Life You Got Me!! {How being a working Mum has knocked me off my feet!!}

Life You Got Me!! {How being a working Mum has knocked me off my feet!!} I’ve always been the kind of person who loves being busy, thrived on it even. You know the saying ‘if you want something doing then ask a busy person!’. Well that was me, the one with all the plates spinning in the air, and then I’d take on an extra project, you know just for good measure.

But that was the old me. The me before I became a Mum. The me before I took a year off work to concentrate on being the best Mum I could be and the me before I had something fun to live day-to-day for, rather than just working and living for the weekend.

Since then things have changed! Maybe it’s because we’re renovating a house, because I’ve started writing this blog, because we’re trying to create a new tiny human or simply because I am now a parent to a crazy little tinker who makes my heart burst with happiness she’s so fun to be around. Whatever it is, I have finally come to the point where I can happily admit… I’ve taken too much on and life has well and truly got me by the balls, metaphorically speaking.

A few weeks ago, I upped my hours at work and I think that’s what’s done me in! I’d heard the term ‘working mum‘ before but hadn’t actually given it much thought. I mean it’s a Mum who goes to work right? No wrong, very wrong!! Being a ‘working mum’ is someone who is continually knackered for one thing – I’m discovering that! But popping that to one side for a second, a working mum is also someone who has to make sacrifices on a daily basis, like ‘Do I have a tidy house this week, or should I go out and have fun with the children?’ Do I call that friend I’ve been wanting to speak to all month, or do I do the ironing? Do I have a chilled out Sunday with friends or an organised week where there’s petrol in the car, food in the cupboards and the meals are planned? There just aren’t enough hours in the universe to do everything and upping my hours to almost full time has completely knocked me off my feet!

I’ve never really been one to let things get on top of me, and I don’t really know why I’m finding this so hard, but I’m struggling and I’m miserable and it’s not a good place to be! The most ridiculous thing is that I absolutely loved being back at work when I first started. (you can read my interview with Organised Jo here). I loved the adult conversation, the hot cups of tea and the fact I was using my brain again. But that was when I was only working three days a week, since then my annual leave has run out so I’m working the 33 hours I agreed to back in April when I was negotiating my return to work.

I was pregnant then so my plan was to work full-time and sneak off again around Christmas time. I had initially asked for part-time, but my request was refused. Looking on the bright side, I consoled myself with the fact that because I was pregnant, I would only have to work full-time for a few months and then I’d hit maternity leave again. The extra pay would certainly be beneficial to the bank balance, and the loss of a few days with Ettie would be a small sacrifice to pay if I was to be rewarded with another year on full-time maternity benefits…. The problem is, we lost the baby and my plan has backfired massively!

Pre-baby I loved my job, I stayed late if I needed to and even worked weekends if it was required. I was a hard-working, conscientious and valued employee, but since being back, I just can’t seem to get my brain into gear. I spend my days faffing about on the internet, or flicking through photos of Ettie on my phone, and if I do get my teeth into something, I feel guilty because I’ve dared to think about something else, rather than being Ettie’s Mum.

I’ve always been someone who puts in 110% at everything I do, the problem is at the moment I can’t put 10% into anything – not work, having a tidy house or being a mum. There just isn’t enough time! On the one hand I know I’m being ridiculous, not everyone has the luxury of working part-time. Some of my most respected Mum friends work full-time and they are brilliant! Yes they don’t like it, but they aren’t being all moaning Myrtle about it like me! I know I need to snap out of it, but then when I do things like pick Ettie up from nursery, forget to ask if she’s had a nap, drag her round the park so we can have some ‘fun’ and then realise mid-way that she is completely shattered and just wants to go to sleep, I feel shit! If I’d have been at home with her I would have known that she was tired and let her rest, and so the mum guilt starts all over!

I’m not silly and realise the stress probably does have something to do with the fact that this wasn’t my plan. By now I should be winding down the hours, getting ready to begin maternity leave all over again, but instead my workload is increasing! Ettie’s getting funnier and more independent by the day and so the morning goodbyes are getting harder and all the while my bloody period just keeps on coming! I can sense my Mam reading this in a panic, getting on the phone to Stu to check that I’m ok (I’m fine Mum!) I always am. The only comparison I can think of is that returning to work is a little like a break up. No one has died and it certainly isn’t the end of the world, but it is a change and a big change at that so it is going to take some getting used to. I’m sure I will… and that’s probably when I’ll get pregnant again! Life is good at throwing little tricks at us like that!

