As a working Mum I find the balance of work and home life quite hard at times and there is generally either a sense of quilt for not spending time with the children, or a sense of stress because the house is a mess. Now firstly let me explain a little bit about myself so that this makes a bit more sense. I am what I like to call, slightly OCD and this is a part of myself that I both enjoy and hate at the same time, because being slightly OCD makes me a perfectionist. I like to have things where they belong and I get very stressed if the house is even remotely untidy.
Now in the grand scheme of things, I know that things like this really shouldn’t matter, but I struggle sometimes with letting go of control, and this leads to me getting stressed over silly things like the washing not having been put away, or the dishwater needing emptying. Again, silly things really and they never take very long to sort out, but sometimes I let this cloud my thoughts but I am trying to learn not to do this so much.
I have recently changed my hours at work so that I work only four days per week but for longer hours on the days that I do work and I am really hoping that this will help for me to find a better balance and enable me to get more things done at home. What I am also mindful of, is trying to spend more time with our children. Although our boys are getting older now (16, 11, 8) and they don’t really need us as much, which is great for their independence, but sad because it means they have their own little lives that don’t require so much of our help.
I really want to spend more quality time with them at the weekends when I am not working, because although they have never said anything about it, I do feel guilty for working so much and then being too tired when I am home to do anything with them. I have also been working lots of extra hours recently to raise funds for Christmas. This has been totally by choice, but is has meant that for the past month I have been working every weekend, but I guess it will all be worth it in the end.
It’s just so hard to not have guilt or worries about if you have the balance right, and I guess as the children grow older, things will change and the balance will swing again, I just hope that over the next few months, I can see that my new working hours have made a difference. I guess the point I’m trying to make, is that being a working Mum or Dad is not always easy, and that sometimes things have to change to suit your life better. I know that I am very lucky to be able to change my hours and working days to suit my family more and that this would not be an option for everyone, but it was something important for me to do.
I must also say that I am extremely lucky to have a very supportive and helpful partner. We are pretty much equal in the house cleaning department and we kind of have our own little jobs to do around the house, but luckily he also does the majority of the cooking. I actually love cooking, and now that I have come to the end of all my extra shifts, I will be taking over some of the cooking again during the week. I think it is hard sometimes to not take each other for granted when it comes to the housework or earning money. I really appreciate that he has done so much more at home while I have been doing the extra shifts, even though I may not have told him to his face. He’s also always been such a fantastic Dad to the boys and they have an amazing bond. I think this also helps to ease the guilt slightly because they always have one of us with them.
I have been so busy lately that I did not even have time to take some pictures for this post, so I will add an old picture of our boys so that when I read this post back, I can remember what all this is for in the first place.
See you next week.