Living Life Our Way

The Juggling Act: Finding A Work/Life Balance As A First Time Mum - A Guest Post by Tummy 2 Mummy (Marie)

The Juggling Act: Finding A Work/Life Balance As A First Time Mum – A Guest Post by Tummy2Mummy (Marie)

After taking a year off work and going on maternity leave, I had mixed feelings about returning to work. I was anxious, excited and worried, what if I’d forgotten everything I knew? It was a genuine fear, what If I don’t remember anything at all? What if all my work knowledge had gone to mush? Only time would tell. As it turned out I hadn’t forgotten everything. I actually enjoyed being back in the office, talking to adults, drinking hot tea and knowing it wasn’t my job to watch Jasmine for that time during the day.

I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt, guilt for leaving her, guilt for enjoying my time away and a guilt that I wasn’t like so many of the mums I saw on social media, who can dedicate all their time to raising their children. It’s no secret, Jasmines never been a good sleeper and this was a genuine concern to me, could I perform my job still on the nights she doesn’t sleep? Would I burst in to tears if a customer shouted at me on the phone?

In hindsight, I was overthinking everything. My days currently start spending the morning with Jasmine, playing in the garden or doing some colouring, we play with her toys together and she has some breakfast. I then feed the dogs and myself and then it’s time to start getting myself ready for work, I don’t think they would approve if I rocked up to the office in my Bambi pyjamas, complete with messy mum bun. My partner, Dave, leaves for work at 4am so there’s no chance I can get ready before he goes, he gets back to take over childcare at 11am, meaning I couldn’t get ready once he’s back. I have to make it work whist Jasmine is there. I pop on an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse where I can see her and I try to make myself look a little presentable. Showers are out of the window so I try and shower the night before. Once Dave gets back I head to work almost immediately. Once at work I have to change my mind set, focus on what I’m doing as I care about doing a good job professionally and hate it if I make any errors.

Often Dave takes Jasmine to classes that fall in the afternoon, which triggers the mum guilt again, I feel sad that I’m missing out on these moments. After my shift at work I get home, cook dinner for us and then start the bedtime routine. The routine starts with bath time reading a story and having some milk before bed. If she goes to sleep quite quickly I can make it downstairs to do some preparation for my lessons I teach on a Saturday at Stagecoach. I then move on to my blog, or If I have any articles to write or publish.

Week days are incredibly busy; it literally feels like a rollercoaster. Dave and I are a team and working childcare between the two of us isn’t easy, but, for the moment we get to split the childcare and that’s really rewarding. We make sure we do lovely family activities on the days I’m off work and always try to have holidays booked to look forward to together. I have to remind myself its all temporary and I work hard so I can afford to do nice things together. It’s a juggle and sometimes I’m exhausted, sometimes I feel guilty and sometimes I want to quit my job and be there for Jasmine 24/7 but life is expensive and I’m lucky my employer is flexible and understanding.

My advice to anyone looking to go back to work and worrying how they will juggle it all would be to just take each day as it comes. Try not to over think and predict things that may or may not happen. Don’t get stressed at home with the baby because you can’t control what happens at work, and don’t get stressed at work because of what you can’t control what’s happening with the baby at that moment.

Accept it will be hard work but schedule things to look forward to. Trips, days out – things you can enjoy during your time off. It really will help to motivate you when it all seems like chaos. I also suggest always being honest with your employer; it’s so much easier if they are on your side. So always be honest about your situation and they will appreciate you having open communication with them, it will work in your favour when you need something from them!

The Juggling Act: Finding A Work/Life Balance As A First Time Mum - A Guest Post by Tummy 2 Mummy (Marie)How do you find juggling the work/life balance?

Author Bio

Marie became a first time mum in December 2017. She lives in Norwich with her little one and three dogs. Originally from Bournemouth, she trained as an Actress and can still be found teaching small people performing arts. You can find her over at tummy2mummy.net

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