Working Mummy – An UnNatural Decision ?



I have been back at work for just over a month and at first, I found it really hard. It was never going to be easy as my job involves travelling and for the first 2 weeks, I cried every night partly from exhaustion and partly from missing the kids. A little bit like anything you soon get into the swing of things and arrange a new routine that fits in with your family life and by week 3 the few little glitches had smoothed themselves out. I am lucky that Harry has settled into school extremely well and is quite happy to go to breakfast & after school club a couple of times a week so I can set off to the office early and dad can pick him up a bit later. Charley now attends a local nursery and loves her time there. I think it makes a huge difference when you know they are well looked after and the staff have got a wealth of experience. I am also very lucky as both sets of parents are retired and happy to help with school pick up’s and looking after Charley.  All this being said I do get pangs of ‘working mummy guilt’. Charley was poorly the 1st week I went back to work and I had to make the decision to leave her with my mum so I could go into the office. Harry had a total meltdown and refused to go to breakfast club one morning when I had an extremely important meeting and I had to be really hard and make him go. I do ad I called 5 minutes later to check on him and he was happily playing with some dinosaurs and munching on jam toast.

I have been in the Travel Industry for over 10 years and worked hard to get to the job I presently hold. I earn a comfortable amount of money which means we have quite a nice lifestyle. I’m not dripping in diamonds and we don’t have a big fancy house but I am fortunate that if the kids need new clothes /shoes/ treat I don’t have to worry about if we can afford it or not. While on Maternity I still had to pay my personal bills as my hubby’s wage couldn’t support us both and as I only received  SMP (£137 a week)  from work i was on a very tight budget. My odd treat of a Topshop dress stopped and if I couldn’t buy it in a charity shop I didn’t have any new clothes. We have always been fans of ALDI but we even had to cut back on luxuries shopping there. It was amazing to have just over 12 months off with Charley and have the opportunity to spend the extra time with Harry before he went off to school but it was very clear that I was never going to be a stay at home mum. I’m a rubbish cook, I hate cleaning and in truth living on a tight budget was not for me. So here I am today up at 5 am and on the 6.27 train from Blackpool to London to attend a meeting. Charley will be asleep when I get back tonight (she was up with me at 5am) and Harry will be tucked up in bed waiting for me to get home to read him a story. The cleaner will have been and my house will once again resemble a home (instead of a Hell hole). This will leave me enough time to have a quick tea (plus cheeky glass of wine), catch up on my hubby’s day and then put 2 hours work in to my 2nd job as The UnNatural Mother. My decision to go back to work was not an easy one but it was the right decision for my family and I hope one day The UnNatural Mother will give me a liveable income but until then it’s back on the train to the next meeting.

How did you come to the decision to stay at home or go back to work ? Do you regret the decision and want to be back in the working world or do you wish you could be at home with the kids ? Leave your comments below.




28 responses to “Working Mummy – An UnNatural Decision ?”

  1. Amy says:

    What a great post Becci!! I think we’ve all felt the emotional tugs on our heart strings as we release the tiny hands into another care giver that they will inevitably build milestones with but I believe it’s so important to instil values and ethics into our children about working hard for the things we have – times do change more mummies work these days but so do expectations – I can only hope the same as all working mummies out there that we are building a strong and secure future for our babies and they will forgive the small moments of time in protest that we carry them into nursery bundled up on a frosty October morning in our quest for a perfect family work balance xx

  2. I’m glad I didn’t go back to work. I really didn’t enjoy it even though it was the family company. I just didn’t enjoy it, it was boring. Thankfully my other half earns enough for us to live on but I am persuing other avenues of income at the moment. The blog and other work from home things. I love looking after my son. Thanks for linking up to #FamilyFun

  3. Great post. Going back to work is tough. Even making the decision is tough! I went back doing 3 long days and I’m really happy with the balance. Some days I don’t want to go to work, but then I am quickly reminded on my next at-home day that looking after a toddler-powered-by-duracell is exhausting in a different way! It’s nice to have the two components to my life. Really glad you’ve all settled into a routine. There will always be ups-and-downs but you just have to adapt and do the best you can; We’ve had a month of illness and other set backs so I’m learning this at the moment. Also good luck in evolving your blog to where you want it to be! #FamilyFun

