I’m officially a working mum again. To say I was excited to be returning to work is an understatement. I’ve loved being a full-time stay-at-home Mum, but there is just something in me that creates this burning desire to be working on a project. Having a purpose to work towards that doesn’t involve changing nappies. Of course it helps that I work for a really fun workplace. There’s always something new happening, loads of people around, and with all those happy endorphins flying out of people after their workouts, working at Les Mills is just a bucket of awesomeness.
I was sitting around last night procrastinating, knowing I should be packing bags and preparing lunch boxes, and I realised I am really happy with the decision I made to work part-time. I feel like I have the best of both worlds. I get to go to a job I love three days a week and I get to spend four days at home with my girls. I know I’m extremely lucky that we can afford for me to do so. But daycare costs can be astronomical if you don’t qualify for the 20 free hours, so money was actually an easy factor to consider. I also know I’m lucky to be working in a job where it was possible to reduce my hours to part-time, as not everyone can do so easily. What was hard to deal with, was letting go of part of my job. I’m a control freak. I hold onto my things tightly, with a vice-like grip. And I really struggle to let go at times. Even if it is to my own detriment.
So when I decided to give up half of my job (remember – I had a split role), it was a massive move. Probably the hardest resignation letter I’ve ever written. So many what if’s going around in my head! But I realised I’ve made life-changing decisions before and they’ve always ended up leading to me living a happy fulfilling life, so I needed to just trust my gut. And my gut was saying – do it. As much as I had loved evolving in the Reception Manager role over four years, and I know I had gained some invaluable experience, it was time to let it go.
I feel like there is a stigma that associates with part-time work. It’s for people nearing the end of their careers – people who are slowing down. Or parents who just need something little to bring in some extra money. Or students. Or teenagers. People who aren’t serious about where they want to go, they just want a job for any number of reasons. People on a bridging gap, or work that becomes a necessity rather than enjoyment. You don’t really hear people talk about their part-time career. Well that just frustrates the heck out of me. I don’t this to be considered my “career gap” while primarily bringing up the kids. I don’t like being labeled as anything less than what I am.
So I won’t be. I choose not to. I may have given up part of my job, but I now have one specific role to focus on. It just happens to be done over a shorter number of hours each week. I’m going to use the next few years while I work part-time to grow in the Marketing field. It means more to me than just a means of paying the bills. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against people who have a part-time job for this reason, it’s just not me. Working purposefully is one of my values, just like being a great Mum is. And I feel the best way for me to manage both right now, is to be working part-time. Trying to balance my work and family life is what it’s all about.