Tuesday, 12 April 2016

BEING A WORKING MUM - A Guest Post From 'Being Tilly's Mummy'

There has always been the debate about whether it is better for your child if you're a working mum or a stay at home mum. My older kids are 20, 22 and 23 now and for a long time when they were little I was a SAHM. I was a member of the NCT, I ran the village toddler group for a while and was on the school PTA. I always got my kids to school on time and would then go home to tidy up and bake things like almond slice and cookies. Weekends were spent making crafts at home and walking for miles in the woods. I was a right old earth mother! It all started going to pot as they got a bit older and I went back to work when they were about 11, 9 and 8 years old. I became the mother I am now - The working mum.
I worked locally about 5 minutes from the school, so although Kimmy became a latch key kid, the younger two would meet me from work. It worked well but slowly the things that we used to do, stopped being done and instead we actually had money to spend so I could splash out on computer games and DVDs that they wanted. But it was so nice to be able to give them the stuff that they wanted. By this time I owned my own home and we could afford holidays to New York, Trips around Europe and even Lapland. I loved being able to provide for my family.
By the time Tilly arrived, I had been with my current company for 5 years and took the maternity leave to be at home with my baby. I enjoyed being at home during this time, it was so nice not to have to rush out to work. I would love to say that I loved being an earth mother again but in reality I had severe PND and much of the time passed in a blur. I hated being back at work but luckily I had a manager who refused to let me give up my job, She dropped my hours down to one day a week to keep me in the company and to have somebody in your work place being empathetic like this gave me the support I needed. I did carry on and in time I progressed to another store and my hours improved, I loved being back at work more and although it was a juggling act getting her to childminders and nursery I was lucky to have a brilliant support network. 
So that brings me to where I am now, Tilly is at school and its still a juggle - It is going to be for a few years yet! I do try to take some time off when she has school holidays which is nice, but to be honest by the time I have had some time off with her i am usually pulling my hair out. I am not that Earth mother these days and although I enjoy the days off with Tilly, I actually enjoy the going back to work a little bit more. Sometimes I think its sad that she hasn't got the same childhood as the other three children, but sometimes I know that we have a completely different lifestyle now. I can't afford holidays abroad like I used to, I have different days out. Tilly is such a different child to the other three, she is a real city girl and loves to be on a city adventure somewhere. She goes to loads of events in London and in our local area, because of my blogging and we are never at home on days off and in the holidays. I never get time to bake, in fact the last time I baked was probably circa 2006!
I think that being a working mum, you get your own identity again, for a few hours you are no longer 'Mummy' 'Mum' or 'Mama', you become your own person again. You get your own identity and for a few hours you don't have to worry about whats for dinner or whether your child has odd socks on today. For a few hours a day I don't have to worry about doing the hoovering or paying the bills. Being a working mum is hard, the hours I put in at Superdrug. The working on the blog until 3am sometimes and the emails that seem to multiply through the day. But I really wouldn't have it any other way. I don't believe for one moment that being a SAHM makes you a better mum, neither does being a working mum. It really is a debate that will be around until the end of time, but I am happy with my choice. I love being a working mum and I feel lucky to have experienced being both a SAHM as well as a working mum. But I really could never go back to being a SAHM, I would be pulling my hair out all the time!