The ‘One year back in work after Maternity Leave itch’

I’ve been back working full time for nearly a year and I’m having a serious itch. I’m not sure if it’s a career related itch or one of the side effects of working full time and being a mum.

I need to get my symptoms out there just in case someone else is experiencing the same thing.

First of all, does such saying exist? The ‘One year back in work after Maternity leave itch‘. Or is there another term for this which I haven’t come across yet?

Do other mums, especially working mums, experience this ‘itch’?

I’m certain it’s not my body telling me to have another baby – there’s no way I’m paying for two kids in nursery!

It’s been nearly a year since I returned to work and the last few weeks have been mentally challenging. Work is going great, interesting projects to work on and it’s all tickety-boo but I’m not 100% happy. I can’t figure out why I’m not happy and if it’s anything to do with being a mum.

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My Monday to Friday desk, covered in paperwork and toiletries!

 

I quite like working to receive a regular income (or what’s left after tax, National Insurance, student loan and child care voucher deductions), and receiving benefits like a good pension scheme, paid annual leave and sick leave as well as training and professional development. Not forgetting a good maternity pay scheme.

But I’m slowly getting frustrated with the working hours, no option to work from home and very little flexibility available when you need to leave work early because of an incident in nursery, for example.

Plus, my current company don’t really grant requests for reduced working hours unless you put up a fight, which I don’t really want to do.

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My weekly trip to London with work

 

I’ve started worrying more about the future and how as a family we’re going to adapt when my daughter starts school – I have no idea how on earth we’re going to manage with the school run and find childcare during holidays as well as working full time.

In my ideal world, I would love to do the school drop off and pick up, meet the other parents and my daughter’s friends, and spending quality time in the evenings, either supporting my daughter with homework or extra curricular activities.

I know there’s Breakfast and Afterschool Clubs, and child minders that can do the school run – there’s care available. But, I can’t decide if I want to do this for my daughter?

I’ve got another two years until my daughter starts school but I can’t help thinking (or worrying) about the future. If I want to change my work/life balance, maybe I should do something about it now before my daughter starts school?

So these are the ideas and scenarios that keep going around my head to try create a better work/life balance for myself and for my family:

  1. Should I reduce my working hours? Work 30 hours over 5 days so I can leave work a bit earlier…
  2. Should I apply for a part time job? Nope, no part time jobs in digital marketing and rubbish salary…
  3. Should I apply for a term time job? Hmm, working as a administrator or technician in a school might be interesting…
  4. What about a career change? Retrain to become a teacher’s assistant (or anything that is term time!)
  5. Running a baby or toddler group might be interesting… ah wait, there’s loads in my local area. Too much competition maybe…
  6. Or should I  reopen MB|LD for business and review my business plan…

I keep going around in circles with these ideas but there’s one thing I’ve taken action on and that’s to reopen MB|LD and only concentrate on customer bunting orders for now.

There’s on part of me keep telling me to ‘Hang on’ and wait what happens in work and with the company I’m currently working on, which is probably the best temporary solution for now.

I haven’t answered my own question but it would be interesting if other mums (and dads) are experiencing the same thing a year after returning to work after paterntal leave.

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