the sisterhood
Unsugar Coated Motherhood

Knowing Where My Bread is Buttered

bread butter

I work for a big corporate firm in the City of London, and while it’s much trendier to slate the ‘fat cats’ and all their trappings of City life I’d like to show my appreciation for it. You see I’ve worked in the City since I was cut a very lucky break at eighteen years old, it’s where I grew up. I loved the vibe and thrill of being among it all when I was younger, and could not imagine my earlier career being anything other than what it was.

When I was made redundant (along with hundreds of others) at the end of my first maternity leave my ex-boss put me in touch with a school friend of hers who was looking for a job share partner. The two of us hit it off immediately, and after getting through the interview stages with necessary managers and HR I was hired. I started work a few weeks before my 5yo turned one, which meant I’d had the luxury of a 13 month maternity break, and was more than ready for the challenge of becoming a part time working mum. The job was better paid than my previous one was, and the new arrangement meant only working two days a week instead of the three I had originally planned to.

In the four years and three months that I’ve been working here I have always felt valued by my boss, and the wider team. I get paid well and I get great benefits. I’ve taken maternity leave twice and have never been made to feel bad about it. I’ve been 2014-10-09 08.19.22allowed to trial working from home, because my manager appreciates that childcare costs would cripple me if I had to tack on the additional hours to cover the commute. When he called me at home a few weeks after my baby boy was born to tell me the results of my yearly review he said something that will always stick in my head: ‘we are nothing without good people working for us’.

Working in any capacity with small children is bloody difficult, but sometimes you have to count your blessings and know where your bread is buttered. While the photo above is a good representation of what my early workday mornings look like, I know that I’m so very lucky to have been given this opportunity.

What’s your work situation? Do you feel valued? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section…

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Full time wife and mummy to three, home educator, blogger, wannabee chef and published author. Follow me on my journey through life...

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  1. […] baby boy is cutting more teeth, hubby worked late every night and I had the ultimate IT fail at work. The kind that meant staring at a computer screen while the helpdesk remoted in, declared it was a […]

  2. Thank you, I’m very lucky xx

  3. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you xx

  4. Glad you’re about to wfh too! Fortunately we have blogging to keep us sane – I find it really helps with feeling that I’m missing out on adult conversation during the day 😉

  5. I’m really lucky to have this job, and yes he is a gem xx

  6. So vital to feel so valued, your boss sounds fab! Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts x

  7. Good for you and great that you’ve found such a good boss! I’m kind of in the same position working from home and although I often crave the social side of working in an office, I wouldn’t change how I work for the world now.

  8. It is great that you are so lucky to have this job and an understanding boss, I wish I could get a decent job!! When I finished my degree after having my first child I couldn’t find anything and ended up working in low paid jobs I was over qualified for, I ended up becoming a stay at home mum after having my second as childcare cost more than my low salary, when my children are all at school it will be worth returning to work, I just hope I can find something decent then . #sharewithme

  9. Oh wow that’s crazy! Some companies have no idea. So pleased you work somewhere lovely. Xx

  10. It’s the polar opposite of the company I worked for before too – a leading healthcare provider that didn’t even give private healthcare as benefits! Not good. Hope you’re in a better place work wise now xx

  11. Wow your company sounds like the polar opposite to my last firm. Sounds amazing. Xx #BrilliantBlogPosts

  12. we really do 🙂

  13. A nice story. We need more companies like this! #brillblogposts

  14. It really does my lovely, makes all the difference xx

  15. I haven’t heard of that book Denise but will look it up. You are so completely right about this. A few years back we had protesters outside our building hurling abuse at anyone going inside. They clearly didn’t realise that only one floor contained traders and the rest of the staff were mere compliance, legal and IT bods!

  16. It really would, I just wish it was the norm!

  17. Apart from the odd thing that needs printing and signing I can do everything remotely. I like to hope that we’ll see a lot more flexibility in the workplace over the next five years or so xx

  18. Thanks hon, I really do xx

  19. That’s great hon, and I hope your company are being flexible at the moment? Makes such a difference when you’re going through a stressful time x

  20. Thank you lovely. I guess if the juggle feels like it’s worth it overall then great, if it’s just stress and no happiness then it’s time to re-evaluate xx

  21. Thanks so much Karen. Sounds like you’re well on your way to forging a career out of writing. Your blog is fab, I’m sure it’ll all work out for you xx

  22. That’s such a shame for your sister, I hope the situation improves for her. I’m really lucky – my boss is a family man and understands how hard it all is. My previous boss was a childless woman in her 40’s and I was her first ever pregnant member of staff. She didn’t know what to do with me!

