My one year anniversary as a working mum of two

A couple of weeks ago, I celebrated my one year anniversary of returning to work after having my second child.

One full year of working three days a week, being a mum and wife, growing this blog, and maintaining my sanity. I made it!

This past year has been a roller coaster ride of emotions for me as I struggled to find my groove returning to the workforce.

I remember starting my first day back at work after having been up the entire night before with a vomiting child. I remember crying to Dave that I couldn’t do it all and that I was failing in all aspects of my life. I remember lamenting the fact that my status at work isn’t what it used to be.

I have spent much of this past year battling to keep my head above water and placing unnecessary pressure on myself.

And then, something just clicked for me a few months ago.

I think I reached my limit.

I was exhausted from the constant stress of worrying about whether I was performing at work, whether I was spending enough time with the kids, and whether I was taking advantage of my family asking them time and time again to look after my children, who have been sick for the better part of the last seven months.

Being a working mum is tiring enough as it is, let alone me adding extra pressure on myself worrying about things I didn’t need to worry about.

I resolved to give myself a break and to not focus unnecessarily on what is out of my control.

Cutting myself some slack was the best thing I could have done. It helped me to realise what an amazing job of everything I am doing, that I am doing my best, and that while things aren’t the way they used to be, this is the way it is now and I need to make peace with that.

It has taken me a full year to work all of this out, but I believe that I am settled now.

I read an article in The Courier Mail recently about working mothers being in demand. There has reportedly been a 100 per cent rise in the past year in companies wanting mothers to fill positions.

The article made my heart sing.

It claimed that a growing number of businesses consider the ‘get in, get the job done, get out,’ approach of mothers an asset to business.

I love the notion of the get in, get it done, and get out approach.

I would say I’m one of these women.

As I do all daycare drop offs and pickups for the girls, I don’t have the flexibility of coming into work earlier or working later.

When I get to work, I need to Get. Stuff. Done! I of course love the social aspect of work and having adult conversation, but my focus is on churning out the work like a machine to get done what I can in the time I have available.

And sure, there are times when I can’t get it all done and it is stressful. I am lucky enough to have an amazing support network around me and can lean on certain family members when I need to pick up an extra day or work from home.

Rather than working myself up about it like I used to, I now be realistic with my expectations.

I am so glad I have stuck with being a working mother. The benefits for me, our family, the kids, definitely outweigh the negatives.

If I could say anything to the working mothers out there who are struggling to keep their heads above water, I would say hang in there. You are killing it and are doing an amazing job even when you think you’re not. Be kind to yourself and it will make a world of difference.

Are you a working parent? Do you enjoy it or not so much? Did it take you awhile to find your groove after returning to work?

Linking up today with EssentiallyJess for IBOT.



54 comments on My one year anniversary as a working mum of two

  1. Lydia C. Lee
    October 7, 2014 at 6:00 am (4 years ago)

    Good for you, and I love this”You are killing it and are doing an amazing job even when you think you’re not.” I think that is very true!

    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      October 8, 2014 at 6:12 am (4 years ago)

      Thanks Lydia. We need to help build each other up πŸ™‚

  2. Aroha @ Colours of Sunset
    October 7, 2014 at 6:10 am (4 years ago)

    Not only am I working, but going to uni also, and I am just so overwhelmed, and put so much pressure on myself, I am literally making myself sick. I’m going to work harder on cutting myself some slack and being kind to myself. Congratulations on making it through the first year! I am certain you’re doing a great job! x

    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      October 8, 2014 at 6:16 am (4 years ago)

      Aroha, I know that feeling of making yourself sick. When you’re spreading yourself too thin and bringing yourself to the point of exhaustion. I know you’re in a really tough spot now with work and uni. Hang in there. You are doing an amazing job. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. You will get through this and be all the stronger for it xx

  3. Sam
    October 7, 2014 at 6:45 am (4 years ago)

    I go back to my ‘real job’ in December, and I go through periods of excitement and dread when I think about it… but I was just saying to my husband the other day that my work ethics would have to change – no more staying back in the office and getting in early – the kids will have to come first… it’s going to be an interesting change!

    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      October 8, 2014 at 7:57 pm (4 years ago)

      It definitely will be, Sam. Some mums take to it no problem, others take a little longer. I hope your transition back in goes smoothly πŸ™‚

  4. Bec @ The Plumbette
    October 7, 2014 at 7:12 am (4 years ago)

    I think you’re incredible to do what you do Renee. I could only handle going back to work a couple of days a week after having Magdalene and I would be so exhausted. I think the hardest part of the juggle is giving your best to your children after work when you’ve had a stressful day and have little energy left in the tank. Happy Anniversary lovely and I hope that this next year will be smooth sailing and less pressured because because you’ve found your routine. πŸ™‚

    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      October 8, 2014 at 7:58 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you, Bec. And yes, you’re spot on. It is hard to give your all to the kids when you feel exhausted after a long day. Patience can run thin :/

