This time last year I wrote this open letter to my children about my decision to change my hours at work to full time. I thought I’d write an update to it now I’ve lived it for a while.
Is it working for me? Well, no is the short answer. I don’t think it is. I’m torn apart with guilt all of the time like most parents for one reason or another. No more so than now when the kids are off school and being on social media see parents and kids off on jolly adventures everywhere. I can’t do that and by the time I get home from work there’s no time for anything and to be honest I’d be too knackered anyway. It’s not easy to “just have some time off” and I certainly couldn’t have six weeks anyway. It eats away at you knowing that you’re missing out on all sorts of fun and memories that you’ll never get back.
Whilst I kept my promise to be there when they needed me for sports day, concerts and parents evening I won’t lie and pretend it’s been easy, it’s quite the opposite and actually quite difficult and I permanently feel as though I’m running here and there. I constantly feel as though I’m going to upset someone somewhere along the way. My boss/my kids/my partner/my family.
It’s difficult when you want to set an example and work hard but on the other hand which part of your life do you let slide in order to compensate? Cleaning that doesn’t get done, homework that gets forgotten? You cannot be everything to everyone as much as you try. And boy have I tried.
When you’ve had a horrific day at work and come home to your partner screaming “these kids have done my head in fighting all day” it’s so hard not to walk straight back out. Whilst I might have had a hard time getting shouted at by disgruntled customers it’s just as hard for him trying to keep two kids amused all the time and we both end up feeling hard done by.
The money came in handy yes but you can’t put a price on missing half your children’s childhood. If I’m honest by the time I was taxed it wasn’t all that much different, certainly not enough to warrant my home life suffering. I’ve always been vocal about hating the school run but even that is something I’ve missed, getting half garbled messages from the teachers via Daddy always sends me ragey.
My blogging has also gone by the wayside, whilst it is only a hobby and it’s not that important to life itself I feel it’s important to me. It’s a place to be silly, pour my heart out and talk about the things that I want to. I’m not a drinker or a smoker so blogging (albeit badly) is just something I enjoy doing.
So what does this all mean? It means I’ve decided to go back to working part time. I thought long and hard about it, it’s not something I’ve jumped into but I feel it’s right for us. I certainly know how my Mum must have felt working 40 hours a week and looking after us by herself, she was and forever will be Superwoman to me because I don’t ever recall her moaning about it, she just got on with it. So I may feel as though in some ways I’m failing but;
I tried. I’ve made my decision. I stand by it. I will not feel guilty.