  4. It is so hard deciding about work as a mum. The world doesn’t make it easy for us. I know what you mean about working hard for your job position and not wanting to give that up. I’m very lucky because I work 4 days/week and 2 of those I work from home so that I can see my children either end of the day. But it can still be hard balancing everything – especially if one of the children gets ill or something. It sounds like you are doing great though and things will get easier as the children grow up. #familyfun

  5. I think whatever decision you make you feel guilt and it inevitably means compromise. I am a SAHM but that of course means I had to give up a significant salary in order to do so, and with that comes the treats etc that you mention. but, of course it’s not a job for everyone and there are days I wish I was back at work!

    hope things continue to stay positive for you and your children continue to enjoy school and nursery x

  6. Tammymum says:

    I find this such an interesting topic. It is absolutely about what is right for you and your family. I wrote a post about m decision too. I didn’t go back to work – in part because my job wasn’t there anymore but it was also tha right thing for our family at the time. The jury is still out as to whether it was absolutely right for me but I take comfort knowing it was the right thing for the whole family. Thank you for sharing at #familyfun

  7. Going back to work sounds like it was the right decision for you – whatever we choose I think there will always be that mummy guilt one way or another. I’m very lucky to be able to work part-time from home which means that I do get to be home with my girls but there are times when I have to pop the TV on and try and get work done in the day and I then feel guilty that I might be home, but they aren’t really getting my attention. Glad to hear that you have adjusted to the change that being back at work brings – I can imagine that it must have been so hard the first couple of weeks or so. #familyfun

  8. Lucy | Lucy's Locket says:

    Working is definitely the right decision for me. I love my job. It keeps me sane, happy, engaged. I wouldn’t be me without it. Happy mum = happy family! #fortheloveofBLOG

  9. Rochelle says:

    Your superwoman! I hope when I eventually enter the workforce I can balance it as well as your doing. Do you work in London and travel everyday? I find it quite inspiring to be honest, as I have been worrying about how I am to start work after just graduating university, and my twins are to start nursery in January. I hate living on a tight budget and doing nothing with my time at home but tend to the kids, so I am really looking forward to going back. #fortheloveofBLOG

  10. Tooting Mama says:

    The whole work or not to work debate is so emotive. I’ve done both worked and be a stay at home mum (which I am now). I did work part time and that’s hard too – as my job geeked out into my non-work days.I remember everything working on a knife edge, a late train to work and the whole day could go out.

    I have to say I do enjoy not working, but I know not everyone has that option and some mums need to work and enjoy their work. Which ever way it’s a juggle. The hard thing is the cost of childcare, which can make work prohibitive. I live in France and here they have a really good state run, affordable childcare which makes it much easier to be a working mum. #fortheloveofblog

  11. Mindful Mummy Mission says:

    Very interesting post about different reasons for going back to work. I’m a teacher and work 3 days/week – I don’t do it for the money (it barely covers childcare costs) but I need something else and love being in the classroom so I figure I’m a better Mum as a result when I am with the kids. #fortheloveofBLOG x

  12. I think that this is one of the hardest decisions any parent has to make. I imagined I would go back to work, then realised that my job and lengthy commute wasn’t compatible with childcare hours, so I decided I’d be a stay at home mum. But I have to admit that I found maternity leave really difficult. I never realised how much I enjoyed working until I wasn’t doing it anymore. At the end of my maternity leave a part time local position came up that I just couldn’t say no to – I love it! The work is less challenging than my previous job, but it allows me to have something for me, as well as keeping my mind in the world of work. But I think whichever route you choose, you’ll always feel that twinge of guilt at times – it’s inevitable, we just need to work out how to squish it! Thanks so much for joining us again at #SharingtheBlogLove

  13. I have done both. I went back to work part time after having Alice and I haven’t gone back to work after having Holly. Neither decision has been easy, but they were both decisions made based on the needs of our family. I think I sit with one foot in each and if I could find a job that game me this it would be the perfect solution for me. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove x

  14. Lex says:

    I’m the opposite! Unfortunately I had to leave work due to many usual factors – non flexible hours, childcare costs etc – and though it is absolutely wonderful being at home with my little one, being due with baby #2 and being lucky enough to be able to rely on other half’s wage, sometimes I think I wish I stuck things out a bit longer too see if anything else opened up. But I think no matter what role we chose, what position we are in, we always will have that niggly little voice. Lovely reflective post #fortheloveofblog

