It’s been no secret that I found going back to my part time job really tough after my third maternity leave. Although we made my working life as easy as it could possibly get, there is no way to dress it up. It has been a shi**y experience.
First there was the disaster nanny who we hired to look after our two youngest kids. We thought she would provide a flexible and beneficial all round solution to our childcare dilemma, but in actual fact she wasn’t very good. Then there was nursery, but after almost five months F did not settle. He would cry all day, hardly nap and refuse food. I can’t even bring myself to think of the damage this might have caused.
The perfect work/life balance (until very recently)
Although I had a work from home agreement, which meant only having to commute into the City once a month, it also meant that I was never able to fully switch off from what was happening at home. Rather than looking forward to the break that work would provide it has been a major cause of stress, and on more than one occasion, the straw that broke the camels back.
It’s been a far cry from the sanity saver work has been for me in the past. When I first started this job five years ago after my first maternity leave I loved it. I would literally waltz out the door and not have a single qualm about any aspect of being a working mum. P loved nursery and it was a great little break from the hum drum of motherhood twice a week. Second time around was the same. For reasons far more complex than I can quickly sum up here, I believe that going back after my second maternity leave saved me from spiralling into a major depression.
Things have been very different third time around. So when a glimmer of an opportunity for redundancy presented itself to me I pounced on it.
My job is the stuff of legends – everything a person could possibly want from a part time job. Not only is it well paid, but I’m valued, respected and enjoy it. I know that many will think I am crazy. Most folk would jump at the chance of working a top investment bank, and getting paid in two days what some earn in a week.
Here’s the thing though: all the money in the world could not change the heart wrenching fact that my little ones hated their childcare, and would without fail, come home in a complete state. That my poor baby boy would protest by going on hunger strike, and it would take at least until Monday to get him back to a happy enough place for me to leave the room without him having a full scale meltdown.
Perhaps, dear readers, it’s where attachment parenting came back to bite me on the arse?
Or perhaps my life and priorities have changed so dramatically since having him that the Corporate City doesn’t have a place in my world any more?
Up until now we haven’t had a choice. Financially we just couldn’t make the numbers work. We were still paying off hubby’s student loan until April FFS.
Then he went and got himself promoted, and now we do have a choice.
Money will of course be tighter, but between not paying out for astronomical childcare costs and making a few sensible cutbacks, I think we’ll be just fine.
So here I am, changing the necessary once again.
I grew up surrounded by people that were desperately unhappy with their lot in life, but did nothing constructive to alter the course of their destiny.
I vowed I would never do that myself, and I haven’t. I’m steering things towards leading the life I want, rather than the one I have to lead. Or the one that society and convention deem I should be leading. In doing so I’m pretty confident I’ll have a much happier family on my hands too. We are finally in a position to fully consider all our options. Thursday was my last day at the office.