So my question to all your lovely Mums is, did this happen to you? Am I just being a moaning myrtle or is this some surge of left over hormone you get 12+ months after having a baby Answers on a postcard – or in the comments box below will do xx

 

 

 

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25 Comments

  1. This Mama Can
    19th October 2017 / 12:34 pm

    Aww I feel for you! I am due back end of January, also had a request for 3 days a week refused (will be doing 4 longer days) and I’m dreading it! I should be completing my CIPD at present but im also feeling the guilt if im not devoting all my attention to my baby.. I hope it gets easier! X

    • 19th October 2017 / 12:40 pm

      I think it does (people keep telling me it does anyway) Completely understand your guilt, I was supposed to do my RTPI accreditation on maternity leave but never even opened my books. If there’s an option to leave it until you get back or maybe dedicate one morning a fortnight to it now, do that and take the pressure off yourself xxx Good luck xx

  2. 19th October 2017 / 9:34 pm

    I totally struggled going back to work, you’re not alone! So much so I quit in the end and now blog around the children and childcare, but that was after my third child.

    • 19th October 2017 / 10:15 pm

      Thanks Jenny, I think it’s something I’ll have to reassess when (if we have another) Maybe a loss makes you want to hold them tighter? Thank you for commenting xx

  3. Jilly
    20th October 2017 / 1:22 pm

    So sorry to hear about your miscarriage 🙁

    I really want to go part time at work to start my own business but I’m staying full time for maternity benefits whenever a baby eventually comes along.
    I have no idea how full time working mums cope! Xx

    • 20th October 2017 / 9:55 pm

      I know Jilly! All I can say is that it involves a lot of sacrifice! I’m really hoping I can go part time if we have another baby but my request was refused once so we’ll just have to wait and see :/ xx

  4. Kate Wilson
    23rd October 2017 / 9:20 pm

    Working and having a little person is sooo hard! All those feelings you’re having are totally normal and natural! I went back to 4 (long, long) days when Rory was only 9 months and never seem to have any time for anything. Everyone always tells me to take time to relax, but when?! Re the mum guilt, i take consolation by reminding myself they don’t have any concept of time so probably think we’ve just left the room for a few minutes!

    Rememver youre not alone, you’re doing amazingly and try to enjoy those hot teas and adult convo at work before you have a new born again (and you will!) who zaps even more time and energy from ye! Xxx xxx

    • 25th October 2017 / 6:06 pm

      Thanks Kate!! Very wise words!! There just aren’t enough hours in the day but hopefully we can make up for that by going on nice holidays with our wages 😘😘😘 xxx

  5. 23rd October 2017 / 11:19 pm

    So sorry to hear about your miscarriage. I’m 5 months in to maternity leave and am struggling with how I feel about going back. I’m genuinely so happy at home with my little one, when I thought it would be the opposite. I hope you can find something that works for you x

    • 25th October 2017 / 6:08 pm

      Oh Erin my advice would be not to think about it for the time being and just enjoy being at home. The thought of going back to work when Ettie was 5 months would have put my head in a spin! Enjoy every moment of snuggles. 5 months is such a lovely age 😄 xx

  6. 24th October 2017 / 8:59 am

    I am so sad to hear about your miscarriage.

    I think you are smashing it as a working Mum – be kind to yourself and don’t over do things xx #dreamteam

    • 25th October 2017 / 6:08 pm

      Thankyou!!! Very wise words! Xx

  7. 24th October 2017 / 12:13 pm

    I’m so sorry about your miscarriage – I just had one a few months ago and it also threw my work plans all out of whack. It can be really hard to balance it all – I currently work 4 days a week and never feel like I have enough time to parent, or complete my projects, or pursue my own hobbies. That being said, I think 4 days a week is probably the right balance for me, at least right now – I hope you find a balance that works for you too. #dreamteam

    • 25th October 2017 / 6:10 pm

      Oh no I’m so sorry to hear about your misscarrige and hope you’re doing ok. I don’t think I dealt with mine properly at the time which is why I think it resurfaced later. Sending you huge hugs xxx

  8. 26th October 2017 / 3:38 pm

    Sending hugs, I’m sorry to hear about your miscarriage. I totally get the working mum stuff (I’d literally do anything to stay at home!) and I ‘only’ work 3 days a week and often tell myself to stop moaning about it… Sometimes it’s so genuinely hard to keep all the plates spinning! Be kind to yourself and make sure you focus on what makes you happy xx #BloggerClubUK

