Tuesday, 19 May 2015

The reality of a working mum

When I returned to work I was frequently asked how I was coping with someone else looking after Oscar.  I found this a little strange to be honest.  Before I returned to work we had researched our local childcare options,  visited establishments,  talked to staff,  looked at Ofsted reports and asked all the questions we could think of that mattered. We chose a nursery that felt like a home,  like a family and that I considered to be safe,  supportive and best for developing Oscar in the way that I would do if I had that luxury.

So the answer to the question is that I have no worries about his care.  Am I happy with someone else looking after him?  Well that's a completely different question.

I wish that I could afford to spend more time with him. I've already reduced my hours and condensed them across 4 days in order that I get a whole day in the middle of the week with him.  It's not enough though.  I want to be spending time with him when he's not tired,  when he doesn't just want me for my boobs ha ha! I want to be able to catch those milestones.  It doesn't seem fair to me that I grew him for 9 months,  nurtured him, gave birth to him,  kept him alive and developed him this far into the cheeky character that he is,  for someone else to then see him take his first steps,  say his first words and give other people who are paid to care for him those hugs and kisses when he wakes from his nap.

I do feel resentful, but what alternative is there?  It's not reasonable to expect an employer to fund my desire to be a mum, and I can't expect the Government or the tax payer to pay for my choice to have a family. But I do think employers could do more to allow parents to find that balance between family and work.

I know I'm lucky in that my employer has a decent maternity package, allowed me to change my working pattern and has flexible working hours. But that's a rarity. I count my blessings I'm able to leave work early when I need to, that I can get a tax break in my childcare, but,  if I'm honest,  I'm pinning my hopes on a big lottery win :-D

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