days where I missed adult company but I enjoyed being away from the stressful environment of work.

  1. Have you returned to some kind of work since having baby and how did you come to that decision?

I’ve returned to my job but with a very slight change in hours to facilitate childcare. I didn’t really have a great deal of choice due to my husbands working hours. Work weren’t keen to help with a change in hours but my only other option would have been to leave.

  1. How (if at all) has work changed since you returned (if you did)?

I feel less wrapped in work and the politics that go with it. I go to work, do my job and come home. My life at home is more important now.

  1. Describe your work-life balance now in 3 words.

A bloody nightmare!

  1. This might be difficult to answer, but are you happy with your work-life balance?

No. I struggle to get a decent amount of sleep which I feel affects my relationship with both Hubby and son. I feel I’m always playing catch up with life, cleaning, shopping, days out, family fun are all ruled by my nightmare shifts and lack of sleep.

  1. Would you change anything about the family and work balance that you currently have?

Yes and I have done. I am finally going onto part time hours in four weeks time. It’s been a nightmare to get sorted and I have no idea how we will manage with money but as a family we can’t carry on the way we are.

Details

Website: www.rockandrollpussycat.co.uk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Catherine212

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rockandrollpcat?ref=hl

Google+: https://plus.google.com/114785669027641775790/posts

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/catty212/


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 mamavsteacher@outlook.com.

Balancing Act… Betty and the Bumps

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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 Beth from Betty and the Bumps.

1. Tell me about your family

I’m Beth, and I live in Newcastle upon Tyne with husband, Andrew, and two-year old, Gwenn. I’ve been blogging at Betty and the Bumps for about 18 months now.
Beth

2. What was your job/position before you started your family?

I have worked for a very well-known fashion brand for a long time and my role was, basically, doing all of the “boring” administrative tasks that everybody else seems to hate but I just LOVE! I like to be busy and I also liked getting to organise my own workload to a certain extent.
I worked four days a week, 6 hours a day.
3. What was your work-life balance like?
I was working part-time because I was studying towards a counselling qualification in my spare time. I liked knowing I was getting a decent amount of money coming in while also having the time to prepare for my future career ( I’m such a planner by nature; I’m rubbish at living in the moment!). Having three days off a week also meant, most importantly, that I could spend a lot of time with Andrew.

4. How did you find being away from work when you were on maternity leave?

I absolutely loved it. In the very early days I sometimes would have happily swapped a crying baby who wouldn’t latch on for a shift at work but, generally speaking, I didn’t miss it. I was off for 10 months and, while I would never say I enjoyed every minute, I don’t regret a second of it.
5. Have you returned to some kind of work since having baby and how did you come to that decision?
There was never any question about my return to work; we couldn’t live on one wage. I didn’t want to work more than three days though, and I was happy to take a drop in hours too. In the end we agree three seven-hour shifts a week.

6. How (if at all) has work changed since you returned (if you did)?

The role that I had enjoyed so much previously basically ceased to exist when I was off, so it has been very different for me since I returned. I haven’t found it easy.
I usually feel as if I’m treading water at work because I’ve kind of gone as far as I want to go (in terms of promotion), and now I’m just waiting to have enough money to continue with my counselling qualifications.
I don’t get any job satisfaction or fulfilment, it’s purely a financial necessity.

7. Describe your work-life balance now in 3 words.

Oooh, I’m always so rubbish at these!
How about, “work-in-progress”!!!
8. This might be difficult to answer, but are you happy with your work-life balance?
Yes and no.
I couldn’t hope for a more understanding manager, so I’m very lucky in that sense. In fact, everyone at work is great. I like the fact that I’m off more than I’m in, and that I often get four or five days off in a row.
On the downside, I do quite a few late shifts, which is tough when I’ve had an early start with Gwenn. I also work weekends, but not always. It usually works out one weekend on, one off, which isn’t so bad. I grew up with a police officer dad and a social worker mum so the 9-5, Mon-Fri was not the norm in our house and so it’s never really bothered me, but Andrew only gets the weekend off so we don’t do as much as a “three” as I would like.
9. Would you change anything about the family and work balance that you currently have?
In order to get the balance I really want, I would have to get a different job. It’s that simple! But that is also a lot easier said than done.

