Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Flexible Working

Today was an ordinary day in the office. The same familiar faces going about their duties and the same people dunking biscuits in their tea. 

However today was also the day that I informed my boss that I would like to consider flexible working. I read up all I could on the Direct Gov website while I awaited an email back from the Confidential Secretary. By the time she had replied I had already compiled my case and she quickly gave my letter a proof read, and advised me to talk with my line manager.

I sat there glancing up over my computer screen at him, wondering whether I should whisper over to him that I needed a word, or to send him a email, despite the fact he sits right next to me. I bide my time and awaited him to walk away from his desk. I did not want to say anything in full ear shot of the all the ears listening around me. 

I hovered over the send button for a good few minutes before letting the email float those few feet away from me to sit waiting in my boss's inbox. It brought back memories of when I informed him I was pregnant, I was terrified at the prospect. In fact that is why I went into a little more detail in the email I sent him this time around, I did not want him getting the wrong idea and thinking that I was bringing another baby into the world just yet.

He began walking back to his desk, followed closely by the Operations Director. They both gathered around his computer and I began to feel like they were both reading my email. I felt incredibly paranoid. However when the big boss walked away and I was left with just my line manager, I mentioned that I had sent him a email that he would most likely wish to discuss with me.

The email told him all about my plans to work flexibly and that I felt I was missing out on Leo's day to day life and development. I told him that I wanted the best of both worlds and that I had composed a letter with my hopeful working hours in. 

I also said I had made no decision on what I intended to do quite yet, and that I wanted to know what my salary would be and basically just have all the information so I could make a informed decision.

All he said was 'ok, no problem'.

I had hyped myself up, I could feel my pulse racing like it may just pop out of my chest and greet everyone around it. Of course this didn't happen, but the calm collected response, had me suddenly at ease.

It looks as though I will be granted my wish of Monday - Wednesday in the office. There is one other hurdle that I will need to cross, and I think this may be even harder than informing work. Luke want's me to stay in full time employment. He wants me to save hard so we can finally get out and live our lives.

Each time I have raised the subject of working part time with him, I am met with no enthusiasm and also what feels like a lack of understanding. I don't think he quite understands my need to be with Leo. He often says 'Think how I feel' in reference to his full time job, but the difference in my eyes is that I have spent every day for 13 months with him, there have been very few occasions that I have left him.

Luke will come home from work and happily retreat to the gym, and he will also see friends socially more than I do and go out on a more regular basis. So it is his choice to be away from Leo as much as he is. I on the other hand will finish work and come straight home to see him. I rarely go out, out of personal choice. Especially these days as every moment with Leo is like gold. 


I can completely see where he is coming from, but at this moment in time. I just want to be with Leo. I would quite happily rent a home and finally relax. 

Of course I am pretty sure my wages will drop substantially. In fact I know this to be true. I think I may even fall below the income tax threshold which in a way would be good. 

What I have to ask is, does this mean my little family would qualify for the housing benefit? 

This would really help us out, and may also get Luke around to my way of thinking, as deep down I know he is just thinking of the financial aspects. But there has to be away around it as so many Mummy's do it. 

Does anyone know what the income threshold is for being in receipt of the housing benefit? 

I have to ask you, what would you do? Am I asking to much in requesting part time work? Or is Luke being un-reasonable by not being open to a compromise? 

There has to be some way that I can enjoy the best of both worlds. 


Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The Life and Times of The Working Mum

Today my life changed, and I set out on a solo adventure for the first time in what feels like forever. I don't remember setting out on my own anymore, and it is never usually just 'I' but 'We', as in Leo and I. Me and my beautiful little man together and united. Taking on anything and anyone.

My latest adventure will follow me - Leo's Mummy as I return to work, and tackle both family life and working life. Not out of choice, but more out of having too. Don't get me wrong, I feel it is important that I return to working life, but I just wish I could have seen Leo through to school first. 

Today was the big day, as the sun rose high up above the small riverside town where I live I awoke to my alarm beeping. I picked out a summer dress and got myself ready to head off to the office for my very first day back. 

