What does it feel like to be a working mum? Before I became a mum, work took up a large part of my life. I love my job and I love going to work. I was ambitious and very career driven. I knew exactly where I wanted to be within 5 years. I landed my dream job at a hospital that I’ve always wanted to work for. I was proud that I was doing well.
I loved work so much that I couldn’t stand to be at home doing nothing. As a result, I worked up to 38 and a half weeks pregnant. Looking back, I gave birth only 8 days after I finished. I didn’t want to be at home away from the chaos, waiting to go into labour. I hate that I was a ticking time bomb and so work was probably a good distraction for me. I don’t regret this at all. I love the hectic lifestyle. The 8 days were probably still too long for me to have off waiting for my baby to arrive!
They say you change after you have a baby. Well, I was certain that I wouldn’t, but I did. I changed alot. I was still checking my work emails up to a month after I gave birth. We got lucky, as Madeleine slept pretty much the entire time in the first month! My colleagues were still calling me asking for my opinion on things.
As time went on though, my memory of work faded as my love grew for my daughter. Her personality grew and I began to enjoy spending more and more time with her. I think it took me around 3 months to completely enjoy motherhood. As my maternity leave came to an end and right before I had to go back, I suffered the greatest separation anxiety.
Sending her off to childcare was one of the biggest hurdles I’ve had to overcome. To put full trust in someone I didn’t know to take care of my daughter, was so foreign to me. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a choice and I was forced to be okay with it. I felt incredible guilt. She was in childcare 8 weeks prior to me restarting work. To walk away from her screaming at drop offs, made my heart drop. It made me cry too. Thankfully, I got use to this and soon after, Madeleine enjoyed childcare and didn’t cry anymore.
Being back at work has been a breath of fresh air. I have to admit though, it was hard. The first few days are spent worrying over your child. You also get use to this. You’ll find that your colleagues appreciate you being back and they’ll even hug you! You’ll also find that you’ll enjoy having your own time interacting with adults, away from the nappy changing, spit ups and crying. You’ll definitely miss them more than ever and appreciate your time with them like never before.
My career ambition is definitely not lost, but I am more settled. I do sometimes get the urge to strive for a climb up the corporate ladder, but that strong desire is quickly faded when I remember my other role, being Madeleine’s mum. It was definitely hard coming back realising others have assumed your position whilst you’ve been away (I have personally struggled with this immensely). But once you recognize you’re a superwoman capable of many things, this makes you feel more settled. No career in the world will be ever be as good as being a mum. Work is just secondary to me; I work to provide a future for my child. My life and family is everything to me and it is my number one.
Being a working mum is not easy and that’s coming from a mum of 1. Imagine those who have 4 kids and they are also working. I have the utmost respect for them. They must be very organised! Life is definitely busy and my chores do fall behind. I don’t have much of a social life anymore. But, I am proud to say that I am a career woman and a mother.