Jacqui - posted on 04/24/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )
Before and during my pregnancy I had absolutely no intention whatsoever of being a full-time mum. The thought couldn’t have been further from my mind. In fact, I was determined to work right up to the point when I gave birth – I just loved my job, you see. Obsessively. And I was determined ‘not to change’, like other women did when they had their children.
Luckily a smart colleague and friend who had been there before me, persuaded me of the importance of having some time to myself before baby came along and so, I reluctantly agreed to take four weeks off prior to its birth, (In retrospect off course I wish I had actually taken 6).
When my son, Jack arrived I wasn’t particularly taken with motherhood. In fact, I missed my working life to the point that I would take him in for weekly visits, catching up with the news of work and putting my two-penny worth in whenever I could. I did however realise that my intended maternity leave of 4 months may not be quite enough, and I doubled it to 8.
I was however, happy enough to get back to work and into the swing of things again. Working full-time for a young ad agency and managing a child in full-time day-care wasn’t so easy. Jack was sick constantly and my husband and I would often compare whose day was busier / more important to determine who would stay home to look after him.
I was struggling with managing my pre-baby persona at work. I could no longer go to the dinners or parties like I used to and I felt estranged from my fellow colleagues who had no concept of my rush out the door at 5pm each day, my journey home with a screaming tired baby, the fact that I then had to spoon-feed him dinner, bath him and get him to bed and then think about our own dinner before logging back onto the computer to do another two hours’ worth of work.
Within a month of going back to work I fell pregnant again and so, as it was I only had 8 months of work before once again I left for maternity leave.
This time I was much wiser. I took the full 4 weeks off happily before Baby 2 came along – not only to be able to put my feet up but to be able to spend some quality time with Jack before having to share myself around.
I demanded the full 12 months of maternity I was entitled to and I stayed away from work and let those who were still there just get on with it.
Life was much harder managing two children so close together and the year flew by. To the point that I realised how hard it would be to go back to full-time employment and two children in day-care.
I resigned somewhat relieved from work and this time I was quite happy to be a full-time mum, throwing myself into fundraisers, kindergarten committees and whatever else came along.
It is ironic now that with my oldest being 5yrs and my youngest 4yrs, I am back to fulltime employment after 4 years of being at home and loving it. Being a working mum is hard work – there is no doubt about it. But being a fulltime at home mum is hard too. Your children know just how to wind you up when they feel like it and lack of adult conversation can be a killer.
Having been on both sides of the fence and often being asked which is easier….well, not having children at all of course!