I can't believe that I am writing this post write now. Come to think of it, I never thought I would have written any of the posts that I wrote so far. But that’s life, with its twists and surprises at every corner.
End of January, I wrote a post about my experience from working long hours to working none hours and all the ups and downs. Now, mid of March, this situation has changed again.
Beginning of March I started working again. Not the same hours as before. Instead, I am working from 8:00 to 13:00 ie the hours that my son is at school. The rest of the day, we spend it together. 2 weeks in, it is going really well. But here are things that I have already noticed that I need to work on in order to maintain the “really well” status.
1) Less workload. I really struggle with not taking more than I can chew because I am a workaholic control freak (and that’s a mild way to put it). I want to monitor everything and have a say in everything which is unrealistic with 25 working hours per week. So everyday I am learning to step back and let other people handle things and have some of the responsibilities that I previously had.
2) Less money. Of course, working part time means less money than full time but more money than not working at all. I can contribute to our household income just not the same as before. Interestingly enough, this was the easiest part to digest.
3) Clarity. The first thing I did when I went back to the office (right after kissing and hugging everyone) was to be clear with colleagues and clients about my new working schedule. In this way, I was able to manage their expectations of when they can reach me and when not. There were a couple of occasions (already!) that I thought about making an exception but I realised that being strict about it keeps everyone on the same page instead of creating the expectation that I can be reached the same as before.
4) Reading emails at home. Yes, but only checking on them every 30-45 minutes from my iphone. If I can forward an urgent email to someone I do it. If I am the only one that can handle it, it can wait until the morning and it CAN wait because everyone knows that I am not working in the afternoon, that’s why clarity is so important!
5) Other work at home. No. Never. Not opening a laptop. Not connecting to company’s server. Not taking files from work to home. Never. Ever. Cannot stress this enough. Because for me, that’s how all went downhill the last time I was working.
My job is really something I enjoy doing. And now that my son is at school and we have postponed our plans for a second child following our 2 miscarriages, going back to work part time was the right thing to do for our family at this point of time. And I will close with the same paragraph that I had in my from Working long hours to working none hours post.
Bottom line, there is no such thing as being a better mom if you work or if you do not work. Every mom is different and every mom should follow her instincts on this topic, same as on every topic, and nothing else. If you are a working mom, I see you and I am rooting for you. If you are a stay at home mom, I see you and I am rooting for you. If you are a working from home mom, I see you and I am rooting for you. We are all in this motherhood gig together.