Work versus play

Last week I suggested to Dave that maybe it was time I increased my days at work.

I have deadlines coming out of my ears and have been feeling mildly stressed about not being able to work late to help the team when things are crazy busy or to work an extra day to help out.

Plus, there’s that crazy side of me that thrives on having an insane amount of work to deliver in a short timeframe. I just love the rush of adrenalin and the pressure that comes with working to tight timeframes.

When I told one of my colleagues last week that I was having fun, I was met with a ‘you’ve completely lost the plot’ look.

When I left work last Wednesday afternoon, the end of my working week, I felt like I was abandoning ship. I wanted nothing more to stay back, get stuck in, and help the team get the job done.

And then Thursday morning came.

It was the first time since Sunday that I didn’t have to rush anywhere or drag the girls from pillar to post.

We had a deliciously lazy morning together before we took Miss Three to ballet and tap.

While Miss Three danced and sang her heart out, I had some much needed one-on-one time with Smiley feeding her newfound hunger for books and chatted leisurely to some of the other ‘ballet mums’.

After dance class, it was Miss Three’s and my turn for one-on-one time. We baked cupcakes while Smiley slept soundly in her room above us and then we played a million and one games of What’s the time Mr Wolf?

Bright and early Friday morning we set off on more adventures – this time to the park.

As I sat opposite my two cuties on a see-saw, I marveled at how quickly they are growing and changing.

Our once cautious, almost anxious, three-year-old approached the play equipment with confidence. She climbed high and launched herself backwards down the slide. She didn’t let other kids push past her like she once would have, she stood her ground.

Meanwhile, Smiley delighted in getting her hands into everything, her adorable face filled with a mixture of awe and excitement as her little hands explored new textures.

As we sat having morning tea overlooking the river, I watched Smiley excitedly point out birds and planes and smiled at Miss Three laughing at her own jokes about poo poo sandwiches and poo poo ice cream.

This is what life is all about.

Time with my precious little girls.

God knows there are days and weeks when life is tough and those little monkeys turn me into a tearful, exhausted shell of a woman, but for the most part it is good. It is amazing.

I am incredibly lucky to be afforded the opportunity to work part-time. Lucky that my employer is flexible enough to do this, and that we can get by financially.

Why would I want to trade this sweet deal in? Why would I not want to spend those two precious days a week with my babes in the early years when they are learning and growing and everything is an amazing new experience?

I wouldn’t.

This is the time now when they need me and when I need them.

So, for now we’ll keep things as is. They won’t be this age forever.

Do you sometimes struggle with your work/life balance too?

Linking up today with Essentially Jess because I Blog On Tuesdays πŸ™‚

68 comments on Work versus play

  1. Mum2three
    June 3, 2014 at 5:40 am (3 years ago)

    This is so true. I feel blessed to be able to work part time and spend time with my babies whilst they’re young : )

    Reply
  2. Renee Wilson
    June 3, 2014 at 6:06 am (3 years ago)

    We’re really lucky, Tash and we have to make the most of it xx

    Reply
  3. Deb @ home life simplified
    June 3, 2014 at 6:45 am (3 years ago)

    I think your situation is ideal, but everyone has to decide what is right for them. Sounds like the best of both worlds but I imagine the push/pull is huge too xxx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 3, 2014 at 9:27 pm (3 years ago)

      It sure is, Deb. It sure is! xx

      Reply
  4. Zanni
    June 3, 2014 at 6:48 am (3 years ago)

    I hear you! This is my life too. At the moment, I only have about 2.5 days a week with the girls, and I absolutely love it. It restores me. And I also love being busy and productive. I think I would struggle not doing any form of work or study, but I also need down days with the little ones. X

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 3, 2014 at 9:28 pm (3 years ago)

      You are completely right, Zanni. Those days with the girls are restorative. We are so lucky to be able to have this time with them x

      Reply
  5. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    June 3, 2014 at 7:03 am (3 years ago)

    When they are so young they need you around if you can be, and so you need it also!!! Such a hard decision though isn’t it. x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 3, 2014 at 9:29 pm (3 years ago)

      It really is a hard decision at times and then other times I think it’s a no brainer πŸ™‚ xx