Details

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bettyandthebumps


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 mamavsteacher@outlook.com.

mandw-2015-award-web

If you’ve been enjoying my struggle for balance and my journey as a full time working Mama, then I’d love it if you could spare 2 minutes to nominate me for the Mum and Working Working Parent Blogger 2015. Click the link and follow the website through.

Balancing Act… LarabeeUK

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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 Leandra at LarabeeUK.

1. Tell me about your family  

I’m Leandra, a 40 year old working mum, The Hubs is Karl, a golf and football playing IT analyst and then there’s Thomas, our 3 year old son.  Every other weekend we are joined by The Teens, Kelsey (16) and Hayden (14).  I blog over at LarabeeUK.

Larabee

2. What was your job/position before you started your family?

I was a Business Process Manager before I had Thomas.

3. What was your work-life balance like?

Work-life balance wasn’t really something we considered too much before we had Thomas, on the weekends where we didn’t have The Teens, I worked & Karl played golf.  We rarely left work on time and often both worked in the evenings.  Work was my life!

4. How did you find being away from work when you were on maternity leave?

I was amazed how much I loved being away from work, my sister was a stay at home mummy and it was lovely to be able to spend time with her and my nephew.

5. Have you returned to some kind of work since having baby and how did you come to that decision?

It was never a question that I would return to work, I wanted to return at the time, I had 6 months maternity leave planned and that’s what I took.  In hindsight I should have had more.

6. How (if at all) has work changed since you returned (if you did)?

I was lucky in that I was allowed back into my job on a part time basis, cutting to 28 hours a week, with the option on working from home 1 day a week.  I’m also on a flexible contract which means that when Thomas goes to school I can change from Mon-Thur and work Mon-Fri on reduced hours so I can drop him off at school and collect him.  I’m now working 2 jobs on 2 days a week each, this is a very new thing and on a 6 month trial.  I’m still struggling with working through my lunch hour though!

7. Describe your work-life balance now in 3 words.

Compromise, Challenging, Busy

8. This might be difficult to answer, but are you happy with your work-life balance?

No, I’m not happy with my work-life balance, I’d prefer to do 2 1/2 days a week but in my job it’s just not possible.  We try to make the best of what we have and try and make sure that the 84 (or so) hours I spend with Thomas each week are filled with exciting memories and fun times.

9. Would you change anything about the family and work balance that you currently have?

If I was able, I’d give up work and become a full-time mummy & blogger but this simply isn’t possible.

Details

Website: http://larabee-uk.blogspot.co.uk

Twitter: http://twitter.com/LarabeeUK

Facebook: http://Facebook.com/LarabeeUK

Google+: http://Google+.com/LarabeeUK

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/Leandrabramham

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 mamavsteacher@outlook.com.

mandw-2015-award-web

If you’ve been enjoying my struggle for balance and my journey as a full time working Mama, then I’d love it if you could spare 2 minutes to nominate me for the Mum and Working Working Parent Blogger 2015. Click the link and follow the website through.

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Balancing Act… Keeping Strong and Moving Forward

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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 Nikki at Keeping Strong and Moving Forward.

1.Tell me about your family

I am Nikki. I am a 27 year old mother of 4 to T, P, E and Baby, and stepmother to M and A . I am married to my husband of 2 years.

Nikki keeping strong

2. What was your job/position before you started your family?

I was very young when I first started my family. I had only ever had one summer job, during the summer I was 16 and that was only so I could raise enough money to go to Leeds Festival. That September I became a full time student on an art course in college. It was during that academic year I found out I was 16 and pregnant and pregnant with my first son T.

I finished my year at college while I was pregnant with T and then I became a full time mum. I didn’t go back to work but I did do a few I.T. and job hunting course that I voluntarily put myself on through the job centre. After P was born I went back to college again full time but this time it was to redo my GCSE’s and then my Alevels. It was during my last year doing my Alevel I fell pregnant with E and when she was 15 months old, Baby.

