Monday, 25 November 2013

Returning to work

There is a horrible amount of stigma and judgement attached to mums (from the moment they give birth in my opinion!), especially when it comes to being a stay at home mum or a working mum-whichever choice you make-people will judge you! I highly suggest you read this Daily Mail article just for amusement-I particularly like the "blimey not you again.." section!  The perfect balance for me I think would be to work part time, and I think this is likely once at school age, but for the near future at the very least-I will be going at it full time! The plan at present is for me to return to work doing full time hours condensed into fewer days. 

What i'm looking forward to:
  • Getting my brain working again.  
Whilst off on maternity leave I have felt my brain gradually turning to mush.  This could be something to do with the dreaded baby brain and lack of sleep but I'm someone that enjoys learning and feeling purpose-work gives me both of those things. 

  • Furthering my career:
I know that post children people say it is hard for women to further their careers but I'm not sure how heavily I buy into that.  Surely if you value that part of your life and want to find your way to the top whilst juggling a family you'll find a way? My work is not a job, it really is a career and one that can still take me so very very far if I choose it to-for example the heads of Adult social care in my area are both FEMALE OCCUPATIONAL THERAPISTS- That could be me! Not just that, I get great interest in geeking out on the ins and outs of policies and new research which affect my role and client group-I miss that whilst i'm on maternity leave.

  • The money!
Of course this is a shallow one but it is a no brainer on so many different levels! I won't go into the ins and outs of why it is so so important to us as a family in the "right now", however I will go into the immediate future and further future.  We currently rent a 1 bedroom flat in Brighton, needless to say we have far outgrown this poor little flat-funnily enough we didn't anticipate an addition to the crew when we first rented it! The original plan when we found out our landlord would let us stay here, was to just stay until January 2014, or July at the latest and then rent a 2 bedroom flat in the area.  As time has gone on, we are lucky enough to be in the position to buy our next property, however we need my income in order to get a mortgage for the size property we are after and in the area we desire.  It means we need to buy asap though because once Ophelia starts crawling we really won't be able to stay here much longer!   In the long term, whilst money has never been important to me, I am now keen to be able to properly provide for my daughter and save for her future-whatever that may be, without us being stretched. 

  • Socialising Ophelia.
Whilst I am at work, the idea is for Ophelia to spend one day with each Grandparent and then two days at nursery-that way she isn't spending too long at nursery but long enough to get the socialisation and stimulation that is so important, whilst at the same time getting valuable time with her grandparents. 

What i'm not looking forward to:

  • Working after very little sleep!
Obviously, the wishful part of me is hopeful that Ophelia might be sleeping better by then (HA!), but I have already seen (and heard) first hand how my colleagues with young children cope! Of course, this is a difficult part of any working mum's life, but our job really is life or death at times and requires such high level of attention to detail that an urgent visit after a bad night's sleep is a recipe for disaster and could result in injury or death.

  • Leaving Ophelia.  
Whilst I definitely wish to have a clear identity away from only being Mum, at the same time I love her dearly and of course do want to spend so much time with her-I can imagine there being a lot of days at work when I sit and miss her deeply.  I think it will be especially hard getting up in the mornings and leaving her, especially if she is crying or unwell. 

  • Work/life/child balance.
I dread to think how exhausted I am going to be; working all day, getting home doing the bedtime routine, making dinner, doing chores, going to bed, waking up in the night and then waking in the morning and doing it all over again.  In fact, i'm exhausted just thinking about it! The good news is that once we move I am DEFINITELY getting a tumble dryer and dish washer-these will mean evenings spent hanging out clothes and doing PILEs of washing up are a thing of the past. THANK GOD!

Are any of you working mums or did you go back to work after having your children? Any words of advice?

Friday, 22 November 2013

Book start

Upon going to our first weigh in at the "healthy clinic" children's centre (this week-oops!), we were asked if we had our "book start pack".  HUH?! Was my response as I had no idea what this was.  I was handed a purple folder which I swiftly put under the buggy, assuming it would mainly be a folder of vouchers and other trash.  When I got home I had a look through and much to my surprise it had books inside!

Book start is a scheme designed to help get pre school aged children interested in books from a young age including stories, rhyming and songs.  We have been reading to Ophelia since day one as we are both really keen readers, although she didn't pay much attention for the first month but she really loves looking at books already! We have some really tiny ones that were given to us- "I can..." share/say thank you etc and she stares at the pictures and laughs when I do stupid voices.    Anyway, I think this scheme is a really great idea for encouraging both children and adults to get involved. 

 Have you heard of this scheme? What do you think about it?

Thursday, 21 November 2013

What Ophelia wants off Santa

We have decided not to get very much for Ophelia this Christmas mostly because she is faaar too young but also due to our lacking of space! We want something to mark a special "1st" though so we're on the lookout for a good Christmas keepsake.  In the meantime this is Ophelia's current Santa wish list...

Ophelia's 1st Christmas wish list