I’m fortunate enough to work for a fab company and have a great manager who has agreed to my flexible working request. The current set up means I work mainly from home for my two day jobshare, with one day per month in the office near Liverpool Street in London. I have a wonderful team, a boss that values me and a jobshare partner that I class as a friend. On paper this sounds utterly idyllic, especially when you compare my situation to the poor women who are forced back to full time employment after maternity leave because they will lose their jobs otherwise. The reality can seem anything but blissful though. Take last Thursday for example, my first office day of the new year.
I was shattered on Wednesday evening. Totally exhausted after putting the girls to bed and giving the boy his last feed of almost two hours. I had a long list of things I wanted to achieve but was rendered incapable of doing much more than staring into space. I even forgot to set my alarm, and for the first time in goodness knows how long all the kids slept past 6am. Instead of rejoicing at this miracle I leapt out of bed cursing. I had 35 minutes to get ready, pack my bag, sort out food to take with, and shovel as much breakfast into the baby as I possibly could.
Needless to say it was a stress induced rush, and for the first time in weeks I was shouty and not very pleasant. When I did leave the house it was amid floods of tears, and I felt wretched leaving him behind with no time for a feed. I had to push the WMG* away as I ran down the road to catch my train, realising that I’d forgotten my purse and couldn’t even console myself with a coffee on my way in. My next challenge involved a train cancellation, and resulted in me being twenty minutes late. Thank goodness for that awesome boss of mine!
As you can imagine my office days end up being rather full, with as much packed in as I can muster. In theory this is fine but often results in a tail chasing day and double the work next time. I don’t usually take a break but as I’d not seen them in ages, I had one on Thursday for a coffee/gossip with a couple of mummy colleagues.Also the blood donation people were in our office, and as I’ve not been able to donate for over six years due to being pregnant or nursing a newborn, it felt like a good opportunity to do so.
Things like this never go to plan though do they. My appointment was seriously delayed, and what I remembered previously being 15 minutes max took over an hour all up. I felt lightheaded afterwards but couldn’t sit down and waste any more time, so grabbed a couple of biscuits for a quick energy fix instead. I was back at my desk for less than ten minutes before it was time to pack up. Thankfully I’d checked my trains in advance because my regular route had been cancelled, and I had to go another way which was running to time but got me home almost half an hour later.
I walked through the door wanting to collapse in a heap and nurse my sore arm, but had bedtime to contend with and a little boy who wanted his two hours of boobies. Of course the kids were up at the crack of dawn on Friday, but at least they all slept all night. My workload was insane, and the sigh of relief immense when clock off time rolled round and I said goodbye to my job for another five days. Right now I’m caught between the proverbial rock and hard place – there are many positives but it’s far from being completely rosy.
And that dear readers is the truth about being a part time (mostly) work at home mum, that also writes!
*WMG = working mummy guilt, a common first world problem