      Reply
  6. Neets
    June 3, 2014 at 7:08 am (3 years ago)

    That quality time is so important isn’t it Renee? Sounds like you have a good balance going on there. Although I haven’t been working for a couple of years, we are struggling with my husbands work/life balance. His 14 hour days are hard yakka. Time for a seachange for us perhaps? Will keep you posted on that one πŸ˜‰ xxx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 3, 2014 at 9:30 pm (3 years ago)

      Ooh that sounds really exciting!! 14 hour days are definitely hard going. My husband is similar. It is 9.30pm and he’s just walked in the door. He left at 7am this morning πŸ™ xx

      Reply
  7. Lydia C. Lee
    June 3, 2014 at 7:17 am (3 years ago)

    It doesn’t really stop – I’m in the process of looking for work but it’s appearing I’ll need my afternoons to get the teen places and the others up to date with their school work…so what to do??? So now looking for any old cr@ppy job, as long as the hours work and it’s near by (way to pick a career!)

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 3, 2014 at 9:32 pm (3 years ago)

      Lol, Lydia. I completely get what you’re doing. Sacrificing your career to be there for the kids is something I would do too πŸ™‚

      Reply
  8. Lauren @ Create Bake Make
    June 3, 2014 at 7:20 am (3 years ago)

    Your days with the girls sound just lovely Renee, the perfect way to ‘unwind’ after your working week. As you know I’m grappling with this decision at the moment. I’m finding as the time comes closer my feelings about returning to work are becoming much stronger.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 3, 2014 at 9:47 pm (3 years ago)

      Oooh that’s interesting, Lauren. I can’t wait to hear what you decide to do. I know what a tough decision it is for you. Good luck xx

      Reply
  9. sarah@slapdashmama
    June 3, 2014 at 7:34 am (3 years ago)

    Part time work is ideal for me, or part time study. Best of both worlds I say!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 3, 2014 at 9:34 pm (3 years ago)

      Yep, it really is the best of both worlds πŸ™‚

      Reply
  10. Emily
    June 3, 2014 at 8:35 am (3 years ago)

    I’m glad you’re so happy. I remember a comment you left on my blog about people saying you weren’t at work enough. Or too much. Always the tug, one way or another. You sound sorted. Balanced. And happy. So so glad for you x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 3, 2014 at 9:35 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks lovely, Emily πŸ™‚ It feels right at the moment, but as Deb pointed out there is still that push/pull at times x

      Reply
  11. bea
    June 3, 2014 at 8:36 am (3 years ago)

    I actually saw you at the park! Felt totally star struck and couldn’t introduce myself. I’m about to go back full time because my employer is super flexible, unlike my husband’s. .. so he’s going to stay home. I’m excited! Confidence of knowing the kids are in loving arms and I’m getting the work thrill for the first time in years, after juggling the part time dance!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 3, 2014 at 12:57 pm (3 years ago)

      Oh my goodness! You should have said hello πŸ™‚ We will probably be there again this Friday if little Smiley is well enough. That is fantastic news you are going back full time and have your husband to look after the kids. What a perfect arrangement!! I’m so glad to hear you’re excited and feeling good about it πŸ™‚

      Reply
  12. Kathy
    June 3, 2014 at 10:52 am (3 years ago)

    I reckon you’ve got the balance right – the days when you are rushing are hard, even if work is fullfilling, but nothing, as you say, beats the precious and irreplaceable time with your kids.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 3, 2014 at 9:35 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Kathy. It seems right for now. We’ll see how we go πŸ™‚

      Reply
  13. Toni
    June 3, 2014 at 11:08 am (3 years ago)

    I’m meant to go back to work in less than a fortnight but I’ve asked for another year of mat leave because it was either full time or quit. With Hayley’s allergies Im not comfortable leaving her in daycare full time because its so easy for her to react even from toys other babies have chewed on. So I have another year to ignore and then stress about returning to work.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 3, 2014 at 9:37 pm (3 years ago)

      That is fantastic your work is so flexible. Another year is sensational. I can understand you being worried about leaving Hayley when she has allergies to deal with. Now you get to spend so much more time with her πŸ™‚

      Reply
  14. Vicki @ Knocked Up and Abroad
    June 3, 2014 at 2:32 pm (3 years ago)

    Well I know you’ve already read my post about work/life balance this week, so you know how terrible I am at it.