  23. From what you’ve said here and previously it sounds like your job was super stressful hon. I’m not surprised you packed it up, I would have too after three kids xx

  24. It sounds like you have a great deal hon, even though it’s not what you want to be doing long term. I think having a flexible job when you have small children is such a gift. Climbing the career ladder is not for me at this moment in time, and it’s nice to be able to do my job and switch off from it at the end of a day xx

  25. It is sad hon, it would be great if it were like this for everyone!

  26. Thank you hon, it’s definitely a great job and I would never moan about it. The first and last hours have been pretty tough going but for the sake of four hours a week I can cope! Glad you have struck a balance since F has been at pre-school, and getting help from your family must come in handy. You’ll notice a massive increase in your own time once they are both in school xx

  27. Sounds like it’s quite stressful your end lovely, but also that it’s just the nature of what you do? I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you that you get a bit more flexibility next time round 🙂

  28. LOL Zena! We’ve just been watching the Good Wife, otherwise I would have had to look up with the fifth amendment was… hope it’s not that bad lovely xx

  29. So pleased it all works well for you now hon. I was really glad to find something a million times better after redundancy, had I gone back to that job I think it would have been very different!

  30. That is such a shame, especially as you’re a teacher. Sadly I know quite a few teachers and they’re all disenfranchised in some way or other. Our neighbour didn’t even get through his second year before quitting 🙁 xx

  31. Fingers crossed for you lovely *off to read your post now*

  32. As long as you’re enjoying being at home that’s the most important thing! I really love my time with the kids, and only working two days is perfect for me xx

  33. Thanks Jenny, I know I’m really fortunate. Childcare fees are extortionate aren’t they? If only every company had a free creche… now there’s an idea 😉

  34. I think you could be the Queen and the kids would still see you as ‘just my mummy’. I’m sure you make them very proud indeed lovely xx

  35. Glad you’ve struck the balance too hon, sounds like you have a great bunch of colleagues which is always a bonus. We are very lucky xx

  36. It seems like you have found a great work life balance and its fab to have a well paid job that you can do from home. My job is not a career really and its not going to set the world on fire but it’s interesting enough and working part time suits me down to the ground. I have several colleagues who are in the same situation too so there’s a little community of us. We are lucky to have full time salaries that are paid pro rata rather than having to find jobs specifically advertised as part time which would never pay the same. X #sharewithme

  37. You sound like a lucky lady! I was made redundant a few years ago and decided to reassess my life, hence why I am not at home trying to carve out a new future for myself doing what I love (cooking and writing!). One day I hope to make some decent money out of it so that my kids can feel proud of me and not think of me as ‘just their mummy’…which is often how I feel!

  38. That’s fantastic and sounds like you got a one off amazing job I would hold on to. Bosses like that are hard to find. I couldn’t go back to work when I wanted to because two in nursery for three years would cripple our bank accounts. I would love to find something like this when Buba starts school next year. Sounds the best of both worlds. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

  39. Sounds like you have a fab work life balance that suits your family. and it’s always a bonus when the people you work for are great. I’d love to start working again, but I can’t really see it happening for a while, so I’ll enjoy just being a stay at home mum for a while longer 😉 x

  40. That’s brilliant to know there are genuinely good companies out there. I’m hoping I have now found one too, I’ve linked up with some comments on my work situation to this week. #brilliantblogposts

  41. Not A Frumpy Mum says:

    What a lovely post and how wonderful to be so valued by your employers. Sadly I work where in a place where the managers have forgotten what it’s like to be “at the chalk face” and treat us all as if we’re work shy and lazy who can’t be trusted to act professionally. Quite sad really, and the result is a lot of unhappy staff! x

  42. This is a post which I really identify with. I work fulltime and due to the nature of my job, cannot work from home. I also work shifts and some weekends, and sometimes working unsociable hours. Luckily, I got a new line manager who is fab and appreciates that sometimes it’s just hard juggling everything and together with my team, we’re all really flexible and work together. I’m one of the lucky ones as this wasn’t the case 3 years ago – it was HELL!! Great post :0 #sharewithme

  43. Um! I will come and answer this post another time and plead the fifth amendment for now 😉 Wish I was as lucky as you Zx

