My niece James' mother has recently started a day job as she is saving up to go back to school next semester, culinary school to be exact. When she starts her classes she's hoping to keep the job on a part-time -- she's a graphic designer, and can do freelance projects after hours -- basis. This had me thinking about what all the other mothers who work and study have to think about.
The reason she has started working is for them (she and my brother) to be able to pay for her studies without having to take out a student loan. Loan interests have been on the rise since the beginning of the recession in 2008. She's a wonderful designer and she's getting paid accordingly, which has enabled them to save a portion of the salary.
She's been at her new job for nearly eight weeks and it's taking its toll. It's taxing her emotionally the most because ever since baby James was born they've always been together; she left her post-college medium level job to be a stay at home mother. "We're best girlfriends,"she always says. But the baby, who started daycare (09h00 - 13h00) in June only asks for her mommy twice a day. When she wakes up and her dad gets her ready for daycare and when my mother picks her up from daycare. She spends two hours with granny and then her mum comes to fetch her at 15h30 and they have "girl afternoons."
This is very important for all mothers who work or are planning to back to work or school: delegate! Ask for help. My (soon-to-be) sister in-law is lucky that she has the support she has. The emotional guilt is one of the things that most mothers cannot escape. I've known women who felt guilty that they weren't with their children when the children were in the company's daycare only a few doors down from them.
Take Care of YOU
This means going back to work when you feel you're ready for it. Not taking o more than you can manage. Leave home worries at home and be present in your job and when you get home shed work worries and be fully present with your family.
Sleep is a very important part of taking care of yourself. Getting enough sleep and relaxing time should be at the top of all your priorities because that's essentially the only way you can conquer the Morning After and be able to take care of everyone.
Do you have any tips and advice for James's mother and other mothers who're thinking about going back to school and work? Please share in the comments section.
Image credit an interesting article about the challenges working mothers face