My Mum Conundrum: Solving the Work-Life Balance

Finding the balance - work- life - childcare

Welcome to Mummy for Money

A blog about my journey to find mummy friendly money making opportunities

My story is one that will be familiar to many. After flying the nest as an ambitious young woman I completed my uni degree then set out on my successful graduate career. As a hard working professional I enjoyed a good income and a healthy work-life balance. I got married, bought a house, and enjoyed travelling.

Then I had a baby.

When I was pregnant the path ahead of me seemed quite straightforward. As a highly organised and motivated individual I thought that motherhood would be challenging, but nothing I couldn’t handle. Then, after my maternity leave, I would go back to my career which I loved with a few less hours so that I could still spend quality time with my little one. Things didn’t quite turn out that way.

My mum conundrum

Firstly, motherhood has been the hardest thing I have ever experienced. Hours of assignment writing and exam revision, followed by hours of overtime to meet deadlines while being chased by customers or colleagues, all paled into insignificance upon the arrival of my new, very small, yet very demanding boss. Any thoughts I had of carrying on my career development in my ‘spare time’ while on maternity leave evaporated. 6 months in I still felt like I was only just keeping my head above the water!

It was at the 6 month mark that I started speaking to my employer about my return to work. Taking into account my new circumstances I requested for some flexibility to be built in. It was never on the agenda for me to look after my daughter full time. However, my commitment to raising my child the way I wanted her to be was as important as continuing to succeed in my career. I had a strong track record with the company and initial discussions looked promising. They wanted me to return and I wanted to go back. I felt confident my flexible working proposal would work for all involved.

Until they turned it down.

Reconsidering my work options

I didn’t see it coming, especially after the positive vibes I had felt from the first meeting. I felt pretty gutted to be honest as it had all seemed like it would work out. After some to-ing and fro-ing my options were looking more limited. My hand was being forced into changing the flexible working-from-home hours I had requested. I would have to work the extra hours in the office instead, which would mean paying for another full day of childcare. It just wasn’t going to work, personally or financially. After taking the hefty childcare costs into account I was almost paying my employer to return to my job!

I had to reconsider my options. Ultimately, I still wanted to find a way that I could work for my employer at least 3 days a week. This was so I could keep the door to my long term career ambitions wedged open. My salary would mostly just be spent on childcare, but having found a great nursery I really wanted my daughter to benefit from going there for some of the week. The problem was that working for 3 days, instead of the 4 I had initially proposed, would leave a big gap in our family income. I wanted to fill this to ensure we had enough money to pay for the lifestyle and experiences my husband and I aspired to give our child.

Time to try something new

It was then that I started looking into other ways I could work the additional flexible hours that I wanted. I quickly found there was an abundance of options. Some were quick and easy, others needed a greater level of thought and commitment. I had 6 months left of my maternity leave to decide which ones would be the most worthwhile. To find which opportunities would work and make the best use of my time and skills.

This blog will document my journey of trying this new way of working. I want to share it as I personally know many mums who are facing the same issues. I hope my experiences can help and inspire other parents who find themselves in a similar boat, as well as those who want to earn some extra pennies to fatten their family piggy bank.

Thank you for reading!

If you would like to share your own experience, or if you think there is a topic I should cover in this blog, I would love to hear from you in the comments below or on the Money for Mummy social media pages.

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4 Comments

  1. freya trotman

    I love this site, for any new Mums in your situation, I am sure it will be inspiring and informative. I wish you lots of success now and in the future. I am sure your daughter, ‘the Boss’, will appreciate all the effort you make to give her a secure and loving environment in which to thrive. Good luck with your ventures.

  2. Great post. This is so inspiring. I love reading blog like this. Thanks for sharing ♥️ ♥️ By any chance you are interested on doing collaborations, you can check out the collaborations portal of Phlanx.com and connect with amazing brands!

    Xoxo,
    Tiffany

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