I've now been in my new job for about 6 weeks and I'm thoroughly enjoying the new challenge.
Life is super busy and I can only see it getting even more manic as the demands from the job increase. They're easing me in gently as I get up to speed with things, but thankfully I seem to be grasping all the new systems quickly.
At the start of the week, whilst the kids are with their dad, I work longer days. I then have Wednesday off which is spent catching up on some housework whilst the littlest is at nursery and then in the afternoons we spend some quality time together before collecting the eldest from school. I then have the children on Thursdays and Fridays. These days are full on. I have arranged my hours at work so that I can still do the nursery and school drop-off, and then I also do the pick-up too at school. I'm rushing around, speeding across town to work and back again. At the house I have to keep on top of everything so that I'm organised and ready for the next day. It's ever so slightly stressful. I never used to enjoy the weekends... I used to work Mon, Tues and Wed at my old job and the weekends didn't really mean much to me. Now I love the weekends. No school run, no work to go to...
Despite how busy it all is, a part of me wants to increase my hours at work. I am really enjoying being Sarah the project manager rather than so-and-so's mummy. I'm loving putting all my organisational skills to good use and the role is perfect for me. I think it's important for my own sanity that I work. I also could be done with the extra cash that working more hours would bring.
When I was at university I was really driven. I put so much effort into getting summer placements that were relevant for my future career... I sent out hundreds of letters trying to secure a pre-registration year and all my hard work eventually paid off. After having the kids I lost my confidence and I lost my mojo. But it's back and I'm feeling motivated. I'm lucky to have a great new job... and then the guilt kicks in - perhaps I shouldn't be loving my work so much, perhaps I should be wanting to stay at home with the kids more.
That said, the other part of me is glad that I can be there for the children on the days they are with me rather than them being in breakfast clubs or after school clubs. My mum didn't work when I was at primary school and she went back to work part-time when I was older. She was always there for me and that's something I'll always remember. I want to be able to do the same for my kiddies. I love that we bake together, craft together, that I can take them to activities, spend time with friends and as the weather gets better I'm looking forward to after school trips to the park... I had thought that I would give up work and be a stay-at-home-mum but with the separation that's not possible. Today is World Book Day and unlike my mum who would have sewn me an outfit, I literally had zero time and so the kids are off to nursery and school in shop bought outfits. Here's the guilt creeping in again.
The thing I struggle with the most is that I didn't have children to only have them half of the time. This is tough for me and my weeks are an emotional rollercoaster as a result. On the flip side, thankfully the kids dad is supportive in that he does have a relationship with the kids, he does 50% of the childcare and also contributes financially which allows me to work part-time. I'm lucky in that respect.
I think whilst the littlest is at nursery it's going to be a juggling act. In August 2016 she'll start school and things will settle down and become much easier. Only one-drop off as opposed to two; not such an early start (nursery goes in 20 minutes before school); I won't need a childminder anymore and if I wanted to I could work on a Wednesday as well which would take my hours closer to full-time and I wouldn't have to feel guilty this time as they'd both be at school so it's not like I'd be giving up spending quality time with them.
But then I feel guilty again for wishing away their childhood...
For now I'm going to enjoy the fact that I have a pretty good balance, and hopefully it will all sort itself out! Live for the moment, or so I keep telling myself!!