As we approach #MothersDay, we thought we’d ask the mums in the Euroffice team how they manage their work life and family life.
We all know that trying to get the right work / life balance can be difficult and I’m sure many of us are guilty of sending the odd late night work email or perhaps struggle to fully switch off when we’re on holiday.
So we spoke to 3 mums and asked is it really possible to manage hectic work and family schedules?
Our first mum, Emma has recently returned to work after having beautiful bouncing boy Theo; second mum Clare juggles a busy work life and looking after 3 teens at home and finally we speak to Tracey whose kids have flown the nest and have started families of their own.
The Kids Have Flown The Nest Mum
In this final blog in a three part series of blogs, we speak to Tracey and find out how she manages to squeeze in work and quality time with her three adult children and two grandchildren.
“Having children at home whilst working means you have to budget your time. Especially with teenagers, as they start going out more with their friends, you have to somehow fit in quality family time too.”
Tracey’s youngest was 12 when she returned to the working world. “I feel it’s important to wait until your children are established in school so they are settled into a routine before going back to work”.
Looking back, if I could do things differently I would have started working once my children had started school. As they were out all day, they didn’t need me around during the day and I think it would have helped to be away from home to get a fresh perspective on things. I’m a bit of a worrier so work would have been a welcome break to take my mind off the stresses of daily family life.
By the time I was ready to go back to work and the kids were settled, I found it really hard to get back into the swing of things. I hadn’t been working for such a long time that there was a whole new generation of workers filling vacancies and I felt my skills were no longer required. But my unique selling point was my amazing skill that all mums are equipped with. Multi-tasking. I found this really helped in interviews and employers liked this about me.
Maintaining my relationship with each of my children depends on each child. Because my oldest has children, runs her own business and is studying for a degree, she’s quite pressed for time! So we usually speak on the phone. She lives locally to me, so we also pop round each other’s and we always have a good natter when I visit the grandkids. And of course I’m always around for baby-sitting duties.
And with my other children I rely on technology to stay in touch. My second daughter is not local so we often call or text and also Skype. And my youngest is away travelling, living the back packer’s dream, so he can be hard to get hold of so I either message on Facebook or if I can catch him, then we Skype.
Having grandchildren means it’s still important to budget my time. Of course I don’t want to miss anything big so I try to make sure I’m free for anything important like school plays and birthday parties.
The main difference between having children whilst working and having grandchildren whilst working is I don’t have to worry about being there all the time. For example, I don’t have to negotiate with work to leave early for parent’s evenings. But I do have to be free for child-minding duties in the evenings!
“Technology has been great for me and enables to me to continue working and still stay in touch with my family.”
My three top items for my ‘Kids have the flown the nest survival kit’
In at Number 1, my iPad Mini. I couldn’t live without it! With my children living away I love how easy it is to Skype.
As my daughter uses a reward based pocket money system for her children I always make sure I keep stickers in my handbag. The kids love the star stickers and, I love the assortment of colours because each colour represents a different chore which goes up on the reward chart. Plus, they come in handy for sticking into ‘well done’ cards.
And finally I love my Bic 4 coloured pen. It’s great at work for colour coding to do lists. And my grandkids love it too for drawing whenever they come to visit.
Part 1 of the series “The Working Mum: The Newly Back To Work Mum”
Part 2 of the series “The Working Mum: The Career Driven Power Mum”