A new chapter, and a realisation

A new chapter, and a realisation

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It’s been 3 weeks now since I started my new role, as a social media manager for a telecoms company. It really is the perfect job, as being 2 days a week working from home/the cafe (def maxing out that Starbucks loyalty card), means it fits in around the children which is what I really wanted when it came to returning to the working world. Freddie already goes to preschool 2 1/2 days per week, and my Mum has been an angel and has agreed to look after S for 2 full days, until she too starts preschool in the New Year. I can take them there, and be the one picking them up. It also enables me to fit in some blog work that I’ve been fortunate enough to pick up as time has gone on, rather than trying to squeeze this in during the evenings.

Already the change in our home life, and also to how I feel has been remarkable. Let me explain… Having been largely a stay-at-home mum for nearly 4 years, bar starting up my vintage homeware business earlier this year, I had got very much into my own routine, and used to being with the smalls 24/7. I was convinced that I was doing the very best for my children by being with them, and hopefully in many ways I have. We go out and about, read together, do crafts/cooking/playing, and for the most part, I have really enjoyed it, and felt privileged to have had so much time with them during their formative years. But have I always genuinely enjoyed it? Or have I been running on some sort of ‘perfect parent’ autopilot for some of the time, there, but not always present or ‘switched on’?

The last year or so, deep down, I’ve known I’ve wanted more, and this in turn has not always made me the best parent. I have often felt distracted, as I’ve veered back and forth between thinking of going back to work (on a bad day), and wanting to be there still for them at all times (on a good day). I have been snappy on occasion, unfairly resenting the slog of looking after 2 toddlers, when I should have been feeling grateful for having them both. Or my mind has been elsewhere (or buried in my laptop), thinking of roles I would like to do, blog posts and articles I would like to write. The flame that has been lit inside me, the urge to write, and create (sorry if that sounds MASSIVELY pretentious!), manifested itself in spending most evenings doing just that, largely at the expense of ‘downtime’ and spending time with Adam. I totally adore my blog, it’s my third baby and has given me a new lease of life, and I want to make the most of the my new-found writing bug and the paid opportunities that have started to come my way. In turn, I have felt stressed trying to juggle everything, frustrated, and that’s when the guilt comes, when I feel guilty for not enjoying my children more. There has been no clear line between work, family, and play, and this is what I’d been badly missing.

Since I’ve had these 2 days for working, using my brain in a different way, enjoying working for a company again, plus having time to write for myself, I truly feel like a NEW WOMAN. The days when it’s just the children and me are SO much better. Bar a few usual household chores (and I feel it’s still important for them to play by themselves!), my time is focused purely on them, and I’m sure they are noticing the change in me too. I’m no longer stressed out trying to do something else, or distracted, and I’ve spent more time having fun with them. I’m more relaxed, and we’ve just been talking or hanging out more. In turn their behaviour is better, less whinging at me to do stuff, and they seem so happy to have a more fun Mummy around. Adam and I have our evenings back, and have enjoyed our time together more (and I now have much more to talk about!), plus I actually have some ‘free time’ now. It’s heaven. I really, really wish I’d done it sooner, but you do what you think is best for your family at the time, right?

I always thought being a stay-at-home mum was the best option for small children, if you are able to do it, but I now know that it doesn’t always equal a better parent at all, no sirree! How naive was I? I now get why so many Mums (and Dads) actively choose to go to work, and are all the better for it. I know I certainly am, and I can testify that being at home 24/7 really is the hardest job in the world. Parents who do it for years are superheroes as far as I’m concerned!

I am starting to feel so much more balanced already, and I feel so lucky that I have the opportunity to have the best of both worlds, as not everyone can, even if they want to.

So here’s to a fresh start and a new chapter! Oh, and doing what’s right for YOU, not what you feel you SHOULD be doing- there’s a place in the world as a parent for all of us, it might just take a little while to find your happy place 🙂

photo- me and F when he was a smaller F!