    I think it’s really easy to get back into adult life where you’re stimulated and making money! But that can happen any old day. Time with your girls is now and now only. Never to reappear how it is ever again, so I’m so glad you took those moments to notice the little stuff. To notice the growth and the special stuff.

    I read once that after about the first 5 years, they never need you quite the same way again and you can never have that time back and despite the struggles you will long to have them need you like this again, so the idea is to be there and be in it for them, I reckon anyway.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 3, 2014 at 9:38 pm (3 years ago)

      I reckon you are absolutely spot on, Vicki. Spot on!

      Reply
  15. EssentiallyJess
    June 3, 2014 at 2:50 pm (3 years ago)

    It’s so hard when you work part time, because you realise how useful you can be somewhere else. And you also really appreciate what it’s like to get to the end of the day and say ‘look what I accomplished.’ (As opted to ‘I did clean the floor three times but you can’t tell….) It makes you want to do it more! I can totally understand that makes you want to increase your hours.
    But I love how you ended this; the focus on what’s really important, and how blessed you are to have the best of both worlds. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 3, 2014 at 9:39 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Jess. I’m glad you liked it. You made me laugh with the floors. That is seriously how I feel everytime I clean them!

      Reply
  16. Kylie Purtell
    June 3, 2014 at 2:50 pm (3 years ago)

    Absolutely I struggle. There are some days when I really wish I had work to escape back to, to not have to deal with a crying, teething baby and a demanding toddler. But then I get sloppy baby kisses, or a beautiful “Tank you Mummy” and that radiant smile and I know I am doing exactly what I should be. It’s those good moments I try to store in my mind for the days that are tougher (like today!).

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 3, 2014 at 9:49 pm (3 years ago)

      Yep, we definitely have to hold onto those good moments to help us get through the bad. Will you be going back to work in the near future, or focus on your study instead?

      Reply
  17. Carla from myyellowheart
    June 3, 2014 at 4:01 pm (3 years ago)

    I think any Mum who works part time, while also running a household and children is amazing. You’re doing a great job Renee, I agree sacrifice (!!!) on the work front a little so you can enjoy your children. Before you know it they’ll be at school, and when they are home won’t be interested in talking or hanging with you. Enjoy them while they’re young xxx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 3, 2014 at 9:50 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Carla. Yep, I really think it is essential to make the most of this time now. I’ve wondering how you’re going back at work. I hope it’s all going well.

      Reply
  18. Bec @ The Plumbette
    June 3, 2014 at 4:39 pm (3 years ago)

    I actually sometimes miss my one to two days a week working just to busy my mind with tasks other than mummy stuff and even today’s post on my blog talks about finding contentment when being a stay at home mum and wanting more. You are right, and it’s amazing that we come to conclusions when we are having a great time with our kids and realise how fast they grow up and I don’t want to miss a thing. Enjoy the days with your younguns. They will go fast.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 3, 2014 at 9:58 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks lovely. You too. I totally get your thoughts on contentment too. That search for contentment was one of the things that led me to start this blog πŸ™‚

      Reply
  19. Tegan
    June 3, 2014 at 4:43 pm (3 years ago)

    I’ve said it before but I’m really in awe of the women who can managed the work/life balance. I am barely manage the life balance most days. I think it’s great that you have the opportunity to get the best of both worlds with your girls.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 3, 2014 at 9:58 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Tegan. I really am lucky to have this balance πŸ™‚

      Reply
  20. Aroha @ Colours of Sunset
    June 3, 2014 at 7:52 pm (3 years ago)

    I’ve been thinking of increasing my work load too, but then I think, I’m in uni, I work, I have Nick who is still only in grade 1, there is plenty of time for increasing my work load. I’ll probably/hopefully be working for another 30 years, what’s a few more years of only doing part time hours? Life really is about family. the rest is just details. xo Aroha (stopping by for #teamIBOT)

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 3, 2014 at 9:59 pm (3 years ago)

      True that, Aroha. You seriously sound like you have your hands full. I can imagine uni would be intense. As you say, there’s plenty of time to work for the rest of our lives πŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  21. Eva (The Multitasking Mummy)
    June 3, 2014 at 9:32 pm (3 years ago)

