I have often written about my life as a working mom and MommaBoss is named after my work nickname so when I was selected to review a book called ‘Maternity Leavers’ it seemed like my kind of book. The byline is “What to do about work now you’re a mum.”
It is written by Soozi Baggs and it is an account of her life as a working mom and her varied experiences along the way. The best way to describe it really is a summary of working options available to you and how to approach each option to get the best results.
It is written in a way that isn’t preaching or leaning toward one option, it simply lays down the possibilities and helps you to reassess your working life.
Most of it I completely agree with, I feel like I could’ve written a lot of its content as it very much aligns with my thoughts and opinions on working life.
I was surprised that even the ‘full time mum’ section made a lot of sense to me. I was tempted to skip past that section because I hate the phrase full time mum and I hate the notion that being a mother is an excuse to not work – I’m not against staying at home, I just don’t like people believing its an excuse to not work and then moaning that they have no money or asking for more benefits. I see the value of staying at home but I don’t understand how people can believe they don’t need to work and pay into the system because they’ve reproduced.
I feel quite strongly about this so I’ll move on from my opinion and say that the full time mum section is very well written. I particularly like this extract;
Just because you’ve been literally in the house doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be in charge of every domestic thing that happens in the house. Domestic chores can still be done in the evening as thy would have to be done when you both worked full time…
That has made me think that when it’s my day off its ok to do the household jobs later on when Ollie and Ted are asleep (much easier to put the puzzles away when they stay put away too!) I don’t think motherhood is ‘work’ but it does keep you occupied in the day and so its ok to do jobs later just as I would if I was occupied at work. I feel the same about when Dave is off and I’m at work. We have a list of jobs and we try to do them everyday and if we do the house stays bearable. I don’t think I’ll use the word tidy to describe my house until about 2030- 2035!
Sometimes we just need to embrace the happy mess and not care about how the background of our InstaLife might be ruined by piles of toys and clothes… Thats a post for another day!
One thing that this book does very well is to make you think. I’ve actually considered many of the options she writes about but this book motivates you to see that it can be done and it doesn’t need to be your life long career, you can slip in and out of ideas and find what works best around you and your family.
At the moment I fit into the flexible working category or you could say condensed working. I run a pub so I’m able to write my own rota and fit work around my family. I could in theory work three AFDs (pub terminology for All Fucking Day) which would mean I’d work over 48 hours in 3 days and satisfy my contracted hours, this is potentially something I’ll consider later on but at the moment flexi hours are working, particularly around feeding Ted! If I do more than 6 hours I’m ready to explode.
I would say the target market of this book is working moms, particularly moms that enjoy working and don’t want to quit. There is a section on staying at home but Soozi highlights how she likes to work and for that reason I feel that this is aimed at people who want to work but need to figure out how to fit it in around their family.
If you’re a working mom who thinks they’ve got it sussed, I’d recommend that you still read this as it helps to confirm that you’ve made the right decision or might just give you an idea to change your career.
I’ve read this as I’ve returned to work, ideally I’d recommend reading it on maternity leave as then you’ll have time to set up a new working life if you feel inspired to do so.
I constantly have ideas to change my working life but I’m restricted by not having much spare time to really implement a new plan. If I was to have another baby I think I’d seriously consider a business idea that I’ve had for years!
Maternity leave isn’t an obstacle to your career: it’s an opportunity to create the working life you’ve always wanted.
I’ve got to admit I don’t read much, I like reading but I rarely find a book that hooks me in. This book really does talk my language and I finished it within a few days working full time and with a toddler and a new baby! So it’s definitely a good read.
Ollie took a liking to the book too! He kept taking it and running off, finding it hilarious when I said, “Hey thats my book!” He even fell asleep with it one night. It’s approved by Mommas and toddlers!
You can buy a copy here and start reassessing your working life!
Check out more of Soozi’s work published on Huffington Post.
Disclosure: I was sent a free copy of the book for review purposes, all thoughts and opinions are my own. There are no affiliate links in this post.