  5. Tonia Zemek
    October 7, 2014 at 7:16 am (4 years ago)

    Lovely post Renee. Sounds to me like you’re doing a fabulous job (at home and work). x

  6. Vicki @ Knocked Up and Abroad
    October 7, 2014 at 7:27 am (4 years ago)

    I take my hat off to you Renee. I think you working mummy crew are ahhhhmazing! I went back to work for a bit but couldn’t cope particularly well so I gave it the flick ( I should explain I was working as a casual relief teacher and it was easy to say no. Also I was teaching kids who just didn’t respect my time and I was exhausted by the classroom management. It was too hard of a slog when you have a baby who isn’t sleeping). Perhaps I should have persisted but I had a 10 month old baby and I didn’t even know who i was in this mothering gig yet. I was so confused and tired and overwhelmed so I decided to give myself more time and to be okay with being a stay at home mum. I am lucky I have the choice however. I now just dabble.

    I think you have found your feet again now and although there will always be tough times you have your groove back. Go forth and keep winning! x

    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      October 8, 2014 at 8:01 pm (4 years ago)

      Good for you, Vicki! I remember when I went back when my first was 10 months old and it was hard. She didn’t sleep at all and I was a zombie at work. It is hard to continue on. I can imagine how hard it would be to be a teacher when you are a new mum. A friend of mine was a teacher, but hasn’t gone back to it since having kids.

  7. Me
    October 7, 2014 at 8:42 am (4 years ago)

    Cutting yourself some slack and learning to say no are two of the kindest things you can learn to do for yourself. Well done on getting it together and for keeping it together (most of the time anyway !!!)
    Lotsa hugs
    Me xox

    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      October 8, 2014 at 8:02 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks so much for your support πŸ™‚ xx

  8. Kristy @ Loulouzoo
    October 7, 2014 at 9:01 am (4 years ago)

    Great post. I know when I was back at work after my first girl I felt so much pressure to do everything right…but it was all from me! I need to remember your advice πŸ™‚

    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      October 8, 2014 at 8:03 pm (4 years ago)

      Yes, I think 99 % of the pressure we feel is from ourselves πŸ™

  9. Michelle@myslowlivingadventure
    October 7, 2014 at 9:19 am (4 years ago)

    Inspiring stuff! I haven’t been working for ages but now feel like I’m ready to dive back in for a bit. Probably not 3 days a week, but a bit just the same. So much in life is related to how we perceive things Renee. Well done!

    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      October 8, 2014 at 8:04 pm (4 years ago)

      It really is, Michelle. Thank you. And good luck with your return to work!

  10. Denise
    October 7, 2014 at 9:48 am (4 years ago)

    Thank you for this post Renee. It’s something I’ve been struggling with myself lately – how to do it all and not feel like I’m failing everyone (including myself). I’m not there yet but I am inspired by your story xxx

    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      October 8, 2014 at 8:06 pm (4 years ago)

      I’m glad you found it relatable, Denise. It is a hard road and hard to not feel like you’re doing a rubbish job of everything. Everytime I hear myself saying a negative, I try to turn it to a positive. You eventually get the hang of it xx

  11. Kathy
    October 7, 2014 at 11:56 am (4 years ago)

    Great you have the right attitude and it is working out for you Renee – you must be very disciplined doing all the dropping off/picking up. I’m a bit at my wits end with work at the moment – not with being a working Mum per se but with the culture at work and my desire to other things (including yoga teaching). Change is a coming I reckon.

    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      October 8, 2014 at 8:08 pm (4 years ago)

      A change sounds REALLY exciting, Kathy! Good on you for recognising you’re not content and need a change x

  12. Toni @ Finding Myself Young
    October 7, 2014 at 12:08 pm (4 years ago)

    Good on you for being able to do it. I’m on extended maternity leave and I still can’t imagine going back. If I could work part time and my mum or Trent could look after her then it wouldn’t be a problem, but at the moment they cant look after her and I’d have to go back fulltime and I’m just too nervous putting her into fulltime childcare when she has so many allergies.

    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      October 8, 2014 at 8:09 pm (4 years ago)

      Yes, that would be hard, Toni. I can fully understand your concerns. I would be the same.