3. What was your work-life balance like?

When I first went back to college after T and P I was a single mum on my own. So my work/life balance was pretty hard but because I had to do it all alone. College I started at 9am until 3pm but then there was time traveling and time I spent in school library revising or doing course work afterwards so somedays the kids would be in nursery until 6pm. On a morning T would go to school breakfast club at 8 am while I ran with P in pram to drop him off at nursery which was 10-15 walk away so I could get bus at 8.15am. It was hectic.

4. How did you find being away from work when you were on maternity leave?

Having been a mum from a young age and then going back to college I knew that I would be fine out of college or work because I have a habit of finding way to keep busy. Plus I love spending time with my kids specially when they were babies. I loved watching them grow, learn and become the amazing kids they are. I also knew with E and Baby I wanted to stay at home with them until they started school full time because I started college when P was 4 months old and I missed so much of his baby year, which I have always regret.

5. Have you returned to some kind of work since having baby and how did you come to that decision?

I didn’t return to work or college, but I plan too. I do volunteer as a Parent Champion, which is where I go around talking to other parents when out and about, at play groups and at planned events. I help them find information or services that they might need help with such as benefits, nursery 2&3 year offers and places, school, playgroups and course etc.

I really enjoying doing this because it helps me keep busy but the best part is I make my own hours to work around kids, school runs and life. I write my blog which I love but I haven’t monetised it at the moment, so I don’t accept payment for posts because I am don’t feel ready yet. I am hoping after I go to a few blogging events this year I will feel more ready to make this move. I need to buy my own domain first though.

I am also plan to do a few training courses booked/planned in through my local children’s centre plus a portage worker course which I start next week. I am really excited. I always knew I wanted to go back to doing something after my kids because they soon grow up and go to school. This way I am here for the good bits while their young and I can have a pretty good CV by time their all in school.

6. How (if at all) has work changed since you returned (if you did)?

The volunteering and Blogging is different to college because I have to make myself get up an do the work. It’s not something I have to do but more something I want to.

7. Describe your work-life balance now in 3 words.

Hectic, Busy, Great

8. This might be difficult to answer, but are you happy with your work-life balance?

Yes, the only issues I have with my work-life balance is the fact that it can be stressful trying to work it all round my husbands work shift schedule, hospital appointments, training courses, school runs and playgroups. I am sometimes amazed at how I manage my time though. It shows me what I am able to do.

9. Would you change anything about the family and work balance that you currently have?

More hours in the day.

Details

Website: http://www.keepingstrongandmovingforward.co.uk/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nikoteen87

Facebook: http://facebook.com/keepingstrongandmovingforward

Google+: Nikki Fraser

Instagram: http://instagram.com/nikoteen87

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 mamavsteacher@outlook.com.

If you’ve been enjoying my struggle for balance and my journey as a full time working Mama, then I’d love it if you could spare 2 minutes to nominate me for the Mum and Working Working Parent Blogger 2015. Click the link and follow the website through.

Balancing Act …Fulltimeworkingmummy

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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 Becky at Fulltimeworkingmummy.

