The boy only wants his Daddy

Last week was great. Last week was half term and I got to spend so much time with my lovely little man. Last week I got to be a good Mama and a good wife. Last week was last week.

This week, I am none of those things. This week, I left the house 10 minutes after Sprog woke up on Monday morning. This week, I didn’t see him at all Tuesday evening. This week he doesn’t want to know me.

Sprog has always been a bit of a Daddy’s boy but this morning I have full on working Mama guilt as I haven’t seen him much at all this week and he was letting me know that this morning. We had full floods of tears when Daddy wasn’t the one to get him out of bed this morning, when Daddy didn’t come to get him dressed, and when Daddy wasn’t the one to play with him. Mama didn’t get a look in on cuddles, play time, morning routine at all. Mama got pushed away and screamed at.

I can reason and I know that he doesn’t mean it in a nasty way. I know that it is him sticking to what is familiar. But I am the one who wants to cry and hissy fit too. It’s really not my fault that I haven’t been there. Without boring you, I had reports due in for Year 8, Year 9 parents evening and a remote access system that wouldn’t let me in from home over the holiday so no lessons ready to go for Monday morning, hence the early start.

My heart is absolutely breaking this morning. I want him to want and need me in the morning. Not his Daddy, not all the time at least. I am regularly the parent who gets pushed away, the one who he doesn’t want, the one who feels like a sh** parent because of it.

There wasn’t really a point to this post, it was more that I needed to get this off my chest. I’m just feeling awful this morning, a bit like I want to walk out of work and not have to come back. Today is a day that I will feel jealous of all the part-time working Mama’s and SAHM’s out there. If you are one of those lucky people, do me a favour?! Today, have as many hugs with your small people as possible and be thankful that you are with them because today, I’d love to be you.

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Balancing Act…Mummy Melton

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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 is over to Rachel from Mummy Melton.

Rachel Melton1. Tell me about your family

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.

Details

Website: http://www.themeltonhouse.com

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/mummymelton

Facebook:  http://facebook.com/mummymelton

Google+:  http://google.com/+mummymelton

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 … Mummascribbles

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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 I’d like to hand you over to Lisa from Mummascribbles.

1. Tell me about your family
My little family consists of me Lisa (hello!), my other half Dean, our little boy Zachary who is 2, our cat Millie who is 6 and several tropical fish most of whom are about 5 months old! Dean and I have known each other for about 15 years, have been together for 4 years and decided on a baby over marriage roughly a year into our relationship! We’re in our early thirties by the way and Dean is exactly 5 days older than me!

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

I worked my way up from a mere switchboard person/skivvy, fresh out of uni, to a conference organiser with many other job titles thrown in along the way. I worked hard and had somewhere I wanted to get to and was very happy when I succeeded. It took a long time but my hard work paid off. I completely fell into events but it turns out it’s something I’m pretty good at which does baffle me slightly as I’m hideously unorganised in my own life!

3. What was you work-life balance like?

It was perfect. The conferences took me away to some cool places around the UK (the only downside was lots of student accommodation), but I also spent plenty of time at home, plenty of time out with my colleagues and plenty of time with friends and family. I never felt that one over-rode the other and I certainly had no complaints to harper on about. I also had plenty of money to spend on myself whenever I wanted – most of it went on handbags!

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

I loved it but there were times when it was incredibly hard. Sometimes Dean would get home from work and I was still in my pj’s because Zach had spent the whole day cluster feeding and on one particular occasion when it all got too much and I found myself in uncontrollable floods of tears. These were hard but 99.9% of the time I just loved not being at work. I loved staying home with my baby, going out to meet new mummy friends and taking him to classes. Watching him develop and change daily was an absolute joy. I was incredibly sad when it was all over and reality hit me in the face.

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

I returned to work when Zach was 9 months old. I put in a request for a 4 day week which was approved and I also used 1 day of annual leave per week at the beginning so I was only doing 3 days in the office up until he was one. I was doing 4 day weeks up until April this year when we managed to get ourselves a mortgage to pay and I then had to return full time. Other than going part time in the beginning (if you can call a 4 day week part time!), there was no other decision to be made. We simply couldn’t afford for me not to work and we especially couldn’t afford to pay a mortgage on anything less than my full time wage.

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

It got a bit mental to be honest. I seemed to be going away much more often and for much longer periods and I was finding it really hard being away from Zach for so long. Six days worth of FaceTime does not compensate for face to face contact. Four weeks ago I was in San Francisco for 10 days. It was the longest, hardest time and all I got was tiny snippets of Zach when I woke up and just before he was going to bed. Work, along with the 8 hour time difference allowed for no other time to be in contact with him. However it was to be my last conference for that company and I’m now on week 2 of my new job! I’m working slightly longer hours (although they have been very flexible with my start and finish times) and there is currently no set working from home opportunities which I had in my previous job. It was a really tough decision because I had it good where I was but I had gotten bored. The events I’m going to be doing now are for much shorter periods so whilst I will still have to go away, it should be for 1-2 days rather than 5-6 (except for the one next month that is the only long one they run and involves a whole weekend plus three work days…oops!).

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

Hectic, challenging, necessary

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

There is no doubt that if we were in the financial position to do so, I would work less. For me, the three day week was perfect as I spent more time with Zach than I did with work. I wish that I could return to that (or even less). I wish that we could spend our days kicking leaves in the park, making crafty things at home or going to classes and playgroups, but the reality is that we have to put a roof over our heads and food on the table. We are very fortunate that my Mum provides childcare for us 3 days a week and that Zach loves going to nursery on the other 2 days so I know that every day he is having an absolute ball. And I am looking forward to getting grips on my new job – I figured I might as well enjoy what I have to do which is why I decided to move on!

Details
Website: www.mummascribbles.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mummascribbles
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mummascribbles
Google+: http://www.google.com/+Mummascribbles
Pinterest: http://uk.pinterest.com/mummascribbles

See previous posts from Mum in a Nutshell, Bubbablue and me, Single Parent Pessimist, L Plate Mummy, and The Triplet Diaries.

The perfect date with my little man

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Before I went back to work, sprog and I went to rhyme time every Thursday at the library. Before I went back to work, sprog and I had quality one-to-one time together without any stresses.

Now I’m back at work, we don’t often get that and I really miss going to our groups and seeing our mummy friends. I really miss the ease of our days without having to worry about whether my lessons are planned, whether my marking is done, whether Joe Bloggs is going to make expected progress and if not, what am I going to do about it.

But the library seems to have a magical hold other both sprog and I. We went this morning, just the two of us. We strolled up to the library in the sunshine after his morning nap. When we got there, we headed straight to the children’s section, we unbunkled the pram and he was off. As time has gone on, we’ve left various levels of chaos behind us. Today, he sat on the little soft cushions and ate his grapes so very sensibly. Then came the rice cakes, this particular kind is not to be purchased again as they have a particularly bright orange on one side which when sucked a little by a small person is easily smeared all over everything.. Including me! The library is the only place we go when I make sure that I have a muslin in the bag as I’m paranoid about him spreading his snacks all over the books!

But when we are at the library there’s a beautiful peace. The ladies there are always happy to see such a little person at the library. When we go we have time to sit together, to read, to walk around and to simply ‘exist’ together in a very simple and special way.

When we leave I feel refreshed and rejuvenated. I feel reconnected with my lovely little man. I feel that we have shared something wonderful together. The library is our little safe haven and our special place.