Hello it’s been a while since I published an interview from The Mummy Juggle series, but as I’ve been sitting at home on Maternity leave for the past few months, it felt a bit strange talking about the struggle of balancing work and family life. Not that sitting at home with children is any easier, it definitely has it’s own set of challenges, but they are different to juggling work, home and the commute and so I thought I would take a break from this series until I myself was back at work!
And here I am, two weeks in and its going great! I was really nervous about going back to work this time because I found the whole experience very difficult last time, (I wrote about it in more detail here: Life You Got Me, How Being a Working Mum has knocked me off my feet, if you’d like to find out more.) This time however I have a new manager who’s let me return on a part time basis, I have a new project to get my teeth into and basically seem to have more energy all round (for work, the children and sorting the house) so I’m feeling really positive which can only be a good thing.
But enough about me, let’s get back to The Mummy Juggle. For those of you who don’t know, ‘The Mummy Juggle’ is a series designed with Mums in mind to share stories and inspiration about how to cope with the day-to-day struggle of juggling work and family life. A struggle I’ve affectionately named ‘The Mummy Juggle’,
The Mummy Juggle: ‘The non-stop juggling act of being a mother, holding down a job, running a home and generally being an all round superwoman!’
If you’d like to know more about how other Mums balance it all then read on. This month I’ve been talking to Cheryl from ‘I Want Never Gets’ blog about how she coped with returning to work after having her first baby and her plans for the future with baby number 2 on the way…
Cheryl | I Want Never Gets
It’s been almost twelve months since I returned to work after having Lissia and I’m happy to say it’s just three weeks until I get to spend another year with her. I’m 34 weeks pregnant with our second and due to start maternity leave very soon.
Last time, after almost thirteen months immersed in motherhood, I had mixed emotions about returning to work. But I did look forward to being ‘me’ again and not always ‘mummy’. I didn’t return to my existing job as Consumer PR Manager for a well-known healthcare company; I was made redundant nine months into my maternity leave.
It was an anxious time having to find a new role when I’d been out of action for months and I resented having to apply for new roles and prepare for interviews when I should have been focusing on the precious time left with my daughter. But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Financially it meant we were better off and I was lucky enough to land the second role I applied for, so I could relax again for a few months.
A new job also meant a new focus. I wasn’t simply stepping back into my previous role but was starting a new opportunity as a media officer for a national charity – this really helped me to adjust back into the world of work. The vacancy had been advertised as full-time but I was able to negotiate this down to four days per week and have every Wednesday off.
Despite the extra day off, the juggle is real. Four days is really just one day shy of working full-time and I loathe to spend this time doing chores and life admin when it’s my one day just me and Lissia. That’s why I get all the help I can. I’m lucky to have a cleaner who comes weekly and a dog walker, who comes twice a week. Honestly, if you’re able to get help – even if just from your partner – do it! I know we all wish to be super mums that can have and do it all but you’ll ultimately have to make a sacrifice somewhere, and it’s all too often than not, looking after yourself!
This is something I still struggle with. Liss has been going through a phase of waking early doors and at almost two still doesn’t sleep consistently through the night. Although she does more often than not I still find myself in her room settling her in the middle of the night a couple of times a week. Because of this I have a strict bedtime – 9pm. I don’t necessarily go to sleep straight-away, I’m trying to read more but the goal is to be asleep by 10pm, so that if she wakes at 5am, I’ve still managed seven hours. But this does mean my evenings are short. After dinner there’s very little time to actually do anything for myself and by 8pm I’m getting pretty tired – pregnancy obviously contributing to this.
It’s for this reason I have already, with agreement from Ben (husband), decided that after this next 12 months I’ll return to work for just three days a week. Four days means I’m at work more than I’m with my family – and that just doesn’t sit right with me. Not while they’re so young. In an ideal world I’d work from home or set up my own business but I’m still waiting for that epiphany – a money making scheme, doing something I actually enjoy. Perhaps the next twelve months will inspire me.
Cherly runs a lifestyle and family blog I Want Never Gets with a keen interest in beauty. If you’d like to find out more you can find her on Instagram @CherylFlounders, Twitter @Iwantnevergets, and Facebook @Iwantnevergets
I set up the Mummy Juggle series as I was interested in hearing from other Mums on how they deal with the daily struggle of working life in the hope that it will provide a place for Mums to share tips on how to make life a little easier. If you enjoyed this post and have a story to tell that you would like to see featured, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be great to hear from you x