Friday, 16 September 2011

If you're happy and you know it....

I know my last couple of posts may imply I'm not happy at work. Weirdly I am... but I'm not... but I am!

I went back to work in September 2009, six months after having Seren. I went back four days a week, using annual leave to take one day a week off. It didn't work, I ended up cancelling a lot of scheduled leave due to 'priority' meetings. I had no expectations, so I wasn't let down.
Plus, before I went on maternity leave I was working three days a week in Norfolk, the very fact I didn't need to do that anymore meant everything else was ok.
I also had a boss who had two young children, I never appreciated the difference this would make. Life before children meant I didn't really acknowledge who had children and who didn't. To have a boss who understood that I might make last minute requests not to travel due to a poorly child, or who kept an eye on my diary to make sure I wasn't travelling too much made such a difference.

My job is odd, I can find myself travelling lots or not at all. I am classed as a 'travelling employee', this basically means I have more than one place of work, and I'm not officially based at home. With our head office in Norfolk and lots going on in London, I am on the road a lot.

And since going back this time I am reluctant to do overnights.
The truth is, I have yet to have a night away from the twins.
With Seren, Mr J and I had a night away when she was 3 months old, and nights away from her became an occurrence- not regular by any means, but not unheard of.
For some reason- there being three of them!- I have not yet done this (it is however scheduled in big red writing for the 20th September). As a result I have been frequently leaving this house at 5am to compensate.
And then I'm tired and irritable.
And it makes me frustrated with work.

When I returned to work I had a 6 week arrangement for temporary hours, one day annual leave and four days condensed into three and a half. I really thought it could work and would be for the best, until we moved to Wales and had more support.
My recommendation for anyone looking at a flexible arrangement- it only works if your work load is reduced or someone else is picking up the shortfall.
It doesn't work if you are still required to do the job in a reduced number of hours.
And then you start to resent the job.
If you're wondering, I also have a new boss. I worked for her for two months before going off on maternity, and as a result of not having an established relationship, this is also thrown into the mix.

I have chatted to Mr J and agreed that when we move back to Wales that I'll go back full time. There is no point wasting a day a week pretending not to be working and catching up on phone calls during naps, and emails after dark. Better to have a couple of weeks off and know that things will have to wait.

And yet, in spite of all of this, I still love my job. My team are fantastic. I have come back at feel invigorated by their enthusiasm. We have lots of ideas for the next few months, and even some for next year. My lovely customers are being optimistic (I joke this is on my behalf).

So, I have three gorgeous children, a job which I enjoy, a job which allows me to move to South Wales, a parent bringing up our three children (like we could afford the child care bill!), and are lucky in most things we do.

Life really is good!
I promise!

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