My first work back at work has been a rollercoaster of emotions. I went back to work full time to see how it went. Full time meant working 3 12 hour shifts or 2 12 hour shifts and 2 six hour shifts.
To start off with I loved it. I am not going to lie. By the time my maternity leave was ending Ruaidhrí was hard work. He was constantly crying, not sleeping and just all round clingy. I got so jealous of the other half going out to work even though is work hours are short, those arms with a non clingy and non crying baby were what I craved. I cried constantly and felt so guilty that Roman wasn’t getting enough of my time.
So those 36 hours a week of going back to work were like a little piece of heaven sent to me. During the first few weeks Ruaidhrí was being difficult to settle with people and not just any one but family. This boy made it difficult for us to go to work. Which in turn made us both feel guilty ad our parents had to go through a hard time with him.
So since my second week in returning to work I have been having a daily struggle with myself on whether to reduce my hours to 24. I am now into my sixth week back and off with an injury. I am a care assistant and going into work tired with a baby that has trouble sleeping through the night and through the day also. The decision has been made. Come September my hours will be reduced.
It’s not fair on us both working full time jobs while all us parents know that being a parent is a full time job. There is no set hours for being a parent it’s basically when you open your eyes to when you close your eyes. And there is no time limit on his ling your eyes are closed. We struggle to get up some days are harder than others.
It’s not fair on our children as they are not getting the best of us. Some days I feel they are getting the best of me. I am on top of everything the children, the house, the job, the bills and even myself. Other days I just feel like I’m failing at everything, juggling 2 young children, a full time job and trying to keep the house respectable. I want my boys to be happy and to have fun and to enjoy like with us. I know that you don’t need to give your children expensive gifts to make them happy. And it’s one thing I plan not to do. I want them to have the memories they can look back on and remember they had good and happy times with us while growing up. This was a big part in my decision in reducing my hours.
It’s not fair on my work colleagues me arriving into work tired, yes I still do my work but I am totally exhausted.
Maybe when Ruaidhrí is that bit older I can pick up my hours again but at the moment I think that 24 hours is enough to balance my family and work life balance. I want to be that mum who bring a their kids to all their sports practices and go to every game. I want to be there to do their homework with them to watch them grow into the fine young boys and men they are going to be. And at the moment me reducing my hours at work and being at home more with my boys is what is best for my family and for myself at this moment.
The struggle is real for parents going back to work. It’s a hard transition being with your child everyday to not. For me I was happy for the break to start with but boy do you miss them like crazy.
Do not be hard on yourself. Only you know what’s the best decision for you and tour family. I wasn’t sure that’s why I went back to work full time. I made sure I waited a few weeks just to try and work out what was best and to make sure my emotions were not getting in the way. Now I know and I am happy with the decision I have made to reduce my working hours.