Thursday 15 September 2016

Dinosaurs before dishes #TBT

I wrote this post just over a year ago, when I went from part-time (4 days a week) to full-time work. I like to reflect on my thoughts and feelings and see how things may have changed since and wanted to share this again as it's something that a lot of mums, and dads, can find difficult...

Being a mum is a full time job, of course, and it can be full on. Finding time to run a household, do all those daily tasks that need doing and take care of a little one too, let alone yourself, is quite a challenge and one I write about and reflect on just as much as any other mum, blogger or otherwise.

Then there's work.

I love what I do and I knew I would always be a working mum. It's just something I knew would need to happen, to keep us going and give us the chance to do what we need to, long before Ethan was a bean in my belly. I had worked for almost eight years developing my career at the time I went on maternity leave and it was always in my plan to return. To keep busy. To put food on the table. To give me a chance to play another role, with big people in the big wide world.

It doesn't mean it was an easy choice. In many ways, it was a decision made for me; financially, it was a necessity. But when Ethan came along, and those maternity days just starting slipping away, it was a hard choice to make.

You can never know how you will feel or how things may change but you should be prepared for the unexpected and if you can have a choice, then take it. Being a stay at home mum isn't an easy option; it's demanding, tiring, draining but so rewarding too. To be devoted to your child and their development, day in and day out, 24 hours a day. Incredible.

Some may say that this is what being a mum or a parent is all about. Should be all about. After all, we decided to be parents, to bring our bundle of joy into the world. We should be the ones to bring them up, surely?

Well, that may be the case for many and for those that can make it work, great - good luck to you, you're doing what's right for you. Unfortunately, if you have to work to make ends meet and to lead the life you want your family to lead, then working is the only answer. And if you've worked hard for your career, then why shouldn't you want to return after having a child?

Life today isn't black and white, we have choices and we have to come to our own conclusions and feel satisfied with the choices we make. Having a family or having a career shouldn't be an either / or situation.

As parents, we know this. But it doesn't make either choice any easier to take. It always seems like anything we do, we need to make a sacrifice somewhere. Money. Time. Being there. Staying sane. No matter which way you decide to go, you'll be playing many different roles at the same time. And it's hard but you can make it work.

I am about to start working full time hours at work, having worked four days a week (whilst being available and doing work when needed on a Wednesday) since Ethan was eight months and one day old. On the one hand, I feel sad to say that I only have three more Wednesdays with Ethan.

Three more Mummy-Ethan days.

It's been so nice to have this mid-week break from work to spend with my little man but needs must. Ethan loves nursery and is so well developed and so social that I believe that if I had been at home with him every day since the day he was born, he wouldn't be quite as advanced and adjusted as he is now. I don't have the skills or professional qualifications. My qualification to bring up this amazing little boy is biological - I didn't have to sit any tests or go through any selection procedure. He was my blessing, given at birth, and I've had to learn on the job.

From day one and for every day since, I'm learning how to become mum and whilst I'm sure that I would have found a way, giving Ethan the chance to grow and flourish at nursery was the best decision for us and for him.

So we will have a new routine come August where Ethan and Mummy are full time in their day jobs. Our time in the evenings and at weekends will be even more precious and the only way to make it work it to make time for everything we need and to really appreciate every moment.

Ethan, I promise to be present, both in person and in what I do. Spending time with you is my favourite thing and if we are together now, I promise to do all I can not to be distracted by anything else.

There's an advert at the moment foNescafĂ©, about little everyday moments, which says 'dinosaurs before dishes'. And in our house, this is particularly relevant but it's something I will try to hold close to heart.

I will find a way to get those dishes done, but if I'm at home with you, Ethan, I will make sure that it's always dinosaurs before dishes. Because you're the best job I could ever have.


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