Return to Work

Connecting our Community: Meet Lisa

Lisa is a busy full time worker and mum to two busy boys aged 5 and 3 years old. She bravely admits she feels guilty being away from her kids and would love a part time role.

What industry do you work in?

Insurance where I recently took a full time role.

What is your current working arrangement?

I work earlier and finish earlier. My husband has the flexibility to start later in the morning so he does the school and childcare drop offs and I then I pick up the kids in the afternoon.

Does this work for you and your family?

It works for now as I am lucky in that my husband can go in later in the morning or work from home on occasion if need be. My son goes to after school care 4 days a week and it is in the school grounds and he likes it. My 3 year old son is in Family Day care in a home setting so he is happy and settled until I pick him up each afternoon. My children know that mummy has to work so even when I have been working part-time or full-time I also try to keep the week to the same routine. I try to make the most of the time I have in the late afternoons. It does get manic (especially trying to cook a fast healthy style dinner) however I try and prioritise what it is I need to get done. I don’t do any activities / sports during the week as I don’t try and cram too many things in! Time with parents and play dates with the neighbours is great at this age otherwise I think with everything else you on it the kids and the parents are overloaded!

What surprised you when you returned to work?

I was surprised as to how much I miss the kids and probably the guilt of working which is still with me today. It never goes away I don’t think however you have to learn to manage. I also realised that you almost need to be able to turn into human plasticine where you are being pulled into several directions at once with managing your job and your kids at the same time.

What is your biggest challenge juggling work and family?

My biggest challenge juggling work and family is obviously the more limited time I have now I am working full time however it is more so the sick days / school holidays. I have limited family here and my in laws are overseas so when the kids get sick it is more than likely that myself or my husband need to stay home. There is also 6 weeks holiday at the end of the school year to try and manage and organise!

What’s your best piece of advice for mums returning to work?

Negotiate your needs with your boss / employer if you are returning to work. I think a lot of mums end up leaving their jobs and often think about a career change (like myself) or working close to home. Often this can be a little harder said than done! Also do a course in advance, update your skills if you find the time online to do one it couldn’t hurt!

If you could have changed one thing about being a working mother, what would it be?

I would love to stay working part time and not have had to go back to Full time. You never get the time back! This is what I hear from other mums the most so for me it rings so true. I have just have keep working for now to make that happen!


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