Fulltimeworkingmummy

  1. We are first time and last time parents, Ian and Rebecca to our only son Henry who is 3 years old, we live in Devon and are enjoying the experience of bringing up our child later in life as we are both 43.  In fact when I was pregnant I was classed as a geriatric mother throughout my pregnancy, this combined with a number of other factors means we will not be trying for a second child.
  2. Before I had Henry I was a National Account Manager for a large blue chip company in the automotive industry, I had worked there for 12 years working my way up from area manager to National Account Manager
  1. My work life balance was extremely poor in this role often working 14-16 hour days as well as writing reports into the evenings and weekends
  1. I had 14 months off on maternity leave and I found it exhilarating and exciting albeit exhausting at times, it was lovely not to be working.
  1. I unfortunately had to return to my job as a National Account Manager due to financial reasons, I returned on a 4 day week basis and increased my hours over those 4 days so I only ended up taking a 10% pay cut.  It was a truly awful time returning to work and I suffered from panic attacks in the early days, I found that I could not continue in the role due to the very long hours and the fact that I was very often away from home so I changed roles to a Business Development Manager role closer to home, this was on a 5 day week basis, I found being located in an office extremely difficult and handed my notice in after a period of 6 months having got another Key Account Manager role based from home, as my manager really wanted me to stay he offered for me to work from home with Henry in the afternoons so I took him up on this offer!
  1. Work has changed for me because it no longer is my priority, I do not have the drive I had before I had a baby, I see it as a day job and I want a clear definition between home and work time whilst in the past this was very blurred.
  1. My work life balance in 3 words would be: Very lucky currently!  I am very aware that I am blessed to be able to work from home every afternoon and watch my son develop and grow whilst still holding down and being paid for a full time job.
  1. Am I happy with my work life balance?  No I am not sure I would ever be very happy, I feel when I am at work I should be at home and when I am at home I feel Henry could learn so much more socialising with other children at nursery.  I would love to be a stay at home mum but I am not sure that would be right for me or Henry.  I have a goal which is to demonstrate that you get nice things if you work hard for them, I want Henry to see me as a role model, it is difficult balancing everything and sometimes I am exhausted at the end of the day but I wouldn’t change anything I don’t think.
  1. Would I change anything:  Yes I would like my 2 boys to get out of bed and hurry up when I am working an early so that I can get on!!!! 🙂

Details

www.fulltimeworkingmummy.wordpress.com

Twitter: @henrymacaulay

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 mamavsteacher@outlook.com.

Balancing Act … Life by Naomi

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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 Naomi at Life by Naomi.

1. Tell me about your family

My family is small: myself, my husband Tim and our son, Ben, who is 2. Here is a family selfie from Easter Sunday.

Life By Naomi

2. What was your job/position before you started your family?

I was a Full Time English Teacher in a Secondary school – I had quite a bit of responsibility within the school as well, leading various Teaching and Learning projects, which I loved. I had been doing it for 7 years before having Ben, and had mostly kept my work in school, often working 7am-7pm if necessary. I really enjoy teaching and do think I make a difference for the students I teach.

3. What was your work-life balance like?

Not very healthy to be honest – I think I was a bit of a workaholic! But I did manage to keep the balance by keeping my work at school where possible, and I tried to avoid doing a lot of extra-curricular work. I have done quite a lot of exam marking too, which took over in the summer term, but was worth it for the money – it paid for us to have several nice holidays.

4. How did you find being away from work when you were on maternity leave?

To begin with, I loved it. I had Ben in August, and I didn’t even think about school when September rolled around. I promised myself that I wouldn’t even think about work for the first 4 months, and I didn’t. I thought I’d miss the social side of teaching, and the general ‘buzz’, and this did become more obvious as the year passed.

By 9 months (I had a full year off), I was a bit bored, and started planning lessons. I really enjoyed my Keep In Touch days too. This surprised me – I wondered if I’d want to become a stay-at-home mum, but I think I’d be too bored! I missed the creativity of teaching and planning, even if I didn’t miss the marking and classroom management.

5. Have you returned to some kind of work since having baby and how did you come to that decision?

After maternity leave, I went back 3 days a week, and it was perfect. I had slightly more time at home with Ben, and enough time in school that I felt that it was worth it. I enjoyed my work days and enjoyed my time at home. Being part time made the marking and planning manageable, although I always worked on my days off.

I did that for a year, and then we moved house and I got a job at another school. I could only get a full-time position, and deliberately didn’t apply for anything with any responsibilities. I started in September, and, to be honest, it has been really hard. I think it’s the combination of starting at a new school (new schemes of work, new systems, different exam boards), and all the recent changes in English, but the thing that makes it so hard is being full time.

Now, my days run like this:

7.30am – Either drop Ben at nursery or arrive at work, depending on what my husband is doing. If I drop Ben at nursery, I arrive at work around 8am. I think do any last minute setting up, a bit of marking or some planning.

