20 October 2016

Balancing Motherhood

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. 

balancing motherhood, plate spinning work and family life

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. 

Me  x

Are you dealing with changes at the moment? You may be able to relate to this post about Finding A New Normal


  1. Congratulations! It's funny you posted this today as we had a big old discussion last night about how busy life is now. I think school tipped the balance from busy to frenetic! I enjoy my job but sometimes my brain needs a rest from thinking about the next task. Yoga helps me a bit. I hope you find your balance. I'm sure you will be fab in your new role xxx

  2. Firstly, congratulations on your new job as getting accepted back into the workforce after five years being a mum is no small accomplishment itself.
    I have just returned to work after 2.5 years out with a brief spell of 6 months working while pregnant with my second.
    My brain hurts from absorbing all the new info in the workplace, but I hope this will ease.
    I had to go to work exhausted with a massive headache the other day due to my youngest waking for a couple of hours in the night.
    My husband and I feel v guilty when our babies cry at nursery drop off and are exhausted at pick up.
    However, we need the money and I am enjoying challenging my brain, dressing professionally, being able to have a hot uninterrupted lunch and cup of tea and going to the loo on my own! I'm also really lucky to be working 2.5 days a week doing a jobshare and have childcare help from grandparents.
    The days when we are exhausted from work and nursery are balanced by the more relaxed days at home catching up with each other (lots of hugs!) and the washing!
    As you say, organisation is key. I have a three drawer unit downstairs which At the weekend I fill with the kids' clothes for mon, tues, weds, so there is no discussion re choices and running between different drawers in different rooms. As soon as they wake up ( or are woken up!) I give the kids a bottle of diluted apple juice while I change their nappies (juice and nappies put out the night before). I then dress them while they sit on the sofa watching CBeebies and eating from their healthy snacks in party bags, which I put together the evening before. They both love their party bags of snacks, which has added a touch of excitement to an otherwise arduous routine! They have been angels in adapting to this new routine and as soon as I put their shoes on they go and stand by the front door ready to go. I hope this continues!
    Good luck and enjoy!

  3. Childcare for three is complicated indeed. My eldest two go to a before and after school club whilst the youngest has a childminder. As a supply teacher I pick and choose the days I work so I do this around the availability of my childminder and then the after school club places are booked last.
    I hope it all works out for you!

  4. Congratulations on your new job! Fantastic news and really does sound like this job was meant to be! Wishing you all the best in your new role and hope you will tell us all about it :) xx

  5. Congratulations on your new job, and like someone previously commented, especially on getting back into the workplace after 5 years off. That gives me hope! I went back to work part time for 4 months but then quit for a couple of reasons, not really getting anything new out of the job and also missing my daughter who was terribly ill and also being able to afford to be off. I do now sometimes wonder if I could have stuck it out longer but for me the balance wasn't good. Now I guess I have no balance, other than I've started blogging and that has helped so much to give me some 'me time' and to use my brain. i'm sure you'll get into a new routine, when I went back it took 6-8 weeks before I felt settled. Not that it lasted long! #SharingtheBlogLove

  6. Huge congratulations to you on the new job! Sometimes the right thing just comes along and you just have to go for it. That's great that you've sorted out childcare that you're happy with - I think that's the number one thing that makes me feel happy and secure in my job, that I know my son is happy and well cared for while he's at nursery. I'm sure you'll find your new balance very soon. Thanks for joining us again at #SharingtheBlogLove

  7. Well done on the new job! I think if you are happy with the child care arrangements that goes a long way to making it easier for you and them. As with any change in life it takes a while for it to become your new normal, but it will and you will find your way through it. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove x

  8. Well done on the new job, childcare is such a faff to sort out, I also never thought about the fact that places may not have spaces available on the days I wanted #sharingthebloglove

  9. Congratulations on the new job! Getting organised is key - I booked my daughter into nursery before she was born. I am lucky to be able to work flexibly and I am clear about what time I have to leave off to do the nursery run. It is a balancing act and also important for you to find time and space for yourself. #SharingTheBlogLove

  10. Congratulations on the new job! Well done! I think organisation and team work will be the key but I'm sure you will make it work. Enjoy the new or evolving identity.

  11. Congratulations on the new job! That's great news! It's so hard to juggle motherhood with everything else, I really struggle and I don't have a job so to speak. That said, I work long hours on my blog and my free lance so I should be a little easier on myself there, and the housework can ALWAYS wait! #sharingthebloglove

  12. Fantastic news on the new job and it sounds like you've thought everything through. The whole family sounds like they'll benefit and our very lucky to have your girls only in childcare two out of your four days. I went back full time when my daughter was 12 months but only as I was pregnant and knew I'd be off again in six months. We were lucky enough to have our French niece come over and work as a nanny. It cost us a fortune but it was such a weight off my shoulders knowing it was staying in the family.

    I know I'll go back again in April 2017 but would prefer 3-4 days. I've got to find another childcare option now so it won't be the same. But I do know that I loved finding a bit of me again when I went back last time. I could have a proper adult conversation, I enjoyed using my brain and just having the time even on the commute to read a book! I hope it goes well for you and I wish you all the best xx #sharingthebloglove (Ruth at Topfivemum)

  13. Congratulations on the new job, hope it is everything you want it to be. This working parent juggle/balance was the reason why I set up my blog. I went back to work when both of my girls were 7 months old and have spent 7 years doing nursery, school and work runs and wanted to share what helps make my life a little bit easier. I remember that everytime there was a change to our routine I kept on thinking I didn't know how I was going to manage, but we did. Also like you hubby helps out, he works shifts so can do school runs a couple times of week but downside is he works some weekends. Good luck with your next step. #SharingtheBlogLove (p.s. my blog is called Organised Jo)

  14. Congrats on the new job! I didn't realise how difficult choosing an appropriate nursery would be either. Teamwork is essential but I do find it hard that the balance of responsibility always seems to be much higher in the mum's corner. #sharingthebloglove


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