As part of our work / life theme for September, we’ll be profiling our bloggers to find the different ways everyone works, what suits them and their family, and asking the million dollar question – how do you find time for yourself as a working mum? First off is Rachel, who blogs over at The Little Pip:
Hi Rachel – so pre-maternity leave, what was your job? And what do you do now?
Pre-maternity leave, I was working as a solicitor. I’m now in legal content marketing– instead of practising law, I’m writing blogs about things useful to practising lawyers.
Why the change?
Having 2 stressful jobs does not work for our family at the moment. I wanted to stay within the legal sector but have more regular hours.
What type of childcare do you use?
Pip has a full time place at a local private day nursery. She attends 8-6pm Monday to Friday.
What’s the most tricky thing about being a working mum? What are the benefits?
The benefits far far outweigh any of the tricky things. One of the reasons I was drawn to law in the first place was the need for constant learning and research; that it was a constantly evolving and reforming profession. It therefore came as no surprise to me that looking after Pip on my own at home with limited resources was not making me as happy as going to work does. Since returning to work, my relationship with Pip has improved enormously and I feel re-energised.
I suspect the trickiest part of being a working mum is balance – thankfully we have yet to experience Pip having a sick day but the time will come when we have to work out who is best placed to stay at home to look after her. I also find that as long as I/we are organised we are ok, but that if we forget anything, it can trigger rather a chain of stressful events.
The days are also quite rushed. In order to make it to the nursery by 6pm I have to leave at 5pm and no later, which can be tricky when you are engrossed in work or trying to get something finished. The journey home is not very relaxing as I am usually rushing, but as with everything, you get used to it. Tube and bus delays make me quite annoyed.
And how do you still find time for yourself?
Pre-returning to work, I couldn’t go to the loo by myself, drink a cup of coffee whenever I wanted or sit down uninterrupted for 20 minutes twice a day. At work, no one shouts for hours in a language I don’t understand, or insists on holding onto my leg everywhere I go, so it feels like time for myself. But, it is still work. So, time for myself happens after the baby is in bed, which is admittedly not much, seeing as how early bedtime needs to be. Weekday evenings, my husband and I try to find a balance of each person going to events that they need to. We try to see friends and family at the weekend and find a balance of spending time alone and together. It’s a constantly evolving process which requires precise diary management and good communication. We are working on it!
Rachel blogs at The Little Pip about surviving motherhood and living in London with a baby. She lives in North London with her husband, baby Pip and their cat Delilah.