I have been back at work for just over a month and at first, I found it really hard. It was never going to be easy as my job involves travelling and for the first 2 weeks, I cried every night partly from exhaustion and partly from missing the kids. A little bit like anything you soon get into the swing of things and arrange a new routine that fits in with your family life and by week 3 the few little glitches had smoothed themselves out. I am lucky that Harry has settled into school extremely well and is quite happy to go to breakfast & after school club a couple of times a week so I can set off to the office early and dad can pick him up a bit later. Charley now attends a local nursery and loves her time there. I think it makes a huge difference when you know they are well looked after and the staff have got a wealth of experience. I am also very lucky as both sets of parents are retired and happy to help with school pick up’s and looking after Charley. All this being said I do get pangs of ‘working mummy guilt’. Charley was poorly the 1st week I went back to work and I had to make the decision to leave her with my mum so I could go into the office. Harry had a total meltdown and refused to go to breakfast club one morning when I had an extremely important meeting and I had to be really hard and make him go. I do ad I called 5 minutes later to check on him and he was happily playing with some dinosaurs and munching on jam toast.
I have been in the Travel Industry for over 10 years and worked hard to get to the job I presently hold. I earn a comfortable amount of money which means we have quite a nice lifestyle. I’m not dripping in diamonds and we don’t have a big fancy house but I am fortunate that if the kids need new clothes /shoes/ treat I don’t have to worry about if we can afford it or not. While on Maternity I still had to pay my personal bills as my hubby’s wage couldn’t support us both and as I only received SMP (£137 a week) from work i was on a very tight budget. My odd treat of a Topshop dress stopped and if I couldn’t buy it in a charity shop I didn’t have any new clothes. We have always been fans of ALDI but we even had to cut back on luxuries shopping there. It was amazing to have just over 12 months off with Charley and have the opportunity to spend the extra time with Harry before he went off to school but it was very clear that I was never going to be a stay at home mum. I’m a rubbish cook, I hate cleaning and in truth living on a tight budget was not for me. So here I am today up at 5 am and on the 6.27 train from Blackpool to London to attend a meeting. Charley will be asleep when I get back tonight (she was up with me at 5am) and Harry will be tucked up in bed waiting for me to get home to read him a story. The cleaner will have been and my house will once again resemble a home (instead of a Hell hole). This will leave me enough time to have a quick tea (plus cheeky glass of wine), catch up on my hubby’s day and then put 2 hours work in to my 2nd job as The UnNatural Mother. My decision to go back to work was not an easy one but it was the right decision for my family and I hope one day The UnNatural Mother will give me a liveable income but until then it’s back on the train to the next meeting.
How did you come to the decision to stay at home or go back to work ? Do you regret the decision and want to be back in the working world or do you wish you could be at home with the kids ? Leave your comments below.