My transition back into work has been a gradual one, heading from maternity leave into supply/relief teaching and now working in a full-time position. It certainly wasn’t the rough dump in the deep end that many women experience and I know I’m also blessed to have had CJ in New Zealand and whilst working in the education field where policy is so family-friendly. Still, and especially now with being the primary caregiver to CJ, there have had to be some changes to the way we operate – that’s just life. So with a full month of work under my belt, what’s it been like?
- I am SO lucky to have found my carer. CJ’s dad and I decided that he would do another year of in-home care and so I found our lovely E. She bought him a present for his birthday and has arranged for him to do swimming lessons as one of his/our goals this year is to improve his motor skills and water safety. She really does go above and beyond and is worth every cent that we pay her.
- I feel like I’m in the right place for right now. My workplace really values my contributions and I had a wonderful impromptu performance review with my line manager. They’re supportive of me holistically and I get no judgement for the days that I leave after the bell to hit the gym before daycare pick up.
- Despite having to leave my AMAZING gym (I’m still all heart-eyes emoji about them whenever I think about them) due to the commute time, I’ve joined a local gym and I’ve been able to do my thrice-weekly workouts that I set as my goal. Keeping it real, a couple of weeks I haven’t hit the three due to exceptional circumstances, but for the most part I’m happy that I’ve been able to keep it up. And hey, who wants to be the downer turning down opportunities with people you rarely see just to hit the gym? I’ll just eat less that day.
- I’ve come to terms that nothing will ever transition me from being a night owl to a morning lark! While this doesn’t preclude me from getting an early night once in a while, or waking up early, I function 100% better at 10pm at night than I do at 6am. Realistically for me, this means I’m doing most of our day’s prep before I go to bed because I can’t trust pre-coffee me to get her ish together in the morning. Whatever works, right?
- It’s really not as hard as I thought. I went into this year with a professional goal of working on my time management; getting what I needed to get done at work so that where possible I wasn’t bringing work home. I hassle students all the time about focus on tasks but it’s not until this year I realised how much I needed to be reminded of the same! If I spend too long checking my phone I know it’s going to bite me in the bum later, and it’s a heck of a lot easier to scroll Instagram while my kid is eating dinner than it is to mark essays. In the first four weeks of school? I’ve brought home work twice – once, watching a DVD in preparation for showing students, and the other doing some research to improve my content knowledge. I know it won’t always be this easy – we’re coming off the back of a major assessment week so there will be that additional information to digest and feedback to students – but it really gives me confidence that I can handle this full-time work/solo mama/having a life business. And that feels great!
So I guess the TL;DR of it all is “So far, so good!”. I actually feel like I’m doing a good job at work and a good job at home…most of the time… so, in conclusion: