Struggling with work and being a Mum!(4 Posts)
My DS is 15mo and I've been back at work 2 months. I was really lucky and got the 3 days a week I wanted....but I'm struggling!
I have to work a longish day (8-5) but have to do both nursery runs. On top of that my job is stressful and some of my colleagues seem unsympathetic to my hours and expect the same level of output. I'm also putting pressure on myself to do it and not give anyone reason to doubt my part time hours. Added to this I've been there a long time and only really stayed for maternity leave. I'm under challenged but stressed and tired. I don't know what to do as I need to work for my sanity and finances! Part time jobs seem so hard to come by and my job is quite niche.
I do feel for you. I went back to work 4 days a week when my DD1 was 6 months old and then when I had DD2 I took off a year and then went back on an even more part time (more like 2 days a week on an adhoc consultancy basis). I found both situations v hard. When working 4 days a week I was basically doing exactly the same job but for 4/5 of pay and in 4/5 of time, which as you can imagine made me very stressed and tired, as obviously with a small baby my 'days off' were not days off at all so I NEVER stopped. I hated the 2 day thing even more - it sounded perfect on paper, but in practice I got given all the worst, most awful contracts that no one else wanted to deal with and had very little support. I stopped work for a couple of years when I had 3rd DC, but am now working again 4 days a week - which is still very difficult to juggle as really my job is a full time type and people get annoyed about me not being there and I do get stressed.
In my experience I would say that it is always a bit of a struggle juggling children and work BUT it does get much much easier and the balance of reward etc is more visible and easier to manage as the children are older and more independent of you. Your DS is still tiny. I didn't really recover full functionality or sanity until my youngest child was about 3 yrs old. All in all I would say that once children are not in the 'baby' stage the whole work / life balance is easier to manage. That may not sound like a great deal of help or comfort right now at this moment, but there might be an element of just thinking to yourself keep your head down, struggle on and get through it for now and then when your DS is a little older and things are easier you can look again at what you actually WANT to do / career progression / more interesting stuff and how to make it all work
Thank you Nelly. It's reassuring to hear your experiences. I think you are right about 'keeping my head down' for the next couple of years and then start thinking about my career then. I just don't have the mental capacity for anything new/more challenging! I'm hoping I'm still in adjustment mode now so fingers crossed things do get a bit easier as it is!!
I went back 4 days when dc was 9 months old and found it exhausting. I second what Nelly said about keeping your head down for the next year or so if you can, my DC is 3 now and it's a lot easier to manage now that we're all sleeping more! I found a new job and went back full time almost a year ago now and would have found the juggling childcare & work too much before that.
I found that the more you do it, the easier it gets and the more 'shortcuts' you learn to make life easier for yourself e.g. supermarket delivery, train connection times etc.
The support from your employer and colleagues makes a world of difference. Can you discuss other ways of managing your workload with your manager?
When I was working 4 days a week my boss even joked that it was great that I was doing 5 days worth of work in 4 (I wasn't too impressed - what about the extra days pay?!).
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