As a working Mum, I have been really lucky to work part-time in my own business while my kids were little.
But all of that changed this February.
2017 has been a significant milestone with my youngest daughter starting school. Her brother began a year before, so we had a sort of transition year together where she was an only-child during the weekdays.
Tough on her, and tough on me. Beautiful one day, perfect the next…isn’t that the saying?!
Now, instead of working three days a week and juggling my daughter the best I can, I find myself with five days up my sleeve to get down to work. I know the transition for Kindy kids can be daunting for some, but for my daughter, she was really excited to start school and it has been very liberating for her.
The transition for both of us has taken a while to get used to. I do miss her and the days we spent together but I am happy about the independent and strong willed individual she is becoming. She sometimes finds the days long but is soaking up so much at school and embracing what she’s learning.
But you know what? That transition has also been liberating for me.
After 8 or so years (if you include pregnancies, two kids, mothers’ groups, husband-husbandry* and all the other stuff!), I now have more time for work but also more time for ME.
The real transition has been in my own brain. I used to work with one hand, while colouring in with the other…read with my voice, type emails in my head.
Plot jigsaws one minute…business deals the next.
Not to mention all the cooking, cleaning and caring that goes hand-in-hand with little kids at home. Booking, scheduling, making, baking, eating, sleeping…I’m not quite sure how it all fitted together.
But now I know. I’ve got all this TIME to myself – the time that was filled up with all that other little-kids stuff. But no-one likes empty time…
So, first question is, what do I fill all this new-fangled time with?
My answer, and the answer of many mums I know, is to have work time and ME time, emphasis on the ME!
I’ve got a plan, joined a gym and find I can fit it in now. Curiously, this has meant I’ve got more energy for my kids when they get home from school. More energy for business too.
I can achieve more, work more (well, a bit more!) and play more. Juggle more.
My other life is coming back. You know, the one you had before the kids arrived…remember her?
If a stay-at-home mum is the master of juggling, then a back-to-work mum is like the INVENTOR of juggling.
Which leads me to the second question…am I a good juggler, after all this practice?
The WORLD No. 1., except for all those other back-to-work mums…they’re all pretty damn great at juggling too.
They’re all No.1’s.
So here’s to you, this International Womens Day. The Back-to-work mums.
And here’s to my daughter…future juggler in the Working Mums’ Circus.
*Husband-husbandry (noun) – the art (and science) of growing a Husband
YVONNE KELLY – 8th MARCH 2017