I just read Scary Mommy’s recent post on her feelings about returning to work after having her children, and it got me thinking about my view on the whole thing …
It didn’t take me more than 5 minutes to decide whether or not I wanted to return to work. I decided before I even went on maternity leave that I definitely did not want to go back. I hated the job I was in (full time) and couldn’t wait to get out of there.
Unfortunately money doesn’t grow on trees and it’s illegal to make your own so in the end it turned out that I had no choice but to return. My husband and I discussed it no end and eventually settled on returning to work part time. I was DREADING it, every time I thought about it I felt so sad. I didn’t want to miss Small’s first steps, first word or the first time he sat up on his own. I wanted to be a ‘proper’ mum who did productive and educational stuff with her kids every day, moulding them into brilliant and well-rounded little people. More than that though, I realised another, more pressing reason for not wanting to go back to work. It wasn’t sadness over leaving my children in nursery – it was a more selfish sorrow I felt for myself. I didn’t like the job before I left it, and although I would undoubtedly miss my children, it was this underlying dread of returning to a job that I disliked – and to be frank – couldn’t do very well that made me so reluctant. I knew though, that whatever happened I had no choice but to return to work, and so when my youngest was 5 months old that’s what I did.
And I love it.
I work 3 days a week, Mon-Wed, and so does my husband (although he fits in a full time job during those 3 days) and then we have a 4 day ‘weekend’ as a family. It’s great to be able to spend time together, and although I do miss them while they’re at nursery, I revel in the opportunity to be ‘Me’. And you know what? I’m not so bad at my job now – perhaps my negativity was an obstacle before.
So no, leaving full-time employment is not for everyone, and I now doubt very much that I would stay sane if I stayed at home full-time, but yes, part-time was the way forward for me!