There was no sign of Leo awaking any time soon, and I was silently longing for him to wake up before I had to leave for the day. Just so I could see his little eyes light up and give me those first morning smiles, that I have become so accustomed to. The smiles that make everything right with the world.

I tip toed into his dark room and I saw him tucked up sound asleep, with his little bottom stuck right up into the air. His blankie caressing his sweet little face, and magical dreams weaving through his beautiful mind.

I stood by him, watching him. Longing to spend the day with him in the sun.

Just one more day...

Then I took one last look, and lingered for what felt like forever. I then walked out of his bedroom and left him to sleep.

It was time to leave and to address my very first day back in the office.

I walked in and so many faces had changed. People had left over the time I had been away. New faces replaced them and their names were a mystery to me. So much had changed and to me it was one big shock. To everyone else it had happened gradually, to me they all came at once.

Everyone was welcoming and I was pleased to see my desk was ready for me to get settled into. The first part of the morning was gone in the blink of an eye catching up with people I had not seen in months. Sorting my emails and trying to remember what I actually did for a living.

Surprisingly one of the very first things I did was fill out a holiday form, and book off lots of days that I wanted to spend with Leo. One of which was even for blog camp this September! My boss's face was an absolute picture. Especially when I informed him that I still had a full years worth of holiday to use before January! 

I was surprised that no work had actually been put aside for me. I had to get my hands on something to do. When I finally got hold of some, I thought it best to follow the instructions to the letter. And slowly I worked my way through a job that I used to be able to do with my eyes closed. It took me all morning and kept me busy, but when that was completed. That was it. There was nothing else to do for the afternoon. 

I popped back at lunch to see my little Leo and he was being walked up and down the drive with Granny. He looked so sleepy. I wound down my window and called his name, and he instantly fixed me and smiled, reaching out to me. Wanting a cuddle. I continued up the drive and saw him start to cry. I parked up and ran and gave him a big cuddle.

We spent the hour lunch break together and before I left to return to work. I gave him some milk and put him down for a nap. I felt happy that I had done something for him and happily left him snoozing, not feeling like I was missing out too much now he had succumb to a nap.

The rest of the afternoon passed slowly. Boredom set in and the sunshine shone down making me want to run outside and forget it all. Then 5pm came around. Finally.

I got home as quickly as I could, and spent the whole evening with Leo. We have had a lovely time reading books and giggling. Leo has been climbing onto the furniture and looking mighty proud of himself. We saw a buzzing fly that mesmerized him, and as I copied the buzzing noise the fly made. Leo copied him too. We both giggled and he then continued climbing.

Last night Leo started being able to push himself up to standing without an object to aid him. I thought this was fluke but today he has continued this, and this evening he carried on doing it. I was so proud.

A great end to a good day. 

I have not spent all day with Leo but the time we have had, has been special. Very special. He has been fine without me but wanted me during the time I have been here. Which is good as this is how life during the week will be now and it is time to find a new routine. 

This is the start of the life and times of the working Mum, and the adventures we encounter along the way. It is true that me returning to work is the end of an era, but I have to remember that it is also the start of a new beginning. It is time to get some money behind us and finally get our own place. It is time to be a family of 3. 

Just us 3. 

I do have to work to live, but my reason for living is Leo and I will do anything and everything I can to give him the best start in life. 

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The Sun Is Setting...

The sun is now setting on my very last day as a stay at home Mummy. It is setting on the most amazing 13 months of my life. It has been the most magical time, where I have watched my little man grow from the fragile baby that he was, into the most beautiful little boy.

I feel so privaliged to have been able to stay off work as long as I have but I don't feel ready to return yet by any means...

I have watched intently as Leo has changed, and grown. One day he could not move at all and the next he was rolling over to look at the world from a different view. Then came the sitting up and First teeth, leading the way for the crawling mobile baby of mine to suddenly take off. Leo made it very apparent that the days of being able to sit down for Five minutes were now over. 

Leo's First words and development has blown me away, and most recently his ability to walk has just made me think 'wow'. He toddles every where now and it wont be long before his balance is spot on and he can run as fast as his little legs will carry him. 

