Last week I was offered and have accepted a new job. It's a dream job and absolutely perfect for me. I stumbled upon the job almost by chance and applied not expecting (although hoping) to get an interview. The interview went well and I was offered the position. It all felt as though it was meant to be. I am super excited about it but also a little apprehensive about juggling everything and learning to balance motherhood and everything else with it.
I hadn't realised how much there was to consider being a working mum. Firstly, organising and finding the right childcare was a far more complicated thing than I had realised. I hadn't factored in that childcare providers may not have space on the days and hours we needed. I hadn't thought about how I would feel about different options until we started looking. I hadn't realised that contingencies need to be put in place for when children are poorly and how we would juggle the school holidays. I hadn't anticipated quite how many sums we would need to do to make sure the numbers work. After lots of discussion we have finally have settled on childcare arrangements that we feel happy with and that will mean minimal upheaval to the girls. We are super lucky to have a wonderful support network around us in our friends of family and friends who have already offered help should we ever need it. I've managed to negotiate hours to fit around the girls and our childcare arrangements but this in itself meant 3 days of phone calls back and forth to reach an agreement everyone was happy with and meant an awful lot of juggling.
Things are full on as they are, being a mum to 3 children under 5, managing the household, trying to be a good wife, friend, sister and daughter and writing my blog which is something I love. Throwing something else into the mix means more to balance, another version of me, the work me and another plate to spin. I guess it's a leap into the unknown and will take a while for us to find our new normal. While the juggle will inevitably be a struggle sometimes I feel like this change also comes with huge benefits for our family. I have been at home with the little ladies for 5 years now and have absolutely loved it, however I know i'm ready to go back to work and think I will really enjoy it and the positive challenges, identity and self esteem it will give me once i'm there. The financial benefit will take the pressure solely off my amazing husband who works so hard for us and I think i'll be a better mum for it in the longer term. Motherhood is sometimes hard and if I am completely honest (which I always aim to be here) I have been feeling lately that i've reached burn out a bit. The day to day grind and tantrums can be hard especially when there is no break from it and all the days sometimes roll into one. I think i'll enjoy the days i'm off with the girls and really appreciate our time together as it will feel even more precious.
In terms of balancing work with all the other stuff I do I think i'm just going to have to be super organised making sure everyone's bits and bobs are ready the night before and investing in a family wall planner so everyone knows where they need to be when, or at least I do! My trusty Chedworth wall unit in the hall will definitely help too. Things like online food shopping will really help and Oli has promised that he will help share the epic task alone that is our washing mountain! Marriage or partnerships are largely based on teamwork and I think more than ever Oli and I are going to have to pull together and work as a team. Oli will be taking care of the girls 2 out of the 4 days I'm at work which has made the decision so much easier for me. I'm pleased that he will get to spend this time with them and their routines can continue as normal.
I'm still going to be working really hard on my blog and have lots of exciting things in the pipeline that I can't wait to share with you. Sometimes everything just comes at once and you just have to ride the wave don't you?
I'm sure that at some point during the juggle they'll be times where a plate gets dropped and it will feel like the balance is being tipped. Hopefully it will be rebalanced by the positives it brings too with the girls continuing to be the centre of my world, because ultimately it's all for them and therefore utterly worth a little bit of a struggle now and then.
I'd love to hear from you if you have any tips about balancing motherhood and work, please leave me a comment below.