Last week, I posted my first video story on Instagram (I am not really a video type – pictures are more my thing – but I thought my family and friends may like to see some details of my daily life). It was an insight into my working day made up of short videos from Ben waking up and me leaving for work to me coming back home and Ben going to bed, with time stamps throughout. Not surprisingly, few people commented on how gorgeous my commute is – yes, taking the Manly ferry to work is all that it’s made up to be – but one friend took notice of my time stamps and commented what a terribly long day I have. It gave me an idea to write a post about it. Yes, my working days are terribly long. Funnily enough, the current ones are actually the shortest I’ve had since I got into retail industry many years ago. Reality is, if you’re a working mum (working for someone else kind), your weekday life is most likely very similar to mine. And if you’re a maternity leave/stay at home mum, and are thinking of going back to work, your weekday life may become similar to mine. For what it’s worth, this post truthfully describes a typical work day – well, at least in my life. And currently – it’s far from perfect. And I’m not talking jobs here. I am talking the way it interferes with important things in my life. This ongoing cycle where weekends are the only true quality days I get to spend with Ryan and Ben. I sort of touched on the subject of work in my most recent Back to work post, but dissecting the day has really helped me justify some of the feelings towards the working week I’ve been having lately. I realized, when it comes to ‘to work or not’ question, the answer can be incredibly simple but execution incredibly hard.
I am currently working on a solution…
I wake up anywhere between 3-5am. Kinda wide range at the moment but it’s all in the hands of a 5 month old. So that’s not really work’s fault. Most mornings, it’s 5ish. Ironically, my alarm is set for 5.40am – I am a snoozer (at least 3 times!) and pre Ben, 5.40am seemed so so early. Needless to say, I call it a sleep in now. If I turn to my right – Ben’s cooing coming out of his cot. If I turn to my left – sleepy Ryan, who sneaked in at lord knows what time in between Andrew and me, taking up at least 3/4 of my pillow. Or Andrew’s pillow.
No bed is big enough. No stiff neck is unexplainable.
Change and feed Ben (Andrew and I take turns every few days, but let’s be honest here – regardless who’s doing the feeding, we are both awake during the whole process!) and if all goes to plan, he’s fed, settled and back in his swaddle and cot in half an hour! I’d like to say for the record here, this is in no way how it was with takes-two-hours-to-settle Ryan! But other than we got lucky this time around, I have no other explanation for Ben’s ability to settle easily.
Jump back in bed. Fall asleep. Alarm goes off 10 minutes later.
It’s show time.
Let overexcited Richie out. Make sure he doesn’t grab anything on the way to the door. He almost always does. Make sure to get whatever he grabbed out of his mouth before he goes out the door. Otherwise, it’s gone forever.
Ryan’s moaning starts. ‘Don’t wanna go to daycare’. Luckily, it generally only lasts 10 minutes. We’ve learnt to ignore it and he comes right back to being human. And lucky for us, Ben’s learnt to ignore it too as lately he simply sleeps right through it.
Andrew generally gets Ryan ready for daycare.
I make the lunches.
I get myself ready (ladies, this is super speedy kind of get ready – 15 minutes max!)
And then it’s kisses all around and bus/ferry.
Andrew takes Ryan to daycare on the way to his work.
Ben stays at home with grandma.
Work starts at 9am.
Next 11 hours – yes, 11 hours! – it’s a blur. I miss my boys and that makes everything not worth it. I am out of house from 7.30am to 6.30pm so if you are considering going back to work full time, stop and think about it. Think about what you really want to get out of it (it’s money in my case – you know, the kind that pays the bills and stuff like that!). Think about what you’ll be missing out on. Think about how long the commute is. Think about what other options are out there. Just think about it all.
I never have. I just always knew I wanted to go back to work and not be a stay at home mum. Until I started missing out on too much and wanted more mum time. But more mum time can sometimes be hard when there is a Sydney mortgage, car payment, etc to pay for. You may have to make some tough decisions. Or reinvent yourself. Not to sound like a broken record, but see my Back to work post.
I finish work at 5.30pm (overtime is rare lately – I simply leave on time no matter what) and what follows is almost a reverse of the morning.
Boys waiting for me.
We are all tired.
We are even more tired.
Gym/Get Ryan ready for bed.
Naturally, there are variations to above, but overall, this is weekday living in a flash (and yes, I do brush my teeth, have a shower, do dishes, do washing, do whatever other mundane daily task you can think of…).
I know above sounds a bit depressing and it’s not really all that bad! I love my job. That’s a plus. It’s very flexible in a sense I can always take time off/ be late/ leave early if needed. That’s a huge plus. But yes, it’s a job – in a 2017 sense of city jobs – and the depressing bit is how affects my motherhood.
So if you are not keen on the above, think very hard about what it is you really want. What you can and can’t live without. And then just go and fight for it.