    I’ve been lucky enough to be able to be at home 4 days a week with my 2.5 year old son for the last year, he goes to daycare one day a week so I can focus on some writing work but I must admit I’d love to have enough work to work one more day a week and then I’d feel it was a really good balance. I’m so lucky to have spent so much time with him and I feel lucky to have the option to work from home too.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 3, 2014 at 9:42 pm (3 years ago)

      Having that option to work from home must be fantastic. I’m definitely a little envious πŸ™‚ I hope you can arrange another day of work a week for yourself so you can get the balance you’re after πŸ™‚

      Reply
  22. JodiGibson (@JFGibsonWriter)
    June 3, 2014 at 9:37 pm (3 years ago)

    I think you are handling the balance as good as anyone can. You are present in what you are doing whether it be work or play and that is the key to everything. xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 3, 2014 at 9:40 pm (3 years ago)

      As always, Jodi, you are so wise πŸ™‚ xx

      Reply
  23. Lisa@RandomActsOfZen
    June 3, 2014 at 10:56 pm (3 years ago)

    That’s so wonderful that you’re getting so much satisfaction from your job Renee. And also that you’re enjoying your time with the girls.
    I think you’re doing a beautiful job of juggling right now xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 4, 2014 at 6:08 am (3 years ago)

      Thanks Lisa. I am trying and trying to stay positive xx

      Reply
  24. Michelle@myslowlivingadventure
    June 3, 2014 at 11:24 pm (3 years ago)

    It’s so hard to find balance. Great that you can really immerse yourself in whatever your role is for the day. It’s called being truly present, and it sounds like you are really good at it!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 4, 2014 at 6:08 am (3 years ago)

      I don’t know about that, but I’m trying πŸ™‚ Thanks πŸ™‚

      Reply
  25. The Thrifty Issue
    June 4, 2014 at 2:47 pm (3 years ago)

    I feel very blessed to have a pretty good balance between work and home since I work from home and both my kids are at school. I made a decision recently to pull them out of the 2 days of after school care they had been attending this year, restructure my business and be more available to them and work less. I can’t wait. They have 2 more weeks of after school care, then it’ll be more time together. Balance can be tricky.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 4, 2014 at 9:21 pm (3 years ago)

      That sounds wonderful. Good for you for figuring out how to make it work for you and your family.

      Reply
  26. SarahD @SnippetsandSpirits
    June 5, 2014 at 10:31 pm (3 years ago)

    Renee our lives and life choices are so similar. I think I might work the same days as you. When I am at work I feel so committed and focused to my job and want to do my best. Then Thursday comes and I am like what job… Therefore it is a perfect balance. And oh what a feeling it is when Thursday morning comes and we can hang in pjs until 9am. I seriously feel like I have done a days work before I even get to work. I say enjoy it while you can. You can return to full time when the girls are in school. Glad you have found a balance .

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 6, 2014 at 12:38 pm (3 years ago)

      That’s the great thing about blogging. We can find others going through the same stages in life and the same feelings. I often read your blog and think we’re on the same page πŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  27. Josefa @always Josefa
    June 6, 2014 at 8:26 am (3 years ago)

    You know what Renee, I am starting to think that this whole word “balance” is just as bad as “guilt” Maybe there is no such thing as the right work-life balance? Maybe the best we can ever do is simply that – our best. Work when we need to, be with our children when we need to, be with our partners when we need to, give time to ourselves when we need to. Do what works in that moment, embrace it and feel empowered by it. Leave the balance and definitions aside. Enjoy those days at work – and those days with your girls – both are as precious as each other x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 6, 2014 at 12:43 pm (3 years ago)

      You could be onto something, Josefa!! I often feel I have to be all things to all people, but I’m learning to just do what feels right for me and to let go of other people’s expectations and my own expectations. Leaving the definitions aside is a good plan xx

      Reply
  28. Caitlin
    June 6, 2014 at 9:26 am (3 years ago)

    It’s true. This time with the kids being little is so short. Work will be there, and when the thrill stops and the day to day grind sets in, I’m sure you will look back and be energised once again by those memories with your children. I know what you mean though with loving work. I haven’t done any relief teaching since the triplets were born, but before that when I did take a day away from the kids to do that, work would often seem like a holiday, because as precious as this time with the kids is, it’s also tiring.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 6, 2014 at 12:52 pm (3 years ago)

      I know what you mean. It’s good to have a change of scenery and have a chance to talk to adults. Can’t wait to hear how you go if/when you return to relief teaching.

