Today marks a year since my return to work after maternity leave. Unlike the last time I went to work after maternity leave, when I had LP, this time I was going back forever. There were no hopes of another baby and another instalment of maternity leave to look forward to in the future. There was just work, annual leave and a new routine for us all. So how has the first year back been?
To be honest, being back at work has been fine. I am lucky that my working days and hours aren’t controlled by the children’s school or anything so I work every Friday, every Saturday and one other day during the week and on my working days I am not responsible for getting LP to preschool – although I often get them ready, or at least help to, in the morning before I go to work. This makes life a lot easier than if I had to drop them off at childcare before work and pick them up afterwards – I know I am lucky with this.
I only work until 2pm on a Saturday and although Dave often works weekends it gives me a few hours with the children before bedtime and then the whole of Sunday with them before the school week starts again. For me this creates a nice balance and the times where I have worked until 5pm on a Saturday I have really felt it – and missed the kids incredibly.
My actual job is something that I enjoy, although I still work to live not live to work. It’s a company that I have been with for over 12 years now and one that I think I will stay with indefinitely – I can’t imagine being employed anywhere else. The actual job role is one that I have done on and off for about eight years, apart from a brief step up into management before and after having LP, and a job that I know pretty well, although as with most industries things change constantly.
So, work is fine, really. I love the people I work with and the adult conversation, hot cups of tea and steady income are all things I appreciate. I’m lucky that my hours can fit around Dave’s with help from his parents as childcare meaning we don’t have any childcare costs – something I am hugely grateful for and really this year has gone by so much quicker than I thought it would. I also spend my lunch break at work catching up on blog admin which is nice – an uninterrupted hour to work during the day is a real novelty!
The first six months back at work were the hardest. But now? Now, this is life. Dave works, I work, the kids have days with me, days with Dave, days with both of us together and days with their wonderful grandparents. The main thing? The kids are happy, Dave and I have jobs that we don’t mind going to and that pay the bills and we have money left over to sort the house out, have holidays and enjoy ourselves.
The first year back at work wasn’t bad at all, and I’m now looking forward to a future with the nice work/life balance we have created.