I tend to be pretty good at juggling numerous things at the same time; like a lot of us are and have to be in order to survive in the busy pace of life. However, when I was made redundant at the end of last year, and amidst trying to keep calm and handle all the stresses that come along with such a huge life change, something did have to give.
“Will I be able to find a new job? How will the girls cope if I have to take a full time position? Will we be ok for money? Am I gong crazy worrying about nothing, and this will all fall into place?” One too many concerns were starting to mount up, meaning that my blog pretty much dropped off the scale of all importance. So sad really that life got in the way of an outlet that would have probably kept me sane throughout, if I’d only had the time and head space to keep it up!
So, almost four months have now passed since I lost my job, found a new one and started working full time – and it’s all seemingly, on the surface, to have worked out fantastically – but it’s certainly had, and still having, its strains. Maybe if I explain how I’ve felt, some of you might be able to reassure me that what I’m feeling is totally normal.
With Big News Comes Big Change
For almost seven years I worked for a large digital marketing agency – where to be honest, I was just a number. My days were numbered too (excuse the pun) for months, maybe even years really – a number of us sensed it for quite some time. When it did happen though, it was still a massive shock. No amount of suspicion can ever prepare you for the reality. There were tears, anger, frustration, the feeling of mistrust and disappointment, you name it. To top it off, this was the third redundancy I’ve faced; but this time was different because I had children to consider. It wasn’t just me this was affecting.
Anyway, turns out, losing my job was the best thing to happen to me career wise. I’ve been wanting to move back into something more creative for quite a while, but something always seemed to hold me back. When forced to make a change, the immediate initial move itself was pretty easy and painless. Thankfully! It’s the aftermath however, the biggest element that kept me up at night when I first got the news, that I’m still struggling to manage.
Full Time worker & Full time mum
Joining the Mon-Fri/9-5 working mum’s club again, after working part time or being on maternity leave for the last six years, has been a huge shock to the system. For me? Yes. For our beautiful girls? Absolutely.
The question did crop up about whether we should down size our newly acquired home, so that I could look after the girls 24/7 and take a part time job that ‘pays the bills’ – but to be honest, having quite recently found and settled into our gorgeous new home, this really wasn’t a viable option for me. And also, would having a job I don’t care about really make me happy? Flip side, taking a full time job wasn’t top of my wish list to resolve the situation either.
However, here I am.
I question myself
I’ve settled in, the job is good and things are progressing well, but daily, I worry about the girls and the effect this has on them. I no longer get to do the regular school runs and I’m not there to help them with their homework when they get home from school. The time I spend with them in the morning and after work is fractured and fraught, shoving breakfast in, rushing to get them washed, dressed, teeth brushed, hair braided, bathed. It’s exhausting. It feels like all those little daily quality moments, are gone. Or they’re so fleeting anyway.
I sound dramatic don’t I? I know it’s what a ton of mum’s, who work full time, the world over feel daily. I question my choices. I question myself. “Am I a good mum? Am I neglecting the girls? Am I alone feeling like this?” And then I have to remember why I’m doing it – to give them the best start they could have. That’s my focus.
When you become a parent, it’s very easy to look at everyone else and feel like they have it all sorted, they have it all figured out. But truthfully I bet they don’t, just like me. I know we’ll get there and I know the girls will settle into their new routine in time. And, weekends are even more super fun now, cramming in as many of those special moments as possible! A definite plus.
Does anyone else know exactly where I’m coming from? Does it get easier? Will the girls settle and accept? I’m a worrier naturally, but maybe hearing some of your stories might be a great way to help me through the self criticism and uncertainty. I’d love to hear from you!