11 July 2012

I Spy in July: Work Shoes

I spy with my little eye ...


...my work shoes, a symbol of a new chapter in our lives. When I spy these shoes, I see:

  • no longer being in pregnant land and therefore able to wear a shoe with a heel;
  • now having an excuse to buy a new pair of shoes (with no associated guilt);
  • no longer being defined only by being my children's mother; and
  • fun.

I know I've been going on about work a bit lately. See here, here and here. But that's only because it's such a big change in our lives - a milestone in my adult life.

The funny thing is that a couple of the bloggers whose blogs I read have also been posting about this same topic, both of them returning to work from maternity leave two or three weeks after I did. Bree from Twinkle in the Eye is having a bit of a hard time emotionally returning to work after having her first child. I've been there. It's so hard. I definitely went through a kind of grieving process when I started a full-time job when MissyMoo1 (5) was 9 months old. It was a hard period for me, for our family. I can't say that I regret it because without having done that, I would not have the job I have now, but I'll just say that I don't know how I stuck at it for as long as I did. Jodi from Mummyhood101 has just returned to work after maternity leave with her second child. She is comfortable with the idea of working, but just isn't too fussed about her job.

Reading these blogs and reflecting on my own varying responses on returning to work from child to child has made it so obvious to me that everyone's story and response is different, between people but also for the same people at different stages of their lives. So for anyone out there who is having a hard time adjusting to being a working parent, please realise that we're all coming from different places and dealing with different things in our lives.

To be completely honest, this time around, going back to work has been a blessing. Yes, I miss my children and yes, it can be hard sometimes, particularly when MissyMoo3 (9 months) won't drink her bottles during the day and MissyMoo2 (3) sooks for her mum. Yes, we're fortunate to have the MissyMoos being looked after by their Nonna while I'm at work. And now, with five weeks of it under my belt, how is it going? Some of the initial swanning around gloss has worn off slightly. I mean, it's not a walk in the park, it's work. While it's nice to be able to enjoy a coffee, I'm not paid to drink coffee all day. I have work to do. A lot of it. I have returned to a governance job in the superannuation industry in the thick of massive regulatory reform, so yes, I am going to be busy. But there's still a lot of gloss there people. I'm enjoying getting stuck into something new, I'm motivated, feeling positive and seeing our lives move into a new phase makes me happy.

And pretty, impractical shoes make me happy too.


Join me for "I Spy in July". See my introductory post for an explanation. I don't have any linky widgets, so if you do join in, please leave a comment on that post to let me know and link to your post so we can all read what you spy in July.

15 comments:

  1. I'm really happy for you! My second week has been better than my first, although I did have to take a day off to look after a baby with a very high teething temps - such is life :-) Enjoy your coffee's and your adult time. It is important to find ourselves again. Thanks for the mention! Bree

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    1. Thanks Bree. I'm glad you had a better week this week :-)

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  2. Congratulations on feeling so positive about the choices you've made. Going back to work after kids really makes you appreciate the little things others take for granted doesn't it? Lke finishing a coffee, or a browse of the shops, or a few chapters of a book in your lunch hour. Sounds like you'll be busy but the shoes will definitely help ;)

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    1. Oh yes, Lara, the shoes maketh the experience!

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  3. Great post Francesca! Its so different depending on what stage you are at and how old your kids are too. I found it so hard after my first child was born to go back after mat leave but I think I was skipping out the door after the second. I have also realised that I actually really like working and that's a good message to send to my kids too. Working or not, do what you love! Good on you! : )

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    1. You're right, Mez, it's a great message. As the kids get older, I'm starting to learn how much they pick up about life from watching us. I think no matter what I'm doing, if I'm making the best of it (most of the time!)it's good example to be setting for them.

      By the way, I'm loving all your restaurant reviews lately :-)

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  4. Hi Francesca,
    I just wanted to say thank you for posting your experience of returning to work... (I've been following ;0)) I am due back to work in September, and I am so mixed up about it. I am a nursery nurse, so the thought of leaving my boys to be with other people's children is a bit strange... almost a betrayal... I've done it once, so thought maybe this time would be easier but it seems I keep finding more emotional hurdles. Your posts have really helped to put things more into prospective; so thankyou!

    P.S. I love your shoes!

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    1. Oh thanks, I'm glad I could help. I have friends who work in the childcare industry who have said the same thing as you, it's a struggle. All the best :-)

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  5. I have been back to work for about six months and now that we are definitely settled into a nice routine I must admit that I really appreciate my days away from home.
    It helps that I am only working part time and in a very supportive environment.
    But I really think that working three days helps me be a better mother to Baby C on the other four days. I think I get my adult time in at work and then I am happy to have one hundred percent baby time on the days I am at home.
    It definitely is something that each mother has to grapple with as everyone's situation is different!
    And to be fair to the dads, although they generally have much less of a choice in the matter, I am sure that working and missing their children is something that they struggle with too!

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    1. I think I'm better at mothering with that bit of time away too. It definitely makes all the difference to have a supportive environment at work at and home.

      You're right, the poor men, they don't often get a mention with this topic, but they do miss their kids too.

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  6. Shoe envy! I waver between enjoying part time work and resenting being away from my kids (school holidays are so hard) Being a nurse I don't have beautiful shoes to feel glamorous in. Just boring black lace ups for stomping up and down the ward in! I think I might need a new job. Do you need a PA to make your coffee?!

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    1. School holidays would be hard, Gina. I haven't noticed it so much yet because I've just started back at work and I've only got the one at school.

      Oh dear, imagine what a bad state your feet would be in after a shift on the ward in those shoes. They're pretty, but they're not made for comfort!

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  7. Well done with settling back in to work. It can be a hard thing to do, especially if you have to go back before you are ready. Keep moving with your chin up, you're doing well!

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  8. Thanks again for mentioning me! :)

    Still not too fussed on my job! It won't change in a hurry, but I have had to think of it as I am only working 3 days, 8am to 4pm, and I am getting paid 100% more than anyone should be in this role! I should be happy.....however no being challenged makes the days go slow. I guess it is what happens when your company you work for gets taken over and they don't know where to put you, what your skills are, or if you are the type to sue if made redundant.

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