It’s a dilemma we all face as mothers, do we go back to work after having a baby or do we stay at home? For some, the decision is made for us and that in itself can be even more difficult to handle. For others, it’s a real process to work out what it is that we want to do. After working as a Paramedic, starting and growing my business, I can tell you there are a few things to love about being a working mum.
Even now as I’m pregnant with our little girl and have taken maternity leave, the question still remains… When will I go back to work? Will I go back to work? There are definitely some things I miss (and things I love) about being a working mum.
1 – I get to talk to other adults.
I know this might sound a little odd but after only talking to a baby and your husband for a few days in a row, you may start to feel a little cray cray.
Conversations with your husband revolve around poop, vomit and breastfeeding and your little chats with your baby often are the same – with a small amount of negotiating (please little man, if you sleep for just 5 hours straight I’ll play with you all day tomorrow, okay 4 hours… just 4 hours. Alright, alright, 3 hours and Mummy will be so happy).
After a while, you crave those conversations about the latest office gossip, the most controversial news and political stories and the dating dramas of your best friend. Getting back to work allows you to have these conversations with real life adults (well, mostly).
2 – I get to hold onto something I had pre-mummy.
Prior to having my son, I worked full time as a Paramedic. I had worked full time hours since I was 15 (I also went to school while working full time hours – overachiever much?) and the idea of not going to work was a difficult concept for me. But as soon as my son was born I just wanted to spend every second with him.
I had 8 months off work and to be honest, I missed it. I loved my job and I was so proud of my career. I felt like I needed to hold onto this – I needed to be a mummy and a Paramedic. I poured so much into gaining my qualification and it feels amazing to be able to do both. I love how my son gets excited when he see’s an Ambulance and I love how happy he is to see me when I pick him up after I finish work.
It’s been a struggle fitting my pre-mummy and mummy lives together – fitting my career and my life into the same mould. But it’s so important to me to hold onto that pre-mummy role in my life.
3 – I am proud to be contributing to the family income.
As I said, prior to having my son I worked full time and ever since I started working I was paying my own way. I’m lucky enough to be able to work part-time and have a fantastic employer who allows me to choose the hours I work. However, working part-time has meant that I’ve had a massive decrease in pay.
While that was obviously expected, it is still a difficult mental hurdle to overcome. My husband doesn’t hold it against me and is so grateful for me working and contributing to the family income. And he is so supportive of my business, which contributes even more.
This was something I really struggled with at the start, I felt that because I wasn’t contributing as much that I wasn’t able to go and buy myself a new shirt or treat myself to lunch out with a friend. Thankfully this is something I’ve overcome and we both agree that finances aren’t everything (but they sure do help).
4 – I make sure I schedule in time for just my son and I.
Before I went back to work this was something I had never really thought of. After all, my son and I were together all the time. But when I went back to work I realised scheduling in time is completely different. I am even more mindful of this now that I work both away from home and at home as well.
One of our favourite things to do together is to go to our local cafe, have a ‘babycino’ and just chat. I ask him about his day, how he is and what’s been happening. Sure, the conversation is candid with a four year old but for that time he has my undivided attention and he knows it.
5 – I’m still smashing through my life goals.
I have to admit, I was worried that when I went back to work all I would be doing was working and being a mum. Which is a huge achievement in itself… but I still had goals I wanted to achieve and dreams I wanted to make a reality.
And I’m doing them! You know the old adage that if you want something done, ask someone who is busy? Well, it’s true! I’m more organised than ever, achieving more than ever and I’ve never had so much on my plate at once. And you know what? I love it. I feel so in control of my own life and feel like I can achieve anything I want. It is amazing.
There are so many things to love about being a working mum that sometimes it helps balance out the days when we have to say goodbye to our little ones for 10 hours at a time. This isn’t in any way meant to polarise working mums and stay at home mums. I think regardless of what we do, we are always doing our best.
[Tweet “Working mum, stay at home mum, or something between – we are all doing our best #supportmums”]
This is purely designed to be a post to uplift and help mumma’s who work to not feel so guilty – because I know some days that’s exactly what we feel like. Ther are ways of doing all of these things even if you don’t work away from home as a mum, but these are some of the highlights that help me on the days when I don’t want to leave my little man.
What do you love about being a working mum?