      Reply
  29. Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    June 6, 2014 at 10:24 am (3 years ago)

    Yup! And I work at my desk, in my home, within eyesight of the family. But still … I need to pull myself away and allow myself to FOCUS on the family. I do it … but it’s a challenge at times. Having both in the one space is a blessing and a curse.
    Happy Friday!
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 6, 2014 at 12:53 pm (3 years ago)

      I can imagine it would be, Leanne. It would definitely have its pros and cons, but I’d definitely like to give it a go! Happy Friday too πŸ™‚

      Reply
  30. Grace
    June 6, 2014 at 2:52 pm (3 years ago)

    I’m struggling about the whole work thing. I would love to go back but like you said, this time is so special and won’t last forever. In the meantime ,I’ll just keep looking out for opportunities. No harm in seeing what’s out there.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 9, 2014 at 11:11 am (3 years ago)

      That’s right, Grace. It’s good to keep an open mind and be open to opportunities.

      Reply
  31. Bec @ Seeing the Lighter Side of Parenting
    June 6, 2014 at 3:38 pm (3 years ago)

    It’s so hard to get the balance right. I recently went up to a 7 day fortnight and am regretting it. I think I’d like to go back to 3 days a week. I think that’s the perfect balance for me.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 9, 2014 at 11:11 am (3 years ago)

      That’s interesting, Bec. I had wondered about a seven day fortnight too. Thanks for sharing your experience!

      Reply
  32. Pinky Poinker
    June 6, 2014 at 4:15 pm (3 years ago)

    You do have a sweet deal! Time to be with your babies and time to challenge yourself in other ways. They really do grow up so quickly and sometimes I feel sad when I look at photos of when mine were little and wish I’d been more in the moment. What a lovely post πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 9, 2014 at 11:12 am (3 years ago)

      Thanks Pinky πŸ™‚ Yes, we really need to make the most of this time!

      Reply
  33. Jody at Six Little Hearts
    June 6, 2014 at 5:33 pm (3 years ago)

    Glad you came to that realisation. I have zero intention of working while my kids are young. The time is just too precious. It flies by too. I cannot believe my eldest baby is 14 now – It breaks my heart. I would love to keep this time forever. Work is dull and monotonous and will always be there and for the most part, unchanged. So unlike our children’s childhoods.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 9, 2014 at 11:13 am (3 years ago)

      You are so right, Jody. So right. I can’t believe you have a 14 year old. Amazing!

      Reply
  34. Twitchy Sharon (@twitchycorner)
    June 6, 2014 at 7:38 pm (3 years ago)

    I’m glad you are able to have both sides of the coin and the choices of each available to you.

    I struggle with work/life balance because I don’t have any paid employment at the moment! Yes, I’d love some part time work soon after settling into our new home because my two are both at school… but my former field is not very accommodating to family life and two past “part-time” attempts have been disastrous. Time for a rethink!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 9, 2014 at 11:13 am (3 years ago)

      A rethink sounds good, Twitchy. Those part-time jobs, the ones that fulfill you and that you can enjoy, are hard to find. Good luck!

      Reply
  35. Bronwyn
    June 6, 2014 at 7:59 pm (3 years ago)

    Striking the work-life balance is the name of the game here, too! I’m on mat leave now but am usually a PT working mummy. I’ve loved every minute (well, except for maybe a few) of being home with my 4, 2 and baby over the past eight months, and it’s nearly time for me to go back…

    Being in those “see-saw” moments as you described is so important. It’s easy to let my mind wander to tasks that need doing, or emails that need attending to… but nothing’s more important than those giggling little faces right in front of us, because they won’t be there forever!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      June 9, 2014 at 11:14 am (3 years ago)

      So true, Bronwyn!! I can’t wait to hear how you go when you go back.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *