As we come to the end of week 2 at my new job and week 2 of the summer term, it’s safe to say, I am knackered.
Going back to work after a holiday (be it abroad or at home) is always a little exhausting. But going back to a new job after a holiday is really bloody exhausting- specially when it’s working with children, after having a holiday with your own children (who by the way, are becoming more and more high maintenance as the days go on… #prayforme)
Despite being constantly exhausted and never having that feeling of “oh everything’s done and I have nothing to do” that every parent wishes for, I am finally feeling content as a working mum.
When I went back to work in January after maternity leave, I struggled. Monday- Friday was a constant blur of feeling tired, stressed and over whelmed and I’ll be honest, I questioned my choice of returning to work daily. I never listened to my mind and body though and just continued to take out my frustrations on, and I hate to admit it, my family. The place that was meant to be safe for me turned into a place that I came home to and just vented to anyone who got in my path.
Some days, I didn’t have patience left for my own daughters after work and it destroyed me. Of course at the time I brushed it off, plowed Through and like I said, took it all out on those around me.
Fast forward to the Easter holidays and knowing that after two weeks I was going to be embarking on a new job that I hoped would be a better fit for me and it all washed away. I felt relaxed, I couldn’t get enough of the girls and although I was nervous, I was excited to start my new role.
And you know what, it really is the perfect fit. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted in not just a job but a career and although it’s only been 2 weeks, I’ve never felt happier in work.
I of course miss the girls and chris but knowing that I have the weekends (minus the panic of stress of the return of Monday) and all the holidays (again, minus the panic and stress of the new term) softens any potential blow.
I wake up every day excited, ready for a new day. I enjoy every minute of my day, I love it. For the first time ever I feel actual passion for my role. And the best bit? I finish work with a smile on my face- not because I’m done for the day but because I’m going home happy after a good day. I collect the girls and I no longer feel tense, stressed and eager for bed time. I relax, play and I enjoy every minute. Why? Because I’m no longer dreading the next morning.
As much as I would love to work part time and not rely on childcare (which obviously takes all my pay making work seem almost pointless) it’s amazing knowing that I’m not only helping my own family in the long run, hopefully securing myself a safe career in the future. It’s amazing knowing that I’m making a difference to children’s/young adults lives. Only a small difference but it’s rewarding all the same.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that as parents, it’s all too easy to ignore any negative feelings we have in order to protect our families. It’s easy to make do and suffer. But 9 times out of 10, by doing that, we are also making our loved ones suffer because of our change in mood, our behaviour that’s a result of our unhappiness.
It’s often not until after the problem is taken away, either willingly or unintentionally, that we notice just how dramatic our shift in behaviour can be. And although the realisation can be upsetting, scary and a little heart breaking (My Past job has definitely damaged my relationship with Abi) it’s necessary to feel all of those negative emotions in order to change.
Being a working parent is hard. It’s endless and I know that I feel guilty every day. But I also know that I would feel guilty if I didn’t work. I also know that I need something for me, that’s for me and no one else. Something I can take responsibility for.
Recently its dawned on me more and more that happiness is paramount. Not money, not pleasing others who really don’t matter. Happiness is the most important thing I can teach our daughters. Having a job that I do because I love, and not because I HAVE to work has changed everything. Since I was 16 I’ve worked because it’s the norm, because I’ve had too. To pay bills and to at least look like I’m doing something I should be. And after having Abi I found myself hating, detesting and having some really negative thoughts the 3 days I worked at a job I didn’t love. A job I felt I had to do.
Making the decision to change career is a risk. A big risk. Especially when you have a family and a mortgage to consider. But it’s necessary. And I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stress that enough. When you’re working, it’s important to enjoy and love it. To want to be there, because at the end of the day, you’re at work instead of with your babies, it’s important to at least enjoy what you’re doing, even if only a little bit.
So, here’s to being happy. Not choosing money over happiness and waking up everyday with a smile on your face.