My favourite few hours …

Balancing home and work life is something I think about often and don’t ever feel that I get it that right. I love my job, I’m ambitious and want to continue to build my career. I also think it’s an important lesson for my daughter to know that mommy goes to work so that we can have a nice life and enjoy holidays. I want to show her that those that put the effort in and try hard do reap the benefits. However, being a mom is something I feel so greatful to have the opportunity to do and want, like all moms to do the very best at it.

Again like a lot of moms I put pressure on myself to be the best mom and the best HR professional and at times I end up feeling that I’m failing at both. I am very fortunate that I have always been afforded great flexible working opportunities and have autonomy, within reason, to shape my working day to fit in commitments if needed. This is something I simply cannot put a value on and has had a massive impact on how I am able to raise my child and continue to build a successful career.

I do feel lucky as I know that many moms, and dads aren’t afforded these opportunities to work flexibly which is often such an oversight of businesses as I truly believe you get more out of people when they feel they are supported and can balance home and work in a way they are comfortable with.

I also reflect at times, and feel sad that even in our generation the owness to rearrange working patterns and work flexibly or put a temporary pause into a career seems to fall mostly to mothers. Again I am lucky in that in our household our arrangements work for us but I know that if I wanted to make a change Mr Mack would support me and consider amending his working patterns and has already discussed this with his employer. I know that not all are as fortunate and still many businesses would look down upon a father who requested to reduce his hours or work flexibly.

Currently I work a nine day fortnight so that I work slightly longer days for nine days and I get every other Friday off. So once a fortnight I get the morning to spend with Mini all on my own, I get to take her to nursery, have a few hours all to myself and collect her again. It’s not much but it’s our day, just for me and her.

We don’t always do grande or exciting things, let’s face it in a few hours in the morning we can’t really get far, but those few hours are so precious to me and I hope that she appreciates them too. Sometimes we meet our friends at a local NCT coffee morning or meet up with other friends that we’ve made along the way at softplay. Sometimes we have a lazy morning, have breakfast in bed and watch a Disney movie in bed. I know this time won’t last forever and in September she will go to school full time, in fact we’ve just had the information come through about the reception settling in visits and it bought a lump to my throat. I will miss dearly our few precious hours but am so proud of the young girl she’s growing into and I know that she is ready to take on the next challenge of school. We will just have to find different ways of spending our special time together, like a sneaky cake after school. She’s already fast becoming my favourite coffee shop buddy 🙂
Today we had an early start and headed to the Emotions studio in Claverley for a mommy and daddy photoshoot that I was bought as a Mother’s Day present. We had fun being pampered and having our hair and make up done, they were so patient with Mini even though she was rather “inquisitive” shall we say and wanted to pick up and touch everything in the show room. It was a really thoughtful idea of Mr Mack’s and a timely reminder that our girl is growing up quickly, it won’t be long til she’s asking for my make up to use! I can’t wait for the photos to be ready, although I’m not looking  forward to the viewing. I just know they’re going to be playing soft music, dim the lights and play a lovely slideshow and I will instantly fall victim to the eye watering prices, want them all and instantly surrender my credit card to them.
We then had a bit of a dash to get back and ready for school. I decided to walk to collect her from school which is something I’ve been meaning to do for a while, it’s really not that far but it’s all too tempting to jump in the car. She was excited when I collected her from school with a bag of bread and the promise to walk home along the canal and feed the ducks. I asked her to do something that made her happy and this was the response I’m so glad we did walk, it was probably about a mile in total, but felt good to be out in the fresh air and to appreciate the little spot of nature that we have on our front door.

Mini was in normal bossy mode and kept on telling the ducks off for getting too close to her and for not sharing the bread nicely, it did make me smile.

I often find that if I’m not feeling 100% or a bit “meh” then a little time outside always does me good. It takes me a while to convince myself to get out there but I’m always pleased that I did afterwards. The extra bonus was that I didn’t have to play the normal horrendous car shuffle game trying to park at school.

I’d love to hear about other people’s ways of balancing home and work and their top tips for what works for them 🙂

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