Some of you may know that I work in early years education. When I finished work at 34 weeks pregnant with Cassius I knew I wouldn’t be returning to the job I had just finished. Distance and the stress in the lead up to my maternity leave had just been too much for me. It’s more than likely the reason I ended up having another baby pre-term… (note to self: if we ever decide to have a third baby I need to make sure I am doing a less stressful job!!). In fact, I wasn’t actually sure I would return to work at all. Changes in circumstances had meant that childcare options (I.e. my family) that we had used previously weren’t available to us so it would mean paying for childcare (which if you use childcare you will know is a bloody huge expense!!) So the plan was that I may in fact become a stay at home mother and I kind of liked the idea.
Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. I am just not that kind of mother or person. I hated the fact I wouldn’t have my ow income and that I wouldn’t be doing a job I loved. Don’t get me wrong I love my kids but I also love my job! And why does becoming a mother mean I have to love my job any less?
I ended up looking for another job and found a position in a local preschool as a support worker, working 15 hours a week. Ideal! I also managed to find a wonderful local Childminder to have the kids. Both within walking distance! Perfect. Gradually the hours I was doing crept up. Completely by choice. I can’t help it I am a bit of a workaholic. Before Christmas my manager called me into the office asking if I would like a different position that had become available and to become a full time member of staff. Needless to say I jumped at the offer!
There we have it. From January I become a full time working mum. My kids go to the Childminder three days a week (Aoife qualifies for the 30 hours of funded childcare and Cassius qualifies for a tax free childcare account* so I am earning some money at least!), 1 day with their Nanny and the final day with Luke.
Of course, with working full time and spending all this time away from the kids does come a significant amount of guilt. My mum asked if I was sure I was happy working full time as I would miss out on so much, which bloody hell, made me feel terrible but you know what I am happy working full time. I really do love what I do. Yes it may seem silly to some that I send my kids off to a Childminder to go and look after other people’s kids but that is unfortunately the way it is! I chose this career. I work term time only so I do still get quality time with my kids. I bedshare so I spend all the hours of the night with my kids. I breastfeed both children so I am still the main source of attachment and comfort for my children. As I write this on the final evening before returning to work after a week off, I am actually in my 3 year olds bed nursing her to sleep! I am still a mother. Being a mother is my number 1 priority, but that doesn’t mean I am not allowed a career.
*I highly recommend looking up the tax free childcare account if you are UK based and paying for childcare. You get money back for every x amount you pay in! In a few months I will get enough money back to cover a month of childcare fees!