Loving the working mum life
At the root of self-care is the idea that we need to look after ourselves. Physically we need to take care of our bodies (after all, if we don’t, we’ll have nowhere to live) and mentally, we need to mind our minds.
As working mums, we hear a lot about how hard life can be, how hectic it is, how we run from pillar to post, scrambling to do all that needs to be done. And while that stereotype is not wrong, it isn’t always right.
Yes, being a working mum can be tough, but it can also be wonderful.
Quite often we can get carried away thinking about how busy we are and how much pressure we’re under, and we lose sight of the good side of being a working mum. An important part of self-care is resetting your mind, taking time to stop and check your mental health and working towards a more positive mental outlook. By doing this we can appreciate what we have and remember how much we love what we do.
With that in mind, we spoke to some working mums and asked them what it is they love about their life, what makes them grateful for choosing this route and what positive effect it has on their day-to-day living.
I love my job. I love the challenge; I love the satisfaction and I love that I can make a difference to people’s lives. I got into this career because it interested and excited me, becoming a mum changed the way I look at certain situations and it changed the way I think about my job, but it didn’t change my love for what I do. I may not stay as late as I once did, or work over the weekend, but I make the hours in the office count and I relish the opportunities that I have.
I love my kids, I love chatting to them about their day, their friends and hearing the news from playschool. But I also love talking about current affairs, I like to discuss what’s going on in the news, I even like to talk about what’s going on in the soaps, and my children don’t really have a lot of opinions on those topics. That’s what I love about going to work. I like what I do, but I love having some “grown up” time, chatting to co-workers, talking through client issues, discussing something we read in the paper, even catching up on the latest gossip (and all conversations are conducted without a small hand pulling my trousers and asking for a snack). That interaction is a vital part of my day and I’d really miss it if I wasn’t working.
I am proud of the contribution I make to the family income. I enjoy the fact that we can afford a holiday because of what I do. I like that I can treat myself to little luxuries here and there, with money that I have earned. I am also grateful for the security that my job gives us. I know that if something happened to my husband or he lost his job, I could still keep us afloat.
Elizabeth, IT consultant
I feel like I’m winning in life. Heading out to work has given me the motivation I needed to get my life in order. I used to be scatty and disorganised, and you just can’t be like that when you’re working and managing a home and kids. So, I’ve retrained myself to be organised and now I feel like I’m actually achieving something during the day, rather than chasing my tail. I go to bed satisfied with my day and ready to face the morning. That gives me a sense of calm and allows me to appreciate my time at home more and more.
Lucy, Graphic designer
I am proud of the example I am setting for my children. My daughter sees me going out every day and following my dream, she realises that a woman can have a career and a family. My son sees that jobs around the house are not just ‘women’s work’, he knows that my husband does just as much housework as I do and as a result, he shoulders his share of the chores without complaint. There are no ‘daddy jobs’ and ‘mommy jobs’ in our house and I love that this is the norm for my children.
I stayed at home for a year after my daughter was born and I have to say the thing I love most about going back to work is a hot cup of coffee. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but when you’re at home you never get round to drinking a cup of coffee while it’s still warm. Those few quiet minutes in the office when I first arrive and start to plan my day are just heaven to me.
I love coming home to big hugs from my children. I know I’m a better parent when I work and I’m not ashamed to say it. When I was at home all day I was stressed out and anxious, and I was too short and snappy with my kids. Being a full-time mom did not suit me. But now I have a balance that I enjoy, and my children benefit from. I make more of the time I spend with my kids and I am able to concentrate on their needs in that moment, rather than just running from one chore to the next.
Nina, Project manager
Since going back to work I’ve really enjoyed watching my husband become a dad. When I was on maternity leave, I did everything with the baby and when he came home from work, all he got to do was kiss her goodnight before I put her down to sleep. I didn’t realise how much he was missing. Now because I’m working, he has had to step up and become an equal parent, and he is just fantastic. I never realised how much I had taken over, but now I can see that he is a true partner, and he is loving every minute of being a father.