8.35am – 3pm – Teaching – I do as much as I can in my free periods and certainly don’t get time to have a cup of tea! We have half an hour for lunch, and I try to spend at least 15 minutes of that with colleagues.

3pm-4pm – Booster classes or Enrichment – I teach two Year 11 classes and run an English enrichment activity, so this takes up quite a lot of time.

4.30pm – 7pm – Rush back to pick up Ben from nursery (I usually get him around 4.30pm). Spend time with him, cook dinner, do laundry and any urgent housework.

7pm – Ben’s bedtime.

7pm-10pm – Marking and planning. I often end up working until 10pm, and always have more to do at the weekend. When there are extra jobs to do – mock exams to mark, for example – I have to find the time somewhere. Tim often comes home, asks how much work I have to do, and then tells me that he’ll ‘take over’ bedtime. That’s hard, because often I’ll have spent 11-12 hours working, but only 1 with my son.

Sometimes, it feels absolutely relentless, and I have to remind myself that we do get excellent holidays – even if I do often have to spend 2 or 3 days of it working!

6. How (if at all) has work changed since you returned (if you did)?

Personally, I thought I’d become much more tolerant, much more relaxed. But actually, it’s the opposite, especially with behaviour. I find myself thinking – “Actually, if someone was behaving like that in my child’s class, I wouldn’t be happy.” I’m a lot stricter as a result! I think I’m actually a better teacher for it.

I’m also much stricter about what I will and won’t do – and I need to do more of this. It’s hard, being in a new job, because you want to appear willing to go the extra mile, but I have to weigh up the cost of that extra mile to my family. But I won’t do anything in school in the holidays, for example, because that’s my time with my family.

In terms of the job changing, it has changed massively in the last 2 years. In the first three months that I was back, there were huge changes to the curriculum and to exams that happened mid-year. That all took a lot of planning and resourcing – education ministers never seem to factor in that time for teachers when they think, “Ooh, let’s change GCSEs!” or something similar. But that’s the same for all teachers, and isn’t anything to do with me going on maternity leave.

Technically, with my job change, I suppose I’ve lost some responsibility – I’m a bog-standard English teacher now, rather than a Lead Teacher, but I don’t mind that. I’m actively avoiding any additional responsibility for the moment!

I still really enjoy teaching, and even enjoy the marking and the planning. It’s a challenging and a creative job and no two days are the same. But the impact it has on my family at the moment isn’t right.

7. Describe your work-life balance now in 3 words.

Unbalanced. Stressful. Guilt-inducing. (Can I get away with hyphenating two words?)

8. This might be difficult to answer, but are you happy with your work-life balance?

No, I’m not. I have to do too much at home, but I don’t know what the answer is – the lessons have to be planned, and the books have to be marked!

9. Would you change anything about the family and work balance that you currently have?

If I had the chance, I’d go part-time again. If the powers-that-be could give us planning time for the changes they implement, that would be appreciated too!

Details

Website: http://lifebynaomi.com

Twitter: @lifebynaomi

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Life-by-Naomi/166293933526455

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/naomilynas/

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 mamavsteacher@outlook.com.

BritMums

Balancing Act … Life at Baby Kicks

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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 Laura at Life at Baby Kicks.

1. Tell me about your family

I’m Laura and I am an ex-banker living out in the sandpit that is otherwise known as Dubai with the husband (who is still a banker) the toddler (who is my new boss) and cooking number 2, girl or boy, we won’t know for another 6 weeks when they arrive!  As long as they arrive on due date that is…….

laura - baby kicks

The photo is of me and the toddler, yep we are feeding a zebra at the zoo, and I’m not having a bit of mummy tummy moment there that is actually bump #2 at around 20 weeks!

2. What was your job/position before you started your family?

I was working in banking in Canary Wharf London. (I know I know don’t hate me, I worked with businesses instead of personal banking if that makes me any better?!?) I loved my job and the lifestyle.

3. What was your work-life balance like?

I’ve always been pretty good at making sure that I didn’t become too consumed with working all hours, though with my husband working on the other side of the office a lot of my life was in the office….the worst bit was probably the fact I was commuting across central London on the tube which was 45 mins to an hour each way, so when you don’t actually work a 9-5 schedule your working hours become more like leaving the house at 7:30 and crashing through the front door at 7 if you were lucky.

