Sunday, 7 February 2010

Jack of all trades Master of none

Dear Agony Aunt

I've been back at work now for 4 weeks and boy am I struggling. I feel as though I've been spread thinner than my Weightwatchers Light spread at the moment with no hope of a reprieve.

I feel bad moaning, particularly because I know so many Mums who have no choice but to return to work, some of them full time, but I can't help it. I can't stop myself from feeling a bit down in the dumps. Well, a lot actually.

Little Legs (my daughter) has adjusted so well. She doesn't bat an eyelid whether it's me, M (that's my husband, my rock), or her grandparents who are looking after her. I'm the one who's not coping.

Don't get me wrong, the wonderful welcome I get from her when I walk through the door more than makes up for a bad day in the office but I miss the times we had when I wasn't working. Our pace of life has changed dramatically and I'm doing a very bad job of keeping up with it both at home and at work.

At work I feel as though as soon as I get caught up with what I've missed I'm off again. I've rejoined the team I was with before I left and they're fantastic but as a 'part timer' I feel quite vulnerable, like a spare part with no clue at all as to what's going on.

At home I cherish the days I have with Little Legs yet feel guilty when I have to spend some of that precious time catching up with jobs I won't be able to do when I'm at work. Throw a new business and a big fat lot of stress and guilt into the mix et voila, my life on a plate.

How do I get the balance right?

Yours sincerely

Mrs Desperate

17 comments:

  1. Sorry to read you're finding it hard returning to work. Totally understandable. I don't think there are any easy solutions. You're being pulled in different directions and it must be hard to juggle. I guess the only positive is that Little Legs is doing okay. Hopefully you'll feel a bit better as you get used to it, but I think all mums struggle with getting the balance right in their lives.

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  2. It's really tough, I blogged about it too the other day as I was finding it was hard. It gets easier though and you do find a rhythm it's just very hard leaving them. Also the other things add to the stress. Take heart in the fact that we all struggle and so many people know how you are feeling.x

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  3. How do you get the balance right? Well, look - if you find the answer to that question, write a book about it. You'll make your fortune!

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  4. Lots of empathy and don't underestimate how long it takes to get back into the swing of things. Even third time around (or maybe especially third time around) it took me about 4mths to catch up properly with work things. I still spend 50% of my time at work wishing I was at home and 50% of the time I'm at home, wishing I was at work. I'm definitely not quite as good at my job as I used to be because I can't/don't want to give it my all but I've found an okay medium. Hope you get there soon.

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  5. Oh lovely! It is terribly terribly hard. I know. I think what you have to do is accentuate the positive. Enjoy the bits you have and try to ignore the stuff that you think you're missing. Being back at work does have its advantages - enjoy those cups of tea, and trips to the loo, and time to yourself. Go out at lunchtime and windowshop or do something that you can't do with little legs. And if it all gets too much sit down with M and talk about your options. Also, let your boss (if you get on with him/her) know how you're feeling, or talk to your HR department. I only told mine because I totally lost it at work and couldn't hide it any longer, but it was the best thing I could have done.

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  6. I won't try to answer because I simply don't know. But my kettle is on if you ever fancy a trip up the A1.

    CJ xx

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  7. I could have written this myself. I'm back to work on a 4-day week and it is just so, so hard. Like you I feel I'm spread so thin and I keep hoping it will get better. No matter how much I try and keep my day-off purely for cuddle time with my baby inevitably I spend it washing, cleaning, doing the shopping.... Big Hugs xx

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  8. Oh how I wish I knew! I've been back at work over a year and still haven't found that balance. I just find that getting on with it is the best way. I don't think how little time I spending with Sam, I don't think how most of the time I day dream about what he's doing and so don't get my work done, I don't think about how I'm too busy doing the washing/cooking/cleaning to get on with my dissertation! If I try to think about it all I get so down.

    I look at the positives, ignore the negatives and so far it's got me through. I'm sorry it's such crap but that is honestly how I get through the days. At least until I win the lottery!

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  9. Enjoy both, I guess, and feel very lucky to be in a job that you enjoy (or a job at all, in the present climate!). No working Mum can find the right balance if they are honest, you just bumble along and, as long as your little one is happy,and doesn't cling onto you every day you leave for work, you must be doing something right!

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  10. I'm sorry you are having a tough time returning to work. It is hard to find balance in life for me even just staying at home with my boys. Throw work in the mix and I would be more than the disaster I already am. I admire you! It will get easier. Transitions are always hard. Sending lots of positive thoughts and zen your way.

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  11. Oh lovely its so hard - I got given a couple of great pieces of advice when I went back after having had Toddlergirl, firstly to be kind to myself and accept that some things would have to give and just to go with that and secondly to hold of making a decision about how it was going until a few months down the line because it is horribly tough at first and it does gradually get better

    Take care of yourself ((hugs))

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  12. oh this is scaring me. I recently decided that I would take up an offer of working 4 days a week in a job with a little less responsibility than I had before. We're getting the kids settled into nursery and I start next week. I am dreading having to get up and move quickly in the mornings.

    When I worked after having Ben it took me a while to get back into it but after a while I really valued the time I spent doing something other than being Mummy - as rewarding as it is being with the kids, it's nice to have some adult time somethings

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  13. Thank you so much to everyone for their comments. I take on board its really early days so should just plod on and enjoy both as much as I can. I realise I'm very lucky to only have to go back part time so I'm going to try to think about things more positively this week and count my blessings. Thanks again everyone, I really appreciate it!

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  14. :( Big Hugs xx
    I don't have any advice to offer - but I bet the time you miss makes you treasure the time you spend together even more - so i guess that's sort of a silver lining?
    And I bet littlelegs is always super pleased to see mummy :) xx

    (p.s. i moved my blog again :P it's now here: http://lifewithlittledude.blogspot.com/ if you fancy a peek/re-following, and i've added you to my page of blogs i love, hope that's okay? xx)

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  15. I haven't had to face this yet (my time will come) so I can't offer any sage advice. I'm sure you'll have it sorted in no time and then you can offer me some words of wisdom when I'm struggling in seven months time. Nominated you for a sunshine award over at mine to cheer you up x

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  16. Little Dude's Mummy and Young Mummy, thanks for the link and the award. You've both cheered me up muchly x

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