You may have read in a previous post about my return to work being on the horizon. I promised to come back and write about the journey and since it’s been 2 months and I’m back into the routine of a full time working mum, I’m back to tell all.
To give you an overview of my typical day, I’m up at 6:30am and am super lucky to be able to get ready for work while Dan takes care of getting Austin ready. I leave at 7:15am, work from 8am to 4:30pm before an hour drive in rush hour traffic to pick up Austin from nursery. We’re straight into the bath and bed routine and once the little man is down around 7:30pm, I settle into a few hours work on the laptop managing the Artisan Baby Co and Claire Clarke Weddings workload. Dan’s brilliant, he rushes about doing us dinner which I try to eat one handed while frantically typing away. On a good night my laptop closes at 11pm, on a not so good night, it’s more like 2am and its wedding season so there has been a fair few ‘not so good nights’ of late.
Reading that in black and white, it seems crazy. If anyone told me this was their lifestyle I’d worry about them and my friends are beginning to worry about me now. I’m not writing this to gain any sympathy as I chose this life. I’ve always been one to take on too much. I say yes to everything thrown my way as I never like to disappoint but, in all honesty, I’ve now lost myself. I’ve forgotten how to be a good wife; my son doesn’t get quality mum time; instead he shares me with my laptop or while my face is staring at my mobile screen and the housework has taken a complete nosedive which stresses me to the max.
I feel like a failure.
But why? On paper I look like Superwoman.
But inside, I’m starting to feel the bubbles of the triggers that lead to my PND returning and I need to face the reality that it may in fact, be time to slow down.
I think the pressures we put on ourselves to achieve everything can really be unachievable sometimes. Is it down to the fact we want to prove something? It’s taken women so long to have equal rights to men and even in the workplace, in some instances, it’s clear that equality still isn’t the case. So, when we have a baby, we often feel that we’ve taken a couple of steps backwards. We feel as though we suddenly have to play catch up for the time we lost when caring for our baby for that time we spent on maternity. Somehow having to prove that it wasn’t all about coffee mornings and cake but in fact it was bloody hard work.
But this surely leads us down a path of setting ourselves up for failure? Because being a mum alone is a FULL TIME JOB! I don’t care what people say but it is. And then, some of us add in a ‘desk’ full time job too and suddenly we’re working ten times harder to prove to everyone, to prove to ourselves, that we can be just as amazing as we were before baby and that, that right there is a dangerous path.
Writing this, I really am realising how much I need to take a step back. I need to realise that what I did for 11 months caring for Austin was a full-time job in itself. And now, back to work full time AND managing two businesses, it’s a lot and I am not Superwoman. I don’t want to be Superwoman. I want to be a mum to my gorgeous boy and a wife to my amazing husband. But I also want to be a successful business woman. And there… There is the devil on my shoulder again telling me that in order to achieve all those things, I have to work harder, I have to stay up later and I have to keep persevering.
I really don’t know the outcome of this blog post. Maybe it’s just cathartic to write my feelings down. Maybe it’s to get some support from other mums out there that are tackling that devil on their shoulder? Sometimes it’s good to talk.
If anyone has any advice on how to find a work-life balance, I’m all ears. I want to make this work so badly but right now, I’m on a sinking ship and I just need help, support and maybe a new perspective.