Wednesday 25 May 2016

5 THINGS: That have been hard since returning to work

Last week I wrote a post about 5 things that have been easier than expected since returning to work (catch up here), but it's not all been easier. There have been hard times where tears have been shed and thoughts like 'have we done the right thing?' crossed my mind. I never want to paint a picture on my blog that every life decision we make as a family is an easy one, so to balance out my positive post last week I thought I'd share five things that I've found harder since returning to work.

1) No 'me' time - As in genuinely absolutely zero 'me' time on the days I work. In a quick snapshot my working days look something like this: 5.50am wake up, 5.55am schedule tweets/blog admin, 6.05am get ready, 6.35am make my packed lunch/breakfast, 6.45am feed Isabella, 6.50am leave for work, 8am arrive at work, 4.30pm leave work, 5.40pm pick Isabella up from nursery, 5.50pm get home and have some playtime with Isabella, 6.20pm Isabella's bath time, 6.45pm put Isabella to bed, 7pm cook dinner, 7.30pm eat dinner, 7.45pm tidy/clean the kitchen, 8pm do work/blogging, 8.45pm pack nursery and work bags, 9pm go to bed. Luckily this is only for three days a week, but those three days are exhausting and I have a complete new found respect for working parents. It's hard, exhausting and life seems to whizz by even faster than before. 

2) When Isabella's poorly - A few weeks ago Isabella was properly sick for the first time, she was so lethargic, sleepy and wouldn't eat anything. All she wanted to do was sleep on us, even getting her to sip water was difficult. It was heart-breaking to see and even more heart-breaking when I had to leave her with my husband to go to work. As she had been sick she wasn't allowed in nursery for 48 hours, so my husband took the first day off with her and I took the second and third because she was sick again. Leaving her for the first day was horrible and coming home to see her lying on the sofa feeling very sorry for herself bought me to tears. I hadn't been there when she needed me, the mum guilt was very real that day. 

3) Always having to be prepared in advance - This kind of goes hand in hand with the first point, part of the reason we have no 'me' time is because we have to constantly be prepared. If we don't check Isabella's nursery communication book in advance we could miss messages asking for my nappies/wipes or if we don't restock her spare outfits she could be left with nothing to wear. The nature of my job means that every day is different, which requires a lot of planning and preparation. I need to know what I'm doing and where I'm doing it in advance otherwise my days at work would be an unorganised mess. You can't just have a night 'off' because it makes the next day more stressful and just simply isn't worth it. 

4) Seeing Isabella for no more than two hours a day - On the days I work I only see Isabella for 10 minutes in the morning and up to 1.5 hours in the evening. We've recently pushed her bedtime to slightly later because otherwise she wasn't getting home from nursery and going straight to bed. This wasn't ideal as both my husband and I wanted to spend at least half an hour of quality time with Isabella in the evening. Not seeing her for very long each day does break my heart, but I have to constantly remind myself about the days we do have together and how lucky we are to have those. 

5) Trying to create a family/work/blogging life/business balance - Having blogging as a hobby can be very consuming, I'll spend every nap Isabella has blogging away, planning our days around when there's the best light for photographs, constantly trying to think of content, replying to emails and writing posts. Prior to becoming a parent I would struggle to establish a good blogging/life balance, they were very much intertwined. They still are in some respects and I'm personally more than happy with that. I love blogging - it encourages and inspires me while allowing me to stretch my creativity. However since going back to work I've found it more difficult than ever to get a work/family/blogging life balance. The nature of my job means that I have almost more work to do outside of my 'working hours', so balancing that with blogging and spending quality time as a family can be hard. I always want to do everything to the best of my ability, I'm always so scared of letting people down. This is an area of my life I'll constantly be working on I think, getting that perfect balance is seriously hard. 

Did you go back to work after maternity leave? If so, what did you find hard about returning to work?

Feel free to leave a comment :)

Helen x


  1. I can totally relate. I work three days a week now too and I have zero time for myself - some days I'm so knackered I go to bed when Jenson does and don't have time for blog updates. When I get home from work I have some time with Jenson while his dad cooks tea but it's me that gets him ready for bed and, once he's settled, tidy all the toys away, tidy the kitchen up and catch up on laundry. Must admit I resent it a bit as I used to do it all before I went back to work, as the stay at home parent, and now I still end up doing it even though I'm working. But that's another story!

  2. oh I remember those days all too well... I used to feel awful for putting the girls into a 'summer school/camp' thingy, for the 6 weeks holidays, and not being able to join their friends and the other parents who didn't work for days out etc.. that used to kill me! but, the girls loved the time there and they always did loads of activities and days out with the camp, so they were quite unfazed really. It was my own guilt that consumed me. its tough huh?! #bloggerclubUK

  3. I take my hat off to woking parents! I work two days out of the home and find that busy enough. The planning in advance is a must though x #sharewithme

  4. I work, but only part time. It's still hard trying to find the right balance, and being organised enough to get everything done. I'm not naturally the most organised person so I really need to stay on top of it! x #sharewithme

  5. Oh gosh I can totally relate to this. After my first baby I returned to work when she was 5.5 months full time so everyday was like that. she was the first to arrive at nursery and the last to leave and for five days a week I just got her dressed, undressed, bathed her, read a story and put her to bed. After my second child I went back to work full time when he was 8 months and It was the same as above but with two children. After 18 months i couldn't do it anymore and I started my own business which was super hard but at least I could re-jiggle my day and spend more time with the children. Five years after my second child i had a another and then 15 months after him I had my forth and last child. Now I juggle work, school, playgroup, the house and spending time with the children (oh and after school activities) and I have no 'free' time but that's just how things are. For me it is still a struggle, just a different kind of struggle but my children are much happier with this situation than they were before so that's good enough for me.

    Thanks for linking up to #sharewithme and hope to see you again next week

  6. It is mad working, having kids and blogging, but you just make it work. I went back with slightly reduced hours but with a 2 hour round commute. Now though I do full time but 10 mins away from home. My OH works 7 days a week so I pretty much do everything else although we don't do evening meals because OH eats his at the farm, I do mine at lunchtimes and N at afterschool club. So that gives us a bit extra time in the evening with N #sharewithme

  7. Its so hard isnt it? Sometimes I think am I supposed to find it this hard? Everyone else is doing it. But just because everyone is doing it doesnt mean it isnt hard. The lack of time for me is what I find the hardest, and the constant planning. If one night I just cant be bothered to make the lunches for the next day, it means the next morning starts with a total panic. Who knew it would be like this??

  8. Awww I bet it was so tough to go to work when Isabella was sick. I don't think there is such a thing as a life / blog balance. It's a constant struggle to keep everything going at once. You are doing a fab job! Thanks so much for linking up with us at #BloggerClubUK x

  9. Awww bless you darling must be hard to balance it all but sounds like you have routines down and preparation down too. I have to say from a child perspective as I was a child of a single working mother (not that you are this) but she worked a lot and had to balance all us kids and I always looked up to her and thought I hope I can work as hard as she can and be as good of a mother as she is to us. That always stuck with me that she was amazing not that she couldn't always be with us hours of the day. I hope that helps make you feel better that you are showing her amazing things of life about what it takes to work hard and take care of a family. :) Apologies for the late commenting the hand over of Share With Me to Mummy Fever and the busy half term has me a little behind but never forgetting your amazing support and thanking you for linking up. I hope you will link up again tomorrow for another great round of Share With Me over with Charlotte and keep Share With Me blog hop going long after my hosting. #sharewithme


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