This week’s #WorkingMomma is Tori who blogs at The Adultier Adult. I’ve really liked chatting to Tori over blogging groups, we have quite a lot in common and share a lot of views on parenting. I recommend checking out her blog. She writes mainly funny posts but the serious ones are a good read too!
Tell me about your family and why you started to blog:
I am a happily married mum of two under twos. I’ve been with my husband for six years and married for three. Our eldest, Jessica, came along four months after we got married and Lexi joined her sixteen months later. Having two under twos certainly keeps me on my toes but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I’ve kept a diary since I was 16 (that’s 16 years ago). My Mum keeps a diary and so did my Nan so I’m the third generation in my family. Therefore, writing is something I do quite naturally. I decided to start a blog as a hobby to keep me occupied while I’m on maternity leave. I’ve only been going a month but I’m really enjoying it.
What do you do and what was your career path that led to your job?
I worked as a Supervisor in a bookshop for years. Not wildly exciting but I enjoyed the work. The only drawback was it was 16 miles from my home town and I don’t drive so I was reliant on the buses. I didn’t mind too much until I met my husband. Then all of a sudden I had a reason to want my evenings back instead of being stuck on a bus for ninety minutes. I quit and started working locally in a care home. I HATED IT. Okay, I was local but I really disliked the management where I worked. They seemed to see the people I cared for as nothing more than walking cash points and I disagreed with that ethos. I didn’t bother going back after my maternity leave ended. My husband has a good job with the NHS and I was fortunate in that I didn’t have to work. However, I couldn’t do it. Two months in I was losing my mind. I have worked my entire life and all of a sudden it felt odd not to have a job anymore. I loved my baby and I enjoyed being with her and looking after her but I needed to feel like something more than a mum.
As luck would have it, my old workplace contacted me and told me a vacancy had come up in my local branch. I had to go through the interview process all over again and by this point I was pregnant with my second. I agonised over whether or not to tell them. I REALLY wanted to go back but who would employ a pregnant woman? In the end I told the truth. They had been good to me and I couldn’t keep it a secret from them. To my surprise they employed me anyway! I thought that was really decent of them and I was over the moon to be going back to my old job (same position but different branch).
How old was your baby when you returned to work?
Jessica was 10 and a half months when I went back to work. I only went back part time so I got the best of both worlds.
Who looks after your baby while you are at work?
I was really lucky in my work hours because most of my shifts fell on my husbands days off. He gets three days off a week (every weekend and one day in the week). He applied for something called “flexible working hours” so now he always has Mondays off. This freed me up to work Sunday and Monday. My other working day is Friday afternoons and we were able to find an amazing childminder who lives within walking distance of my work. It all came together.
What did you hate about returning to work?
I hated feeling guilty. I felt like I should have been at home with my baby. I didn’t HAVE to work, I was doing this purely for me and I felt like a horrible mother for not wanting to spend every second with my baby. I felt a bit better knowing that most of the time she would be with her Daddy and they needed bonding time just as much as me but even now I still feel guilty because I’m looking forward to going back.
What benefits have you seen about returning to work?
A big benefit was my husband getting to spend time with our daughter. He’d never actually said it but I think he thought staying at home was an easy option and all I did all day was sit on the sofa watching Jeremy Kyle. When he had Jessica alone he really found out that it’s hard work. It’s going to be interesting to see how he copes with two when I go back this time.
What would you say to new mums feeling guilty about returning to work?
You are bound to feel guilty about going back to work but you shouldn’t. You are doing what is best for your family. Working brings in an extra income which undoubtedly helps your child. It won’t hurt them to spend some time away from you and may even help their development. As long as they get plenty of Mummy cuddles when you get home.
Finally, what do you think about my (controversial) idea… Maternity pay reflecting your working wage. So we scrap the standard £539 per month and you get paid your working wage for a year. It could be £200 it could be £1200, but it would encourage people to be secure before having children and would stop people getting paid in benefits to have children! It’s a dream world idea but it makes sense to me!
It wouldn’t work. What if you are on a zero hour contract but work 60 hours a week? The company would only have to pay you for your contracted hours so no maternity pay at all? What if you’re contracted to 10 hours but always do 15? I’m sorry but I don’t agree.
Check out more from Tori on the following networks:
Thank you so much for taking part Tori! I’m having a break next week as I’m away for my friends wedding so #WorkingMommas will be back in two weeks! Please email me if you’d like to take part! A few have emailed me but not returned the form so please share your stories and let’s help new #WorkingMommas alleviate the guilt of returning to work!