I work part-time, 20 hours a week, and my partner works full-time but often has to work late or travel away for weeks at a time. My 2 year old son attends nursery during those 20 hours as we do not have family that are able to support us with childcare. As nursery prices are relatively expensive, it often feels like I’m working for nothing.
I had worked full-time since I left school at 16, so although the time with my son was, and still is, extremely precious and rewarding to me, I found that I wasn’t completely comfortable with the isolation of being a full-time mum, particularly during those first few months.
I also found that I was struggling to cope with the overall enormity of being a new mum and fending largely by myself. So I decided to go back to work part-time when my son was around 18 months old. It did take a little while for us both to settle, but the nursery has really helped my son has come on leaps and bounds, and l thoroughly enjoy my job.
I do feel that I’ve fallen lucky in this respect. There are many of my friends who are struggling to find jobs which accommodate their parenting commitments. I was also curious how other mums outside of my circle of friends approached this and found that many people on the social networks I use, usually ‘struggle to juggle’.
So whether you stay with your baby/toddler full-time, part-time or do not even have that luxury due to financial necessities (of full-time work), I would deduce that all that matters is whether your child is healthy and happy. Everything else is open to opinion and will always be completely subjective.
If you and your family find a balance which keeps you all happy, you’re doing a great job!