Though I was in sales and if I worked my appointments right I could get home early and work from home.  A danger in itself as you don’t have to switch off.  Many times you had me and the husband on the laptops or Blackberry.  Especially if we were working on urgent customer responses.

4. How did you find being away from work when you were on maternity leave?

I had the best boss ever, I was pregnant over London 2012 and was given special dispensation to work from home.  Following this I used to get shouted at if I was in the office past 4, so he prepared me with gradual retreat away from the office!

I must admit I was a little lost when I didn’t have a baby and was just on maternity leave, I was lucky enough to meet some lovely girls and we ended up doing lunches and bingo.

Once he arrived though the time started to fly, and I was dreading going back to work as it would be full time and across the city…..however…..

5. Have you returned to some kind of work since having baby and how did you come to that decision?

When the toddler was 3 months old the husband came home and told me he had been offered a job in Dubai, when the toddler was 6 months old we emigrated and I took a career break in case we would come back to the UK if we didn’t like it.  Its now been 2 years and I took redundancy early last year and have been a stay at home mum ever since.

Though once the toddler got older I started looking for work here, found a fantastic job, then got pregnant with #2 so I am still a stay at home mum.

I think when the second gets a little older I’ll look to go back again.  The problem I have in Dubai is that part time flexible work is none existent so I need to decide to move back full time and for that I need to find the right job.

So in the meantime I took up blogging, not sure where it is going to lead me but I am excited to find out!

6. How (if at all) has work changed since you returned (if you did)?

Well my new boss is very demanding 🙂

And I do feel sometimes that I should be the perfect housewife, wife and mummy.  I generally fail as there is no such thing, and the house is currently a state while I am busy typing this and letting the toddler have some quality time with Grandma……

7. Describe your work-life balance now in 3 words.

Exhausting. Indescribable. Unforgettable.

8. This might be difficult to answer, but are you happy with your work-life balance?

I get cross at times as a lot of domestic tasks fall on my shoulders and being pregnant I am struggling a bit more.  But I wouldn’t change the fact I get to spend all the time in the world with the toddler, even if he is a hard task master!

9. Would you change anything about the family and work balance that you currently have?

I would LOVE to go back to a part time role, maybe in something new, for 3 days a week working on school hours.  I would love the financial independence as this is what I miss the most, it is definitely not the same buying your husband a birthday present out of the money that he earns and I would love to not even think about buying myself a treat.  The husband tells me not to be silly but it definitely makes me think twice.

Details

Website: http://lifewithbabykicks.blogspot.ae

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Laura_BabyKicks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lifewithbabykicks

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+LauraPowellCorbettLifewithBabyKicks/posts

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lifewithbabykic/

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 mamavsteacher@outlook.com.

BritMums

Balancing Act… When The Dust Settles

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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 Ashley at When The Dust Settles.

1. Tell me about your family

As a family we are a modern one, in the respect that I have two children from a previous relationship (both boys) and while they do not live with us they are still considered 100% brothers to my daughter, the term Blended family is used a lot these days and I guess that is what we are, but the reality is it is just family. I am lucky in that the boys love Zoe (she’s usually the good cop) and adore their baby sister (they also have a half brother the other way so it all works out) and as we sya there are no halves.

Ashley - when the dust settles

2. What was your job/position before you started your family?

Data Centre Operator and it still is (although a different company now).

3. What was your work-life balance like?

I’m lucky my work life balance has never been too bad, being a shift worker, and the way my shifts work out I only actually work 14 out of 28 days (12 hour shifts mind you) 7 will be days and 7 nights so I have a lot of time off, especially during the week to spend with the family. Oh and I don’t do overtime.

(The next few questions are a bit odd for a dad answering but nevermind!)

4. How did you find being away from work when you were on maternity leave?

Well it was paternity leave being a dad and it was only a week I think, unfortunately I don’t get paid if I don’t work, so couldn’t take much more off but I was around as much as possible.