  13. EssentiallyJess
    October 7, 2014 at 1:21 pm (4 years ago)

    You’re doing such a great job Renee. I did a bit of it last year, just when Tim was at home, and it was hard work. There’s so much demand from everyone when you’re a working mum. I take my hat off to you. xx

    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      October 8, 2014 at 8:11 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you, Jess. I only have two and you have four. I can imagine how thinly you must have been spread during that time! x

  14. Josefa
    October 7, 2014 at 1:29 pm (4 years ago)

    One year already! I remember reading about you going back to work! I can’t imagine just staying at home now – it would probably drive me insane – I think the juggle – or the balance – of work and stay at home mum is a good one. I watch the crazy long hours my husband works and he just doesn’t have the options I have. It may be tough on some days, but I am grateful to have the choice to live this life. Well done on one year! xx

    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      October 8, 2014 at 8:12 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks Josefa. Yes, I agree. I am very grateful to have this opportunity and to have a workplace so flexible xx

  15. Lara @ This Charming Mum
    October 7, 2014 at 1:51 pm (4 years ago)

    Awesome post! Happy anniversary Renee! You’re obviously doing a fantastic job and finding ways to get that all important sense of ‘balance’ that we all long for. Well done x

    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      October 8, 2014 at 8:13 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks Lara πŸ™‚ I’m trying x

  16. Bec @ Seeing the Lighter Side of Parenting
    October 7, 2014 at 1:57 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh, I can sooooo relate to all of this! My kids have been sick in a sort of virus-y tag team for the past few months. I’m so grateful my Mum retired at the end of last year and can look after them a fair bit. I’m pretty sure I’ve used up the last of my sick leave by spending the past week in hospital with my 4 year old;-(

    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      October 8, 2014 at 8:14 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank God for your mum! And I’m very pleased to hear your little one is on the mend x

  17. Jen @Survivor's Guide to Colic
    October 7, 2014 at 4:04 pm (4 years ago)

    Love that advice about ditch the worrying because there’s not enough time/energy to expend on that. Thanks – am going to put that to good use this week as I take on some more (and am terrified about being stretched too thin).

    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      October 8, 2014 at 8:15 pm (4 years ago)

      Oh good luck! Try to take it easy on yourself and take time out for you when you can x

  18. Lisa@RandomActsOfZen
    October 7, 2014 at 4:47 pm (4 years ago)

    Renee, I remember reading about your first day, and can’t believe that was a whole year ago!! Sometimes I feel like I live in The Twilight Zone πŸ™‚
    You’re doing an awesome job hun, be proud of yourself and all that you achieve xx

    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      October 8, 2014 at 8:16 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks for your support as always, Lisa x

  19. Tegan
    October 7, 2014 at 7:43 pm (4 years ago)

    Go you! I can’t believe you’d been back at work a year already because I remember the posts you mentioned about starting work. I hope your positive attitude keeps up!

  20. Shelley@MoneyMummy
    October 7, 2014 at 8:06 pm (4 years ago)

    I work 3 days a week too and I think it is a great mix for me and my family. You are right though you really need to let things go and really figure out what is important to make it all work without loosing your mind πŸ™‚ Great post!

    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      October 8, 2014 at 8:17 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks Shelley πŸ™‚ I’m glad you could relate πŸ™‚

  21. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    October 7, 2014 at 9:35 pm (4 years ago)

    Such great advice, us mums are always way harder on ourselves and I’m so glad to read that you’re being kinder to you. It’s actually coming through in your writing, it’s brighter and has a lovely happy vibe to it. GO GIRL!

  22. Michelle K
    October 7, 2014 at 10:13 pm (4 years ago)

    Well you make it look effortless to me so Well done!

    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      October 8, 2014 at 8:20 pm (4 years ago)

      Ahh Michelle. Thank you. I have to say it’s been great to have you as such an amazing role model at work πŸ™‚ If you can do it with four, then somehow I can do it with two.

  23. DruimΓ©@SnippetsandSpirits
    October 7, 2014 at 11:17 pm (4 years ago)

    Reading this helped me realise I am normal. I too struggled with worrying about performance at work blah blah. So it is nice to know other mothers experience this too. It seems you and I are on similar paths with going a little easier on ourselves. Long may it last. xx

    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      October 8, 2014 at 8:21 pm (4 years ago)

      Definitely. And yes, you’re very normal. We’re all in the same boat. I like writing about these things, so others know they are not alone in their feelings.

  24. Lucy @ Bake Play Smile
    October 8, 2014 at 8:08 am (4 years ago)

    You’re absolutely incredible!!! What an amazing job you do bringing up your gorgeous kids, working AND having this fabulous little blog! Congrats xxx

  25. Jodi Gibson (JF Gibson Writer)
    October 10, 2014 at 5:53 am (4 years ago)

    Wow! How time flies. It only feels like yesterday I was reading about you heading back to work. So happy you have found the balance, or as close to as possible!

  26. The Exercise Hitlist
    October 17, 2014 at 3:05 pm (4 years ago)

    Juggling all of this life stuff is soo difficult, I too have made that exact statement that “I am failing at all things” but yes have to learn to cut ourselves some slack most definitely. Due to our recent move to Perth, I am lucky enough to have had the past 7 months being a stay at home mum and sometimes I find myself missing work…but I definitely don’t miss the juggle to be all things to all people!! Well done on your 1 year anniversary!

    • mummywifeme
      October 20, 2014 at 10:03 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks very much! Yes, it definitely can be a juggle at times. Having seven months as a stay at home mum sounds lovely. I hope you’re able to find the right balance for you soon too πŸ™‚


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