  15. It’s a really tough decision. But you have to do what YOU FEEL is best for you and your family. Too many people have opinions but they’re not living your life. I went back to work after my two mat leaves on a 4 day then a 3 day basis. I think people expected me not to come back just because we did IVF and so maybe they thought I’d want to be a SAHM. I love that my girls love nursery! I also love working and being part of a team. It’s hard work whatever route you choose #fortheloveofBLOG

  16. The Pramshed says:

    It’s such a hard decision whatever you choose to do, whether you go back to work or choose to stay at home. Whatever decision I think that everyone experiences the guilt. Either guilty for working, and not being at home to be with your children, or look after the home, or feeling guilty for not working and supporting the household budget. I chose to go to back to work full-time 4 months ago, I’ve since gone down to 4 days to week. I felt a huge relief when I made that choice and spoke to my boss. The 4 days a week have only just started, and I need to be strict with myself and my colleagues that work does not happen on a Monday. I think that whatever is decided about returning to work, it’s your decision and needs to work for your family, there’s no shame about being a SAHM or choosing to go back to work full-time. Thanks for sharing this at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

    • The UnNatural Mother says:

      Thanks for commenting. I do 4 days too and have to be careful that work doesn’t spill over onto my day off.

  17. Jo says:

    It was more circumstance initially which led me to being a SAHM. Certainly not my plan when I was pregnant. It has taken me two years to make peace with it and not be feeling guilty that I’m not working or frustrated that I want to be. Right now I’m where works best for all of us. Thanks for sharing your experiences #postsfromtheheart

  18. I would love to go back to work, part-time. To be able to contribute financially, use my brain again, be surrounded by adults for a few hours a day. Bliss! But I don’t have a visa to work here only to live. I’m hopping blogging will eventually help me achieve some of my goals. It’s already helped me feel less isolated.

  19. Anne says:

    It’s a tough decision and I’ve done both. With my older children I had to go back to work to provide for them. But with my younger children I made the decision to stay at home. You have to do what works for you, but I do feel sorry for those mum’s who have no choice to return to work but really don’t want to.

  20. Only two more weeks of maternity leave left for me, then back to work – albeit part time – it’s such a tricky decision x

  21. I think its such a personal decision and one that depends entirely on your circumstances. For us, with three babies two and under, we couldn’t afford the childcare for me to return to my job as a teaching assistant. It’s very hard to rely on one wage for six of us, especially as that wage isn’t great, but we just have to make the best of it until I can return to work when the children are in school. #postsfromtheheart

  22. Becci you are totally doing the right thing for you and your family. I went back to full-time work when my eldest was just 3 months – that was the max maternity leave back then. I stopped working 5 years later when my youngest was born as my husband took on a job that involved a lot of travelling so me working and him being away wasn’t the best scenario. After a 10 year gap I started freelance and now I pick and choose how much I work if at all and blog! Life is full of different cycles and we all just adapt the best we can. Sounds like you have a great balance and the benefit of having family close by to help. Good luck! #postsfromtheheart

  23. Kat says:

    Gosh our stories are so similar. I wanted to come back to work because I’ve worked hard to get where I am and I really missed the challenges, sometimes chaos and adult interaction. My career is a massive part of who I am and so I don’t see why that has to change bacause I had a baby. I needed to come back to work because like you our finances got really tight once I went down to stat mat pay and we like to have our tea out every now and again or go on day trips. Again that’s part of who we are as people. I still get mum guilt but I think this is unavoidable whether you choose to work or be a SAHM. As long as your arrangements suit your family that’s all that matters xx #Postsfromtheheart

  24. Claire says:

    It’s not an easy descion. I went back part time after my first and will be doing the same in 3 months time. For me 3 days was the right balance of work and family but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m worried about the kids getting ill or missing out on school assemblies etc.

  25. Crummy Mummy says:

    I has to go back to work as one wage doesn’t cover our household but I went freelance and now work from home – it’s tough but I wouldn’t have it any other way and know I am lucky to be able to do that #postsfromtheheart

  26. Lauretta says:

    I also work full time in travel and it doesn’t get any easier leaving the kids to travel. I sometimes wish I was 20-something again with no responsibilities. I work full time now because I have to, but I’d much rather be creating memories at home with the kids!

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