Welcome to #RealMumsWorking, a series dedicated to sharing the stories, experiences and advice of working mothers. Working mothers are a diverse breed with lots of challenges we can learn from.
Today I’m joined by Bethan, a very good friend of mine who is an amazing nurse and mum to a baby and a three year old. Bethan is one of my amazing NCT Mamma Tribe and the first of our group to have a second child. I was thrilled she agreed to take part in my series. We’ve heard a lot about mums who have turned to self employment to find flexible work, as well as business owners who continued to run them once they become mothers. A lot of their stories are about finding flexibility, but as a nurse working on shifts, the flexibility is coming more from you than you employer in some respects. And boy we are grateful for them aren’t we?
On a practical level, I was really interested to hear how Bethan manages to juggle being a parent with a demanding shift pattern. All I keep thinking is how childcare must be a nightmare and how must those on shifts or varied work patterns manage?!
Let’s find out more from Bethan’s experiences.
Q: Tell us about your job and work pattern
Full time nurse, 3×12 hour shifts a week, varying nights and days, changing on a weekly basis (normally given about 6 weeks of shifts in advance)
Q: How did you feel about going back to work after children?
Worried about childcare and being away from them.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge as a working mum?
Having to cover childcare at short notice, for example when our eldest is too unwell for nursery.
Q: What’s your top piece of advice for working mums?
Don’t try to be supermum. If you can’t meet work deadlines or go as above and beyond as before children, that’s ok. If your housework doesn’t get done as often or as well, that’s ok. If you actually enjoy having some grown up time away from your children don’t feel guilty.
Q: If you could change one thing about your current work situation what would it be?
Shorter hours so I get to see my children every day. They’re not up before I leave for a day shift and in bed before I get home.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Probably in the same place!
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