Monday, 14 September 2015

Shell Louise on returning to work post children

Today we have the lovely Shell Louise who blogs at  about life with her wonderful husband and 8 children! Today Shell  tells us all about her return to work post children. 

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'I was a full time, single mum for about 3 years until I met my husband, Ant, in 2003. I carried on being a full time mum until after my second child was born and Ant had started a new job, managing a laundry.

I’d moved from my home county of Derbyshire, where I’d lived in close proximity to all my family, to Lincoln where I knew no one except my father in law and some of Ant’s children. When I was a single mum, I was never without support from my mum, dad and siblings so moving to Lincoln to be with Ant was quite a shock for me. When he started his new job, which demanded long hours, I was left at home, on my own with the children and none of my own family close enough to give the support they’d given previously.

I started off helping out at the laundry whenever he was short staffed, just to get me out of the house for a while and after so many years being at home, I absolutely loved it out in the world again and talking to new people!

We had friends helping with child care but after a while, I started working more hours and we needed something a bit more reliable so when Kaycee was about a year old we put her in the local private nursery and I started work full time.

After a couple of years, our third, and final child was born and I’d planned on going back to work when Ella was 6 weeks old, which is the youngest they’d take them at the nursery.  
We paid the first month in advance and when the day came for me to go back to work; I took her to the nursery and tearfully handed her over.

Our shop was in the same shopping centre as the nursery so I was only a few minutes away but it didn’t stop me feeling like the worst mother in the world for sending her there so soon after she was born.

I couldn’t shake the feeling that she should be with me or her dad, not with strangers who couldn’t love her the way we did.

I’d taken over as manager when Ant had decided he wanted to go self employed and start his own computer repair business so he was at home when I started back to work.

I phoned, in tears, not long after dropping her off and said I couldn’t cope with the thought of her being there so he fetched her and looked after her for the rest of the day.

I phoned the nursery and told them I was really sorry for messing them about but I needed to wait till she was older and I didn’t care if I lost the money we’d paid for the month, which was the policy of the nursery if you cancelled without giving proper notice but they were wonderful and refunded the money.

I didn’t regret going back to work; I just wish I hadn’t gone back soon.

When the job at the laundry ended, I decided to register as self employed with Ant and work from home.

It was the best decision I’ve ever made. I’ve loved being here for the kids before and after school and to keep me sane, I volunteer at our local charity shop for a few hours a week while they’re at school.'

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