    • 27th October 2017 / 12:50 pm

      Thankyou! I think someone should invent a time machine for mums! Never more have I wanted to be in two places at the same time!! Thankyou for commenting xx

  9. 26th October 2017 / 11:02 pm

    Yes!! I am also feeling this! I’m also lucky enough to work part time, but all of those time dilemmas you’ve described are me every week! I’m so sorry for your loss too. I hope you are ok. You’ll get there on the making another baby front, I’m sure. Thanks for linking this up with #DreamTeam! xxx

    • 27th October 2017 / 12:54 pm

      Thankyou, I think it’s hard no matter how many hours we work. Trying to fit everything is just an impossible task. Thankyou for your comment and good luck sorting through the dilemmas this week 😉 xx

  10. 26th October 2017 / 11:52 pm

    Wow this takes me back. I LOVED my career and wanted to go back full time after my first. I was so excited to get back, only I realised after a couple of months that no matter how much I tried, when I was at work I was never actually fully there. Like you, I used to work every hour under the sun, then extra if needed. I didn’t want to do that anymore, and I couldn’t wait to get out of the door at the end of my day. I missed a huge chunk of Amelia’s first milestones which bothered me immensely. She was closer to my mum than she was to me for the first year of her life. In the end, I just left. I handed my business over to someone fresh (and childless) and I took a part time job working in my daughter’s nursery. That for me was an amazing balance. I was told I couldn’t have nay more children after Amelia, so when I fell pregnant with Wills needless to say I was a touch shocked. I’ve not been back to work since he was born, and things have been so different with him (although I will say that he’s a lot more dependant on me than Amelia ever was). I plan to make blogging my career, and I’ll never go back to regular work if I can help it. I hope you find your balance xxx #fortheloveofBLOG

    • 27th October 2017 / 1:02 pm

      Oh wow this is such an incredible story in more ways that one. Thankyou so much for sharing. Its exactly what I needed to hear. It must have been such a huge decision to give up everything like that and I’m so glad it worked out for you. I think it’s important to highlight women can take a step back from their career and should be proud to do so if they feel it’s right for them. I feel there’s so much pressure to use our brains because our mums didn’t have as many choices …. Which is amazing but not for everyone!! And I am SO happy you got your Wills. What a lovely outcome and I’m sure the experience made you hold him tighter. Thankyou so much for sharing such an inspiring story xx

  11. 27th October 2017 / 10:49 pm

    When I went back to work after Reuben it was fine. I worked 9.30-2.30 Monday to Thursday. The hours were great. When he got older I increased to 30 hours a week and it was fine. I’m now back to work after Jessica working 30 hours over 4 days. I’m exhausted and just not feeling it. I hope it’s a phase that will ease but who knows. #HoneybeeLinky

    • 27th October 2017 / 11:48 pm

      Yes fingers crossed it gets easier for you. I think we all have our own routines and it’s hard to know what works best until we’ve tried it. I think if I had a whole day off a week to do an activity with her I’d feel less guilty. Hope you start to feel it soon xx

  12. mebeingmummy
    30th October 2017 / 12:51 am

    Bless you, I really feel for you after reading this lovely. Sometimes plans don’t work out as we had hoped them to, but you haven’t failed and you are doing a great job so try to be nicer to yourself and give mum guilt the finger. Ettie is tired because she has been having lots of fun adventure whilst you are at work. It is so easy to spread oneself too thin, but try and make some time to drop everything that is stressful and grab some you time. All will work out my lovely, life always has a way of swinging things round. Thank you for joining in with #HoneybeeLinky! Hope to see you for the next one xxx

  13. 30th October 2017 / 9:10 pm

    I really feel for you and can relate to at least part of your story. I’m so sorry about the loss of your baby. When I returned to work last year I was determined that it wouldn’t be for long and we were lucky that I fell pregnant quickly and thankfully all was well. However maternity leave number two will finish soon and I’m going back to work full time. As you’ve said here, I worry I won’t be giving even 50 per cent to anything, parenting or work related let alone the housework and keeping up with friends. I’m going to miss my babies so much and I hate the thought of missing any milestones in their lives. I don’t know what the solution is but I guess it just gets easier? Or you have to make a big and bold change. I would love to go freelance and work for myself from home so I can have my girls with me always. That’s the dream anyway! Thanks for sharing with #fortheloveofBLOG

    • 2nd November 2017 / 5:11 pm

      Thankyou I know I keep thinking I want to be freelance too but think I would actually miss the office! It’s so hard! If only someone would invent something so we could be in two places at once!! Good luck going back to work. Hope it’s ok xx

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