Being a working Mum
I work four days per week. I haven’t always worked four days but I do now – mainly because I had an amazing opportunity come up and I had to jump on it while it was available. You know what they say about always being open to opportunities….
I stopped working for 12 months after H-Boy was born and for 10 months after Baby-B was born.
At that time I had a different job and it was easy for me to give up work for that length of time. The job I had was also in a tertiary hospital so I had a fairly good maternity leave arrangement that allowed me to stop working for that length of time without too much financial pressure.
Had we not had these arrangements I am positive that I wouldn’t have had the luxury of being on maternity leave for such a long time and I am very grateful.
The reason I am grateful is because it allowed me the space and freedom of time to explore the world of attachment parenting, to learn about it and to take it further than I believe I would have been able to had I needed to go back to work sooner.
I guess it all started with Breastfeeding really – through breastfeeding I met a whole host of lovely women with similar values and ideals about parenting. These were my people – my tribe.
It progressed from Breastfeeding to Babywearing and co-sleeping- oh how I loved having my hands free and my little ones just loved being held close, and sleep – well at least I was getting some if he was in with me!
Baby led Solids was a natural progression.
Then we moved to cloth nappies and by the time I had my second I was up for a fully intervention free, drug free birth, had done some work with a BirthSkills practitioner, and was investigating a Steiner school for my H-Boy.
I couldn’t take it as far as Elimination Communication and Homebirth – but those are just my personal choices.
So with a 10-month old when it came time for me to head back to work – how do I keep it all going?
It’s all a matter of Balance and Priorities – How I make it work
When I first went back to work after I had H-Boy I found the two worlds extremely conflicting. I just couldn’t work out how to find that balance and to keep it all going. I was tired and didn’t have my brain power left by the weekends to think about it all. But after about 6 months I had found a good rhythm between the days I worked and the days I didn’t.
The childcare centre wouldn’t use cloth nappies, although they did facilitate me being able to continue to Breastfeed H-Boy in person (Childcare centre is on the same campus as the Hospital) – so that was one aspect – but it was more the connection and the closeness, the elements of individuality that I was encouraging for him through some Montessori at Home principles – all those things. The psychological aspects of attachment parenting.
I learnt to switch off from work on the days that I didn’t work – I used Saturday morning as a transition back into our home routine. At that time I worked 3 days a week. We spent our non-work and childcare days in our normal simple and natural fashion.
Now that I work 4 Days – it isn’t really any different.
The thing is – I believe that Attachment parenting is a mindset more than a set of actions that defines you. It is an approach that values the closeness between the child and the parent and develops that sense of compassion and empathy through slowing down and living in the moment with our children.
Working in any capacity doesn’t exclude you from having this mindset and approach.
Its about doing what it right for you and your child, letting the child develop at a rate that it appropriate for them and letting them show you what they are capable of.
I assure you that they are capable of big things – and so are you.
Parenting in the style of attachment parenting is not the exclusive domain of stay at home mums – it is a fame of mind and an approach that anyone can take on board – whether you work full time or part time or not at all.
Do you work and parent in an attachment parenting style?
::Daily Meditation:: Right now is all that is important