Reflections on One Year as a Working Mama

Saturday, November 05, 2016

It was last October when my maternity leave ended and rather than heading 'back' to work I started and entirely new job. One than sounded exciting, and enriching, and a total leap out of my comfort zone. Looking back, I'm so proud of myself, because right now I can't imagine leaving a little 8 month old baby behind to go to the office, although obviously at the time that's exactly what I did!

Over the past year I've learnt a heck of a lot, from the inspiring people I work with, from the challenges of the job itself, and from splitting myself between being an employee and a mama. I think that on the whole I've found a good balance, and luckily I work in a very feminist environment where people understand and support my needs as a mother - to the point where it wouldn't be an issue for me to bring him in to a meeting if I had to. I feel very lucky and appreciative of this as I know it is not the case for everyone, although I strongly believe it should be.

Of course, not everything is a bed of roses, and there are plenty of times where I've felt stressed, and the last month is a great example of that! In a way I feel like I've been thrown in at the deep end; I started a brand new job, one which is very different to my previous roles, and it was a case of sink or swim. Although I'm sure I'm only doggy paddling, I'm so pleased to have kept my head above the water. It's been a great learning curve, and I am so proud of my achievements over the last twelve months.

Juggling motherhood and work hasn't been the easiest, and in some ways I've found it harder as time has gone by. When I started my job I was so ready to get out of the house and have some time for myself, however as Zach has gotten older I definitely find it more upsetting to not be with him every day - especially as he has started to understand that I am leaving him. That being said, I am so glad I made the decision to work, and overall it has definitely had a positive impact on our family life.

I now have one year left on my work contract, and then after that, who knows. I've never really been a career orientated person so I haven't got a big goal in mind, although at some point I would like to get back in to education and complete a masters degree. I'd also love to have more time at home with Zach, but I don't think that is on the cards, so I will continue to try and make the most of the time we do have together, and remember how lucky I am that I can work part time in the first place.

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