  44. I’m happy (and a tad jealous) that you’ve managed to find the right balance between work and life. I am lucky in the sense that my husband is self-employed and he helps me out massively when it comes to drop offs and pick ups. Work were quite difficult when I requested flexible working and the pay cut to go down to 3-4 days was too much, so I’ve ended up going back full time. It’s hard in my job as we go to press each week and I’m in a position where I have to be in the office and managing. We’ve definitely, between my husband and I, got it down to a good routine and my son understands why I go to ‘work’ but I do wish i could work from home at least a few days a week. Maybe when I next have my next baby, I can rethink and my husband’s business will be more established for me to do so. Here’s hoping! But I am lucky, I have a great work environment and great friends, so it isn’t all bad! Plus I get paid pretty well for what I do 🙂 #sharewithme

  45. Good for you for finding a happy work/life balance and appreciating what you have. So many people whinge about their jobs when they’re bloody lucky to have one in the first place! I currently work from home which is great in many ways, but I do find it hard to switch off and often feel guilty that I’m not giving either the children, or work my full attention. I think this will get better when S starts preschool in January. I find that my whole week is rosier right now when my mum or in-laws can have S for one day whilst F is at preschool- I get so much done and then I can focus on them for the rest of the week with bits of work interspersed and working in the evenings. I think the work-life balance is always hard, and the grass is often greener! I am happier now I am working more as opposed to ‘just’ being a SAHM (although that’s bloody hard work too, hardest job I’ve ever done!), but I know many who work full time might really want to be at home. Great post. x

  46. Sounds as though you have an incredible job and you’re lucky to feel valued by the company you work for. Sadly, I don’t think this is the same for everyone.

  47. Hi!

    I don’t particularly like my job; circumstances have meant I’m doing pretty much the same thing as I was doing when I needed a bit of pocket money while at uni. However, I could not work in a better place when it comes to understanding managers. When I was in the early stages of pregnancy and suffering pretty badly, I could call and ask to come in late or leave early without it ever being a huge issue. I sat with my head on the desk for about 12 weeks straight and never heard a complaint. I was pretty much allowed to manage my own workload towards the end and on my last day pre-maternity leave I told my manager I had had enough and wouldn’t be coming back in the next day, and she understood. Since coming back, my request for flexible working was approved. If I have had to take time off when Gwenn has been ill I have been paid for that absence.

    It isn’t a well-paid job; I have aspirations to do more. But, like you, I know where my bread is buttered and for now, it is ideal.


  48. I was very lucky too when I worked, although I worked four days a week (one of them from home) and the boys were in nursery. The company I worked for were great, I had three maternity leaves with them, and never felt that it was frowned on. I only took six months with the boys and I worked bloody hard when I went back. In the end I left, not because of the company but because I had fallen out of love with the job itself. Construction is a tough business and I’d had enough! I’m so glad that you have a great company and boss too, I’m not sure it’s the norm sadly x #ShareWithMe

  49. Sounds like you have a gem of a boss but I think that’s the way it should be. I don’t think it’s necessarily easy for mums to go back to work. Many companies still put pressure on them to do more hours, my sister, for example, isn’t able to work less than four days.

  50. Lovely post. I haven’t returned to work after having my twins, childcare cost for 3 is just too much and with nursing, there is no scope to work from home. I would so much love to find something I could do from home now they are all at school, I just need to figure out what. I think I need to look into writing.
    I am really pleased things are working out so well for you. x

  51. lifeatthelittlewood says:

    It’s so great that you have managed to strike the perfect work/life balance! I found the juggling stressful, but I think that had a lot to do with not really enjoying my job as well. I think, had I loved it, I’d still be there now most likely! Great post xx

  52. I’m really lucky, like you, can work from home a lot and its great for picking Z up. I tend to work from my mums and my parents look after him downstairs. Its the reason I’ve stayed in my company for so long!

  53. What a wonderful situation to have! It’s so great to read a positive story about a work life relationship!! Clearly you appreciate it too which is really lovely!! Xx

  54. It must be great to feel so valued. I think us Mums can be productive in a flexible situation. You don’t have to be in the office to get things done x #ShareWithMe

  55. Wow you are fortunate. Because of child care costs I dread the thought of having to work in London. Wouldn’t life be lovelier if men and women with kids could find jobs with understanding managers like yours.

  56. It’s great that you can work from home. Never easy to work with small kids, but it’s the best option. I think there is a lot of greed concentrated in a very small number of people at the top in the city and big corporations (have you heard of the book “Flash Boys”?) but most people who work in that sector are just trying their hardest to manage risks for their investors, process mortgages for customers, do the things they do the best they can so that ordinary people can do the things they do without even thinking of the layers underneath that make it all work.

  57. Le Coin de Mel says:

    Sounds like you have a good job in which you feel valued. Your manager sounds like someone who knows how to lead and inspire people. It makes working a whole lot more enjoyable, doesn’t it? x

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