I am a few weeks in now, full time, one day at home, 4 days in the office. Work very quickly ramped up once people knew I was back and I feel like I am right on that NHS bucking bronco like I never got off.
I have a reasonable idea of what I am doing and I feel pretty good about that. I like having the ability to do my job well and be recognised for that.
It has been a big adjustment and my return to work wasn’t exactly smooth but that’s all sorted out and I will write about that another time.
There is just one problem now, my newly extended commute. It’s slowly but surely driving me into the ground and I am struggling. As I write this blog I have just had a call from the eldest because I forgot to cancel the maths tutor. Tomorrow I have had to change my working-from-home day because of a meeting at Evie’s school. I am tired and I am grumpy and I am fast losing my “fun”.
(Don’t worry this isn’t a pity party….keep on reading! )
I was initially using my annual leave to work shorter weeks, so I had two days of no travelling back and forth or work. That worked well and I was able to have a bit of a life and organise the kids. Now I am in the office 4 days out of 5, and working 5 days, and boy it feels so different.
I truly thought when I was on maternity leave that it would be fine returning to work full time with the commute. I have worked in London before when the older two were little and I thought it would be like that. But it isn’t and I feel a bit stupid.
Everyone said it would be hard.
Of course everyone else knew!!
There was a standard look I would get when I talked about going back to work. It would start with a head tilt to one side like I told them I had an awful disease and then their mouths would scrunch up and they would say “oh you poor thing! That’s going to be a long day – can’t you go part time?”
(Seriously I promise this isn’t a pity party!)
Some days when I am not doing the nursery drop off it’s a 5.30/5.45am start with a 6.49 train and a 8.15 office arrival.
If I am doing nursery drop off I don’t even hit the office until 9.30/9.45! That’s due to sitting in traffic, dropping Marnie off at nursery, walking to the station, getting train number one, changing at Basingstoke and getting train number two, and then walking to the office! By time I get in I feel like I have done a whole days work already.
On drop off days I then will stay until 6ish and get home 7.30/8.00pm.
When I have to pick Marnie up from nursery I am out of the office by 4.45pm and then on the train back, pick her up drive home in traffic and then the evening starts.
Luckily I have Martin helping because I am not a single parent and we have a great parent split. I have been heading back to bed at 9pm too! (It’s a luxury I may continue with and allows him to watch Match Of The Day!)
That’s why I have had to find a new job closer to home. It has been a tough choice because I care passionately about my career. I am going to be working for a new company (still NHS) but closer to home.
I am pretty nervous of the changes and the new environment but hopefully it will give a much better work life balance for me and the family, whilst also giving me a challenge at work and being able to continue to progress my career!
The new job has one major thing going in their favour – they raised flexible working with me at interview!
I will keep you all posted!!