I work full time in a busy job. I commute 2.5 hours a day between travelling to and from work. By Friday evening I am wreaked! Trying to stay on top on the basic items such as washing, ironing, having enough food in the house, tidying up after 3 messy kids and keeping the house clean enough so we don’t all fall ill with some horrible bacteria growing in some grotty corner is close to impossible – there is always something that doesn’t get done.
Even with our super Spanish au pair keeping everything sane while we are at work doesn’t take from the madness of week day evenings and our two precious days off at the weekend.
Weekends become dragging kids to do shopping, sitting them in front of tv while we madly rush around house catching up on a weeks housework.
Where is the fun in all that? It’s all work and no life!
Having spent over a year off on my third maternity leave I found going back to work third time around the most heart wrenching. Maybe because I had really become a mummy. Kissing my girl at the school gate as she skipped into school, being there when she skipped back out, helping with homework, doing playdates and bringing her to after school activities. Maybe also because I had, in my pursuit of work life balance asked for and got denied any part time arrangements immediately prior to my return.
It was as a far cry from 6 years earlier when I settled my 7 month old baby into full time crèche and going back to work was almost a break and a welcome return to my previous reality.
I am back at full time work over 4 months now and my feelings haven’t changed. I miss my kids. I want to be the one there for them. My little boy starts school in September and I want to be there for him. So something had to give.
With little happening in my career right, with no options of part time work and not enjoying the all work “work life balance” I decided to try the all “life” work life balance. Thankfully my employer has a career break scheme that allows a minimum break of a year and maximum of 5 years. I have now been allowed a year off starting July. It’s unpaid so I guess the bank manager (and my bosses) will determine if I can extend the break further but in the meantime roll on July.
Someday I may actually achieve work life balance that is actually split between work and life!