14 Comments

  1. Michelle Reeves (bodfortea)
    November 17, 2014 / 6:55 am

    Oh Becky this is such a wonderful post. I’m so happy that you’re finding balance in your life. Like you I crave the ability and space to write, to create (and I don’t think it’s at all pretentious to say so!). For me it’s a deep seated need that I get up at very stupid o’clock in the morning to meet before the day begins for the little people. I think we all need that bit of space for ourselves, to give to ourselves before we give to others. It’s a balance that I don’t always get right (I’ve written about needing to slow down and see what’s in front of me sometimes over on Bod for tea) but I’m working on it. Lovely post x

    • Becky
      Author
      November 17, 2014 / 9:42 pm

      I TOTALLY agree about needing space for me! I love my children, and always thought of myself as a very sociable person, but it’s only since having them that I’ve realised how much I enjoy my own company at times. Thanks for your lovely comment 🙂 xx

  2. Jess
    November 17, 2014 / 8:14 am

    Glad you’re feeling more balanced, we love our children but sometimes you do need time to just be yourself as opposed to ‘mummy’! I’m a sahm and i absolutely love it, I couldn’t imagine going back to work at all but we are all different, as Abbie gets older and probably at school then i’ll want to bring in some more money and have some more things to do in the day so you never now! 🙂

    • Becky
      Author
      November 17, 2014 / 9:44 pm

      It’s weird, as for ages as a SAHM I couldn’t imagine leaving them at all, but all of a sudden, earlier this year, I suddenly needed some space, it really took me by surprise! I think as long as a parent is happy at home, working, or a bit of both, then it really benefits the whole family. I know that whatever work I do, it has to fit in around the kid’s school hours when they’re bigger (not that I want too much, nope 😉 ) xx

  3. November 17, 2014 / 8:16 am

    Great post – I have in the past played with the idea of completey giving up work when I’ve had a bad day but now work 1x 13 hr shift instead – I love this time as I am a completely different person to just somebody’s mum and I actually feel useful and important. This definitely works for us.

    • Becky
      Author
      November 17, 2014 / 9:45 pm

      That sounds great Sam, I so get what you mean!

  4. November 17, 2014 / 8:40 am

    You’re an inspiration, Becky!!! Congratulations!

    • Becky
      Author
      November 17, 2014 / 9:46 pm

      Aaaw thanks Jaime, that’s really kind of you but I don’t think I’m inspiring particularly, just trying to figure this whole thing called parenthood out 🙂 It’s nice to feel more like ‘me’ again though, and cliche as it sounds, not ‘just’ a mum! x

  5. November 17, 2014 / 9:54 am

    Fantastic news Becky, i’m so pleased things have worked out so well for you. The feelings you’ve described here remind me of when I was returning to work after my second mat leave. I think my job saved me from a major depression for various reasons back then. Coincidentally I also work two days a week and I agree it’s the perfect balance xx

    • Becky
      Author
      November 17, 2014 / 9:47 pm

      Ditto, 2 days is my ideal, possibly upping to 3 when they’re at school, I just need that time for me now as well as being their Mum, and I think i’m a better Mum for it! Glad you’ve found your happy place too 😉 xx

  6. Carie
    November 17, 2014 / 9:54 pm

    I’m so glad your new job is everything you wanted it to be and more – it sounds like you’ve got a really lovely balance. Right now. I’m technically a SAHM and I’m loving every minute of it, though possibly because I know my time is limited and I need to make the most of it!

    • Becky
      Author
      November 20, 2014 / 8:02 pm

      Thanks Carie! I do feel like I’ve got a good balance now, for me- enjoy the fact you are loving every minute of being with your babies, it is such a special time. 🙂 xx

  7. lifeatthelittlewood
    November 19, 2014 / 2:50 pm

    This is brill Becky, and i’m so glad that you’ve found a balance that’s right for you! I’m only recently getting back into a little bit of work too, and do feel so much happier to be doing something that stretches me creatively. I adore my kids and have loved this time with them but a little bit of flexible work for me has been good for us all! 🙂 xx

    • Becky
      Author
      November 20, 2014 / 8:07 pm

      Thanks Em, I do feel like I’ve got a great balance now, and I appreciate how lucky I am to have such flexible work! I love feeling more creative too xx

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