You can ask Leo questions and he will always shake his head to say 'No', even if he really means Yes. You can have a real giggle with him and actually laugh so much that your sides will hurt. If you ask Leo where the Star is, he will point his finger up to the Star ornament that hangs in the hall. His understanding is amazing.

People have asked me whether I will continue blogging now I am returning to full time work. The answer to that is most defiantly. One of the many reasons I set this blog up is to capture the life of us working Mummy's, and I feel that it is even more important now for me to keep writing things down, so that I don't forget a single moment. 

I will miss watching Leo day in and day out, and I have cherished each and every day. Even those day's where we have been stuck inside because of the pouring rain or because he has been too poorly to really go anywhere. I have loved them all.

It is safe to say that I have that butterfly feeling deep down at pitt of my tummy, the same feeling I used to get at the end of the Summer holidays when it was time to go back to school the next day. This time though it feels magnified and it may even be tinged with guilt and indeed sadness for leaving my little man. 

I have spent the last Two day's out in the sunshine with my beautiful baby boy. We have been having adventures down the park and enjoying each other's company. There have been many laughs and memorable moments, and they are what I will be taking back to the office with me. 

So as the sun sets on another beautiful day, it is setting on me as well, and as the moon rises high into the sky it, is telling me it is time to make the transition into a working Mummy. I don't know if there will be a magical wind that sweeps around me and lifts me high up into the air when this change happens...a Beauty and the Beast, Fiona and Shrek moment? But I know either way that is going to happen.

As the warmest day of the year is upon us, I will be slipping on my attire for a day in the office. So make sure you all enjoy the lovely weather for me, while I am daydreaming out of the window, refreshing my Twitter time line for the umpteenth time.

I have already been looking for ways to prevent tomorrow from happening, I even resorted to texting my boss to make sure that tomorrow was the date we had agreed. Unfortunately he confirmed that tomorrow is indeed the big day! 

One thing is for sure though...It really is the end of an era.

Wish me luck!


P.S - Here are a few ways we have enjoyed ourselves over the past few days!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The End is Nigh

I have been on leave from work since Monday June 27th 2011. 

This was the day I went into labour and finally met my beautiful little man. I had worked right up to the very day of having him and put off my leave for as long as possible, as I knew that the longer I worked, the more time I would have with Leo on maternity leave.

It all went to plan and I had a whole year ahead of me. 

It felt like we had forever, all of eternity.

Only a year doesn't last forever, it does only...last a year.

Now that year is up... and this time next week I will be back behind my desk, for 5 days a week. 8:30-5:00.

I cannot imagine any other existence than the reality that I have lived and shared with Leo over this past 13 months. This life is all I have ever known since having Leo, we have shared everything together.

We have played together, laughed and cried, but we have had the most amazing times.

That one on one quality time, every single day.

Heading off on new adventures at every opportunity.

There quite simply does not seem to be enough hours in the day for me to return to work. There is far to much playing to be done, peek a boo and all those tickles that Leo loves so much.

I guess the playing will still go on, but those games will not be played with me by day any longer. They will be played by Leo's Granny. 

Is it wrong that I feel envious that she gets to stay home and play with him? When in the perfect world, it would be me, and me alone.

That is one emotion that I am feeling a lot recently. I envy Mummy's who do get to stay at home, or even just work a few days a week. I envy the fact that somehow they can get by without Two full wages in the bank each month and I wish somehow that was a possibility for me.

I know that it is not, and I have known this all along. 

One thing is for sure though...

I have made the very most of this 13 months with Leo, I can look back and say that we have done so very much. There is not one day that I can say we have not done something worthwhile and I look back on my timed out leave with nothing but smiles and happy memories. 

I will be back behind my desk this time next week, but on my desk, in pride and place Leo's photo will be there staring right back at me. His big bright eyes and beautiful smile will guide me through my day, and when I do get home from those day's in the office, we will continue to play until I tuck him up in his cot and he closes his beautiful Blue eyes.