Did anyone watch ‘The replacement’ on BBC last month? It was a three part thriller about maternity leave, and promised to explore ‘the darker side of working woman, motherhood and the issues that arise from making “the right choice”. It was brilliant, tense, but disappointed me at the end when the lead character appeared to have given up her career in order to stay at home, after defending her position as a working mother throughout the whole drama. I felt a bit cheated, and disappointed that the writers had deemed that the only way the character could bond and cope with motherhood (she appeared to have problems in previous episodes with this) was to give up her job.
Now, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with either staying at home, working, or anywhere in between. Whatever works, works. But it did get me thinking, CAN you have it all?
I went back to work full-time, 11 months after having Ava. I also started a masters course at university the same month. I knew it would be tough, but I mean, It was really TOUGH. After a few weeks, and a small breakdown at work I admitted defeat and reduced to 30 hours, despite not really being able to afford to. At the time I had to trust my instincts as both a mother and a ‘career woman’, as I was failing at both. I knew I could work extra hours when Andrew was off work to make up the money and thankfully since then he has changed jobs and we are much more comfortable. However, most days I still feel like I’m chasing my tail at most things. My work have been amazing, and have accommodated most of my requests of set shifts and hours. I couldn’t ask for more, and yet we still struggle with covering childcare most months. It completely stresses me out, and Im starting to wonder if this ‘career mother’ stuff is all its cracked up to be.
I LOVE my job. it’s my passion, something I have trained and continue to study for and I couldn’t imagine not doing what I do. But there are weeks such as this one, where I have worked days, gone to uni, stayed up over 36 hours for a night shift and am still completely stressing over childcare that I wonder, is it worth it? How can it be this hard to have it all?
I have no quick solutions. I know that our rota’s will get better, and we have some more days off as a family next month. I know that when we have a good week it all seems worth it, and I don’t want to work as an agency nurse as I love my hospital and colleagues. On hard, tiring, emotional shifts you need those people around you. But after nearly 6 months back at work I still don’t feel like I have this working/mother thing down, and I wonder if that ever happens. How can you have it all?
Any suggestions, coping mechanisms, or love would be very grateful!
Until next time,