The family-work-life balance

Can working women of today really have it all?

Reading Jo Goddard’s blog (google it please) and she has put up interviews on different women on how they juggle work, family and life! So it made me thinking on my life and here’s my version:

It’s been a month since I’ve started work. A wise friend said that it will all get better and soon I will have a routine of our own. Except….with our (mine and M’s) rota, every week brings different shifts and time at work. Routine? We’re not really there yet.

1. What’s your work schedule?

There’s three shift patterns I do: 8.30 am – 4.30 pm, 3 pm – 9.30 pm and 8.30 pm – 9.30 am. More often than not, there’s an extra half an hour or more added to the end of the shift depending on how busy it gets. Somehow these days, it’s a lot lot lot busier!

Every week, I work 3-4 days of what we call days, evenings or nights. Sometimes I work in the weekends as well. Working less than full time means I work less number of days, which is really good, I’m tired enough as it is!

Because my work place in 1 hour commute away from home, it actually means I have to wake up earlier and come back an hour later. Which really sucks. If I do a day shift, I’ll be back by 6 ish pm, only in time for Zayan to have dinner and one hour later, put him to sleep. Boo, less Zayan time! And it also means when I’ve just done a long on call shift, all I wanna do is just get to bed, not drive for 1 hour!

2. But why live so far away?

Well, the plan was for me to work back in Leicester this August but because I’ve been on maternity leave, I have to finish my year (being a ST Level 2 trainee) in Northampton. Plus we love our place here and there’s just so much more in Leicester to do than Northampton. And if we need help from our friends for anything in the future, it’ll be easier as our friends are all based here.

InsyaAllah, I won’t have to stay long in Northampton and I’ll be working in Leicester in no time. (Just let me survive the drive and not succumb to daily road rage)

3. How about childcare?

At the mo, my sis in law(s) are around to take care of Zayan and it’s such a relief and blessing to have them around!!! It feels sooooo much nicer to have an extra hand! Sometimes I just need a break from taking care of Zayan, or I need an extra hand when I cook or clean up the place. Or even just taking a nap! (Although I feel guilty whenever I take naps or have a lie in)

But after August, we’re going to start sending Zayan to a childminder. More of that when the time comes!

Whilst I’m happy that Zayan’s social circle is opening up and getting less dependent/clingy on me, part of me feels a lil jealous with the time he has with my sis in laws when I’m at work. I guess, really I’m just worried that I won’t be his favourite person in the world anymore! It sounds ridiculous when said out loud but I really am/was scared of that!

4. What do you like best about your current setup?

Part of me is happy to be back at work. I think my brain was ready for more intellectual stimulation. Plus I was getting bored at home. When I’m at work, I do get the stress that the job brings but it feels satisfying too, to do something that I love doing. As much as I like to think I want to be domestic goddess, I know I can’t really be a full time one. I like working with people and doing things too much.

5. What do you find tricky about your current set-up?

The commute!

Other than that, just being at work is tiring and when I get home, sometimes all I wanna do is just lie there and go to sleep. Or numb myself by watching TV or going online. Except I can’t. Cos there’s a million and one other things to do, mostly those involving tending to Zayan. I know my sis in laws can do it but I feel guilty being away from him. It’s like I’m torn into two: I want to lie down but I want to be with him too. I want to not do anything but I feel guilty that I haven’t been there for him the whole day too.

So how now brown cow?

(I feel nervous when my sis in laws leave. Cos that means I have no extra hands to tend to Zayan after work!!)

6. How do you and your husband fit marriage into the balance?

Working in different shift times is difficult. Whenever people say they’re with a non- medic, I congratulate them. Cos being with medics can be hard work for the relationship (but it’s nice because they understand why you’re late or tired or why you’re ranting on that dr/nurse yet again). I wish we have more time with each other. Except I think when we do have time with each other, we just wanna do nothing! hehe.

I try to give M more attention. Cos I know I tend to give Zayan attention (how can you ignore a screaming baby?) and then forget to give M the same attention. Kesian M!!

I read this from the above blog: “It’s tough. Ivan definitely changed our relationship. Suddenly, everything became about the baby. Now we really have to make time for each other. Before the baby we used to travel all over the world (India, Tanzania, Ecuador, everywhere) and have these intense, wonderful experiences just the two of us. We still try to take a big trip just the two of us each year—since Ivan was born, we’ve gone to Hawaii, Israel and Spain—but I find that people are very judgmental of us leaving the baby at home with his grandparents and our nanny. People act weird and say things like, “Wow, I don’t know if I could ever do that.” But if your life becomes just about focusing on the children, it’s really easy to lose sight of the relationship that brought the children into being.”

Now I’m sure we’ll have a trip on our own but not now. We need to arrange a date night first!

Ok, to be continued! Baby woke up!

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