OK, so I work in London as Head of PR for a fantastic online luxury lifestyle store, (I waste most of my wages on this company….damnit!) I LOVE working, interacting with a gorgeous team, going for lunches with lots of lovely press, wearing a pair of fabulous heels and flouncing around like I own the place! (That’s a joke by the way, in case bosses and colleagues may be reading this!)
But each time I hand over my two little girls to their fantastic carers, I feel this physical pang of guilt. It goes right through me and stays with me until I return to them later in the day.
I battle with this strong emotion and question why I work. Why am I not at home spending time with these beautiful little people who I chose to bring into this world? Will they resent me for working? Are the daily draining tantrums from my eldest little girl the result of me going back to work from when she was just 5 months old? What the hell do I bloody well WANT!!?
In April last year after 6 and a half years, I left an amazing job at Laura Ashley’s head office, (again in PR), to spend more time with my family. I was struggling then with the commute to Fulham, the cost of childcare, and the exhausting daily drudge of early mornings, late evenings and the inevitable broken sleep, without any help other than my husband and the nursery. I had to leave, it was killing me. So I left my LA family and decided to stay at home, see more of the other parents who are now incredibly close friends, potter about, help my friend with her PR agency for a few months, and just generally be on tap for my family…. which was fine……but….
But I missed something. Staying at home wasn’t me. I had worked for so many years non stop, my career and working life was part of me. The reason it had taken me so long to leave work in the first place was the fear that I’d lose part of my personality.
Then I received a random call from a girl who had been given my number from one of my old colleagues, (I know, terribly long-winded and random), I immediately jumped at the chance – I wanted to meet the guy who co-founded one of the biggest UK fashion brands, and now this new venture. I wanted to have a ‘grown-up conversation’ with a hugely successful entrepreneur who needs help with, hopefully, another huge future success – it’s WAY too exciting to let this one pass me by……so I grabbed the opportunity with open arms.
Now I’m back into a bit of a commute, although not as bad as the one to Fulham. I work 3 days in London and one at home, so the balance is just about right. I guess I’m happiest when I am working and hopefully my little girls can see this. There is NOTHING that can be compared to the huge hugs and kisses that I receive on return for those 3 days and the rest of the week I make sure they are showered with as much love as possible.
Personally, I think there is no such thing as ‘perfect’ when it comes to the subject of work/life balance. I’d LOVE to hear feedback from other career mummy’s, who may also be in a similar situation – it’s nice to know I’m not the only one……….or maybe I am!!!
Gosh…is that the time? – I have to be up at 6am – shower, hair, full make-up, dress, change, dress, change and dress again, (I can never make up my mind), put eldest in uniform, little one in a pretty dress (she insists, and it HAS to be pink), brush their teeth, throw breakfast in front of them, struggle to find correct Disney Channel on SKY, attempt to make coffee, pack my bags, Childminder will arrive, sprint out of door with littlest, nursery, screech off to train station, tweet on train, arrive in London, use the tube (ugh), run from tube to work….work….do everything in reverse on return and then try to fit in the gym. I have a personal trainer…he’s evil, but that’s for another post!!
Sweet dreams x