1 year after returning to work

It is officially an entire year since I returned to work from maternity leave.  Those 12 months have been some of the longest of my life.

I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to put in to words how I felt successfully so I’ve doodled my ideas.

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I have resolved to encourage other Mama’s and Daddy’s to find the best working and family balance and situation for them and their families.  I think I’m finding this increasingly difficult as I find my own balance becomes more unsatisfactory but I do think that some of the examples that we’ve heard from have been truly inspirational.  Em from Brummymummyof2 (featured here on #BalancingAct) keeps me fascinated in her little world with her energy and enthusiasm whilst managing teaching (part time) and family life.  So many of the other people who have been on #BalancingAct has it far more ‘sorted’ than I do but likewise there’s been a good number who are still struggling to find any balance!

I often find myself in utter awe of some women who seem to find time and energy where I have none and who have created their own successful businesses, no matter how big or small, after they’ve had children.

One year later, I still love working and not being at home all the time but I am just so tired of the constant pressure from my work world demanding time of my home world and the two not being able to coexist nicely.  I need to work, I am wired that way but there is now a huge part of me that needs to be able to be with my family and to spend time more relaxed than I spend my days now.

In 7 1/2 weeks, I move to a new school and I have a lot of hope pinned on this being the chance that I need for things to change in my favour and to feel like I’m winning a bit more.  Who knows?! I may get very lucky and there may be drastic changes, however, after 7 years in schools, I have a whole heap of cynicism to go with me now!

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So the conclusion is that after a year back in the classroom, I am still Mamavsteacher! I am still struggling to find a balance of both worlds and still struggling to not feel that working Mama guilt.

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.

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Mami 2 Five

Did I go back to work too early?!

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“You went back to work early, didn’t you? Especially to other people’s kids!”

Umm….I’m not sure that I asked for your opinion or am entirely bothered by what you think but go ahead and offer an uninvited opinion anyway!

I am fairly secure in my decision to return to work when I did and with the arrangement that we have with childcare etc. I have times when I find it all incredibly difficult and miss my little man beyond belief. Trust me when I say that in those moments, no-one could make me feel worse about myself and my need to work than I already do. So frankly, bog off and don’t judge me for the decision that I made.

The conflict between working and staying at home are ideas that I come back to all the time and I am fascinated by how we all need to function differently with regards to returning (or not) to work, and maybe it’s because I understand that there are so many different ways of doing things that means I try particularly hard not to judge people for their decisions. They may have arrangements that I could never have for me and my family but the beauty of human nature is surely that we are all different?!

I went back to work after 8 ½ months of full-time mama life. Financially, we could not have afforded for me to stay off without statutory maternity pay as I am currently still the high wage earner – it won’t be long until Hubby qualifies and leaps miles above me! But also, in many areas of ‘Western’ society women are expected to go back to work much sooner than that. The latest figures that I could find put France at 16 weeks, Australia at 18 weeks and in Saudi Arabia it is as little as 10 weeks. In the USA they are lucky to get any paid maternity leave! So actually, I gave my little man the best amount of time that I could whilst being able to financially support him.

And since when did 9 months become early to return to work?! Since when did we as a society expect mothers to go back to sacrificing their careers that they have worked hard to build to be SAHM? I clearly have nothing against SAHM’s. In fact, I admire their guts and determination as it is flipping hard work to entertain a small person and keep your own sanity. It is something that I was unable to contemplate as I would have seriously lost my sense of self by doing so.

But also, I love my job. It can be bloody hard, it is always immensely tiring and the pressure to get students higher than expected grades is relentless but I love working with teenagers. I love trying to inspire them and help them achieve their goals (I’m much more bothered about this than the goals that the school sets!) But they will never have the attention that they once had from me as my son will always come first… so don’t dare suggest that leaving my child to teach other people’s is wrong in anyway. I really detest the insinuation that leaving Sprog to go to work means that I care less about him than the children I see every day.

There are so many combinations of working and family environments, and hopefully everyone can find a set up that works for them. But so help me if you judge me for my choice and my decision as a woman to balance my life and the lives of my family as I see fit! So next time, lady of a playgroup (which shall remain nameless), kindly keep your funny little opinions in and concentrate on clearly explaining how this activity would benefit my son… not judging my choices.

Thanks!

If 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!