5. Have you returned to some kind of work since having baby and how did you come to that decision?

I never left 🙂

6. How (if at all) has work changed since you returned (if you did)?

Nope, nothing has changed.

7. Describe your work-life balance now in 3 words.

Could be Worse.

8. This might be difficult to answer, but are you happy with your work-life balance?

Not really I hate having to go to work at night when the family is settling in for the evening, and if I’m honest I would rather be around 24/7 to be there in case the kids need me, work is not my motivation in life, the kids are.

9. Would you change anything about the family and work balance that you currently have?

If I could yes, I’d love to work from home (or become rediculously wealthy) either one would do. I don’t mind work in terms of doing stuff, I just wish I could do it with my family around me.

Details

Website: http://www.whenthedustsettles.co.uk

Twitter: http://www/twitter.com/dustsettlesblog

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/whenthedustsettlesblog

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+WhenthedustsettlesCoUk

Pinterest: http://uk.pinterest.com/zoeandbo

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 mamavsteacher@outlook.com.

BritMums

Balancing Act … Unevenlemming

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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 Helen at Unevenlemming.

1. Tell me about your family

I am Helen (32), I have a husband of 4 and half years and my little girl, Bethany who is 9 months old.

Helen Gray

2. What was your job/position before you started your family?

I was a PA and senior receptionist/admin in a dental practice for two years after 13 years of retail management.

3. What was your work-life balance like?

I was constantly busy, it was a NHS practice that was constantly busy from the lines opening at 9am to the moment we closed at 5pm (with the phone still ringing AFTER we closed them). The boss I was a PA for also kept me extremely busy and it was rare for me to leave on time. I was stressed and exhausted, I used to lie in on weekends and do the bare minimum cleaning I could to keep things ticking over. It was also the best job at I had, at the least I had weekends off which is unheard of in retail.

4. How did you find being away from work when you were on maternity leave?

As I was stressed I was informed that I had to leave early or be written off so at 7 and half months pregnant I was on leave. I was bored, so very bored as well as tired, I had been in poor health most of the pregnancy and wasn’t letting up for the end. I rested and enjoyed the time I had left.

When Beth was born, it has flown past. I initially planned to go back September as my husband lost his job during my pregnancy, we sold our house and moved into the annex flat to next to my in laws (thankfully they do live off premises during the week so it does work). We did well on our house sale and husband got a job 15 minutes from home so it was agreed to extend my leave until end of November.

I have missed aspects of work, I miss the conversation and the structure of the day. I also miss the challenges that work can bring. I do volunteer for the NCT committee of my district so this means I use a lot of my skills on a part time basis, this looks great on my CV as I can put this in the gaps between employment as well as some regular adult contact.

5. Have you returned to some kind of work since having baby and how did you come to that decision?

The past few weeks we sat down and looked at all the figures, after paying for childcare, travel, and other expenses. I wouldn’t cover anything at all, it’s not logical for me to return to work yet. My work have been great as I’ve been in contact with them throughout, they have said if I need any work to contact them first. I want to start looking again in 2015 but only if it is right for all three of us.

6. How (if at all) has work changed since you returned (if you did)?

My work has changed a lot, there have been staff changes and more policy changes that I care to think about. I was also nervous of going back to work as I think it was expected that I would dive straight back into it and get on. I’m very glad I don’t have that stress anymore, I rather take the stress of Beth crying than a paients dentures gone missing any day!

7. Describe your work-life balance now in 3 words.

Not Quite There (yet)

8. Would you change anything about the family and work balance that you currently have?

To have my own income back, I’ve worked for so long I’m used to having my own money to spend, I do get ‘housekeeping’ each week, this is enough for now but I couldn’t do it forever. I like having that indepence of having my own income and the pride in earning it.

(I need some means to pay for my nail varnish addiction!)

Website: www.unevenlemming.com

Twitter: @unevenlemming

Facebook: facebook.com/unevenlemmning

Google+:https://plus.google.com/u/0/+HelenGray/posts

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 mamavsteacher@outlook.com.

BritMums