So, Christmas is over, we’ve found homes for all the new toys (a good haul this year!) and it’s time to get back to reality. I’ve got a busy few months ahead – the Flexi-Mum project is starting off in January, I’m getting married in April, and we’re braving our first flight with two kids in May, then my eldest boy (Oscar) starts school in September.
I was chatting with a friend about new year’s resolutions, and she said hers was simple: try to get her work-life balance right. Easier said than done when she works full time and has a young child, but not impossible. It made me realise just how much a project like this is needed.
After my first child, I returned to work part time. I was so worried about it that I went for a meeting with my manager, and started looking round nurseries SIX MONTHS before I went back – I should have been using that time to enjoy my time with my baby, not worrying about work! I had been confident at work before, but I lost all of my confidence and didn’t have the belief that I would still be able to do the job after a year’s break. I would really have loved some support at that point to help me build that confidence back up.
Second time round was totally different as I had been made redundant. I knew I couldn’t afford not to work, but there’s no support in finding work when your baby is young and your partner is in work. I did have my own business as well by this point, and this served really well to maintain my self confidence. If you start a micro-business even for that reason alone I think it’s worth it. I also trained and started volunteering as a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter, which I really enjoyed and gave me new confidence and skills.
Running my own business and volunteering helped boost my confidence, and gave me some purpose in life other than being “Mummy”. Without having done these, I would never have landed my job with Opportunity Plus.
Through Flexi-Mum, we want to provide you with the support that I wish I’d had. I’ve been there, so I know how hard it can be, even when on paper everything is place for an easy transition back to work. Please get in touch if you think we can help, or if you want to share your story on this blog.