Returning to work after having Ettie was a huge hurdle I wasn’t expecting to climb. The impact of trying to juggle running a home, maintaining focus at work and having enough time to spend quality time with Ettie really knocked me off my feet and it was something I wasn’t expecting. Pre-Ettie I loved my job, worked hard, stayed late when I needed to and was 100% involved in projects. Because of that I fully expected to be the same when I returned, however a few months in I discovered I’d actually returned to work a different person and my main focus is now the 3ft tall little bundle of cheekiness I leave at home every morning.
I decided to set up this series as I’m interested to hear from other Mums and how they deal with the daily struggle of balancing too many plates in the air at one time time! 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!
Whilst some mums return to work because they enjoy it and want to gain a little independence after having a baby, others are left with little choice financially so they return to work to pay the mortgage. Some supermums even say enough is enough and set up their own business so they can work from home and manage work around their children. Whatever the situation, being a working mum is hard and every mum has their own story to tell so as part of this feature I invite Mums to share their stories on working life, how they are coping (or not), what compromises they have to make and do they have any advice for other mums who may be in a similar situation.
This month we hear from Jo who runs a lovely blog dedicated to baby nutrition at Weaningful.com. Jo is a Romanian living in the UK working 30 hours a week for a commercial real estate company whilst trying to build up her blog, which she started because she is passionate about baby nutrition, food labels and healthy eating.
Over to Jo….
I am writing this as I am sitting upright on a pillow, next to my one year old daughter Emma, who is still sleeping. It is 8.35 am and I chose not to sleep longer. It’s one of the choices I make daily, really. Not to sleep when she sleeps so that I can work, write, read, pin or do something remotely connected to what I do to make a living.
I am a Romanian living in the UK, working 30 hours a week for a commercial real estate company and blogging for almost 3 months now.
How do I juggle everything?
Actually, I don’t think I am juggling it, more like taking each day as it comes. I have dropped any planning (me, who couldn’t live without having the whole week sorted out beforehand). I have dropped any illusion of free time. A mom never takes breaks. There is something constantly requiring your attention.
Returning to work after a one year maternity leave was something like a dream. I was living in this “baby world” for 12 months! How could I possibly go back to what I did before that? Would I know how to send an email again? That what was going on in my head. Luckily, the company offered me a work from home position and that suited me wonderfully. I was to work Monday to Thursday. My husband works Friday to Sunday, so we were a perfect match. I still can’t believe how lucky we are to have the week divided like this.
Living away from family and friends is probably the hardest part. There is no one to give you a hand when your spouse can’t. We do get help from them about once per year, when they come to visit. But other than that, it’s Whatsapp calls and messaging back and forth.
Did I mention we live in a 4x4m room most of the time? That’s where I work, where we sleep and where Emma plays, sleeps and eats. I somehow manage to type and click away at my laptop without waking her up. I have one hand on my keyboard and one hand stretched towards her with breakfast, as my husband gets ready for his day ahead with her.
It’s almost 9 and Emma shows signs of waking up. I keep my hand on her back to maybe extend her sleep for a few minutes. I think multitasking was invented by a mom. It’s the only way we can manage this wonderful job that we can never resign.
Wow thank-you Jo, you truly are a master juggler and doing a wonderful job, especially given that you are living so far away from family and friends. Thank-you for sharing your story and introducing me to your beautiful website.
If you have a story to tell and would like to take part in this guest series, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be great to hear from you x