******When I became pregnant with my eldest I was working full time in a job I loved. I worked throughout my pregnancy and went on maternity leave just before he was born. I opted to return to work part time when he was nine months old, he attended a local nursery whilst I was at work. I never felt rushed in the mornings as I had half an hour to do a ten minute journey to work and the nursery was on the way. This worked for us for a few years until I got busier and busier at work. I felt like I was trying to do a full time job in the eighteen hours I was at work. I was exhausted and knew that I had to do something about it as I was neither an effective employee or parent. As I could not resign from being a parent I realised that I would have to give up working. This was not as easy a decision as I thought it would be. I enjoyed the company of those that I worked with, as a parent I had met other mums but they were not like minded and I had yet to make any friends outside of work. Then I became pregnant with my youngest and I knew I had to give up work as I was barely managing with one child, we also made the decision to home educate our eldest around this time. When I walked out of work to go on maternity leave with my youngest it was a really sad day for me, because I knew I would never return and I was also anxious about where my future lay now. I had worked all my life and always had my own income.
Now I know it is the best decision I could ever make. It was really important to me that my child (when I had just one) was at the heart of our family. It is still possible to do this when you are not with your child/ren all the time but you have to work much harder at it, when you are tired from being in paid work it makes it very tough. My children are at the heart of our family and it is so much easier for me now that I am with them all day, every day. This is far less exhausting for me and much simpler. Had I continued to work I would have had to consider childcare for school holidays, I would have had to take the youngest to nursery and the eldest somewhere else on the way to work, it would have made my life much more complicated. I am sure that I would be able to cope with living in this way, but it is important to me that I am not coping, but enjoying life and, more importantly, being a parent.
We have also had my husband around alot for the last five years as well, as he became self employed around this time too. This has made our lives very flexible indeed, we can do things as a family at our choosing. However the work he has been doing has been slowly reducing to the point that our income has dropped considerably and we are dipping into our savings more and more. He has recently applied for a job where he will return to being an employee if he gets the job it will a huge change for us as a family, and I hope that we can find a new way to keep our balance and continue to keep things simple for us.
I feel that it is vital that each family finds what works for them. I know of parents who work and manage their lives very easily. I know of others who work and who find the school holiday arrangements a burden and a pain, I do wonder why they had children if they feel this way. Whatever arrangements you choose I do feel it is so important to consider not only your own needs but those of your whole family when making decisions about work life balance.
Thank you for visiting the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. Read about how others are incorporating simple living and parenthood. We hope you will join us next month when we discuss celebrations!
- Two Tactics for Simplifying with Twins - Organization doesn't come easily to Mercedes at Project Procrastinot, but here she shares what works for her.
- Balancing - Keeping a work life balance with children is really hard, in her post Balancing, sustainablemum explains how she found her balance after her children were born and how this is about to change again.
- Simplifying With a Baby - Kellie at Our Mindful Life is amused at the differences in what her first baby needed and what her fourth baby needs.
- How we simplify our family life - Lauren at Hobo Mama describes the unconventional ways her family keeps things loose and low-key.
- Flexible Structure - Joella at Fine and Fair shares how her family works to allow for flexibility in their routine to help keep things simple.
- Helping Kids Simplify- At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy discusses how she helps her kids keep things simple.
- Keeping it Simple with a Highly Sensitive Child - At Authentic Parenting, Laura shares her family keeps things simple while dealing with sensitivities.