A NEW CHAPTER

Earlier this year I wrote about what I called PMLF (a super catchy acronym, I know). I was referring to that feeling of ‘what next’? that I was experiencing six months into maternity leave with Sonny. Would I continue motherhood full time? Would I return to my job at Google? Would I focus on my blog? Not simple questions to confront but questions I knew I had to explore because without being melodramatic, these are life changing decisions that affect everything and everyone close to me. It’s a crossroads that I’m sure many of you reading this are familiar with.

My children and being a mother means the world to me; it’s a job I find hugely challenging, rewarding and fun. That said, after having Jack, my gut feeling led me to return to work as well as for financial reasons. In practice though it was hard; I struggled with stress and fatigue and by the end of the day, I was shattered.

So now, with two children, the decision is even more difficult.

And so it is that I’ve spent the last five months prodding, probing, and imagining all the possible pros and cons of returning to work vs. staying at home with the kids: getting two children up, changed, dressed, teeth brushed every morning, nursery fees, a salary, commuting… I tried to imagine what life would look like. Above all, I focused on carving out a job for myself that I thought I would really, really love. It’s got to the point now that to work, given that nursery fees for two means that financially it doesn’t make a huge difference, I want need to enjoy what I do in order to justify handing Jack and Sonny over every morning to another carer. Whilst I understand the benefits of nursery, call me old -fashioned but I still personally think they’re better off with me or with family.

The result? Countless emails, hang outs, and meetings later, I’m going to be returning to Google and will be moving teams to be working exclusively on the YouTube Creator side of the business. It’s an area that I am super excited about given that YouTube is a huge passion of mine – here is my YouTube channel (I’d absolutely love you to hit the red button and subscribe especially as I’m going to be focusing on that over the next few months). I’ll be working 3 days a week leaving me with two days to focus on the kids and on creating my own content. I’ll be juggling all the balls (sounds dodgy – but you know what I mean), our home will be a tip 95% of the time, I will likely grow some more wrinkles along the way and I’m sure the odd glass of wine and takeaway will come into play, too. My number one rule? Get to bed early.

That’s it for now and I will keep you posted on working motherhood and my thoughts on it. Thank you for your continued support and for making me smile when I’m slumped up against the wall doing bathtime staring all heart eyes at my kids, checking in on my work emails and uploading an Instagram post. Work hard, play hard – I think that’s how the saying goes.

What are your thoughts? Are you a working mum or a full time ‘stay at home’ mum? (I don’t like the phrase ‘stay at home’ as if all that happens is that you stay at home and listen to nursery rhymes which couldn’t be further from the truth). Have a good one, friends.

Love, Emma xxx

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9 Comments

  1. Lucy
    July 4, 2017 / 8:08 pm

    Hi, I work 4 x 6hr shifts a week (mon-sun) and have a 4yr old son. I found that actually I get to have the best of both worlds by doing this. I have every weds and fri off and me and my boy get to do fun stuff, but I found that working has become a light relief too! Kids are equally hard work and rewarding but there’s no shame in wanting to carve your way in the working world. My advice is to embrace the “R” word (routine which I know you hate!) on work days and you can relax a bit more on the other days. Enjoy 😊 x

  2. Sharlene
    July 4, 2017 / 8:33 pm

    Such a lovely post. I’ve decided I won’t be returning to my job now that my mat leave is over & I have to say, while on one hand I’m 100% sure I’ve made the right decision to stay with my baby (I do feel as though a weight has been lifted now the dread of leaving her to go to work has gone) I can’t help but also feel petrified by the fact I no longer have the security of a job for the first time since I was 16!

    I have so much respect to all mothers out there, the decision to return to work or not to is so huge & shouldn’t be underestimated.

    Wishing you lots of luck in the new role, you’re a credit to your beautiful family
    X

  3. July 4, 2017 / 9:22 pm

    Such a hard decision and interesting to hear other peoples though processes on it all. In the end I quite my job and we moved out of London, and I am soon going to start 2 days freelance with him being looked after by grandparents. I think it will be a bit of trial and error but excited about the opportunity to work on my own business but still spend lots of time with my baby. Thanks for sharing and hope it goes really well as you get back into work! x

  4. Claire
    July 4, 2017 / 10:11 pm

    Ahh thanks for sharing! Your new job sounds ace and I totally agree that it’s worth making a job that works for you! I’m a big believer of finding your ‘element’. After sooooo many options and wondering about working freelance (I’m a teacher!) my school has offered me ‘learning and teaching innovator’ 2 days coaching other teachers and 1 day forest school and whole school creative writing! Eeeeks now the excitement for that makes up for being away from my beautiful baby! My husband will care for 1 day abs then his grandparents are taking a day each so feel super lucky! One scary part is going back full time (just for two weeks!) as part time will start in sept! Just got to power through those 9 days but I’ve got a feeling I’ll be cream crackered!!! 🙈 Ahhh sorry for the essay- very cathartic to get it out! Looking forward to hearing his you balance everything and chuck some tips our way! 👍

    • emmaross
      July 8, 2017 / 4:16 pm

      hey – ah that’s awesome re the new role – sounds like you have scoped something perfect out for you that works for you and for your fam. wishing you all the luck as you embark on this new chapter. thanks so much for reading this and for taking the time to comment! X

  5. Lucy
    July 5, 2017 / 6:47 am

    I work part time even now my youngest has started school and I work shifts as I’m in the public sector. I do like to go to work, it engages me with others, uses my brain and I get a sense of satisfaction when I get a good result. When I do work it’s pretty full on (10hr days!) and I would say routine is the best way to avoid the stress levels… them getting to bed early enough so when you do wake them they are happy to get up, prepping clothes, bags and food the night before. It’s only for 3 days then on your days off with them you can relax! My kids don’t mind going to breakfast and after school clubs and means they are confident and easily make friends. They also know both of us work and have a good work ethic and if we want to do nice things like go on holidays together then this is how we afford it. Can’t be a bad lesson to teach them can it?

    • emmaross
      July 8, 2017 / 4:15 pm

      sounds like you’re in a great space mama – for you and for your family. nice work :)) thanks so much for reading this and for taking the time to comment xxx

  6. July 12, 2017 / 4:17 pm

    So many Lucy’s in this comment thread! It’s super interesting to see your journey and where you’ve ended up in terms of work/life. I’m already self-employed and work from home which, in theory, means I can do both easily….but nope, not so much! I’m also grappling with what to do next, and have given myself a few more months before I chat to my boss (aka me!) about how to return to work. Excited for you mama, you got this!

    L x

    • emmaross
      July 13, 2017 / 11:59 am

      ah it’s a toughie, it really it when it comes to deciding what to do ‘next’. why does there even need to be a next, hey?! whatever happens, give yourself the time you need and don’t rush into anything. this literally took me over 3 years to get where i am…which i hope is the right place. anyway, thanks for reading lovely and take lots of care. we must get that coffee in!!x

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