From WAHM to Working Mum

My name is Emma, and I’m ready to go back to work
 – and properly this time around. 

How I worked when my daughter was a baby:
When I had my daughter three and a half years ago I was lucky enough to return to an employer after 10 months’ maternity leave. But I arrived back into chaos - during a peak work and redundancy period, when my Mum went into hospital with a lung disease and I had undiagnosed PND. Just two months' later the three of us battled a form of norovirus, and I never want to lose half a stone that way again; Mini Stylist had the Rotovirus in the following April, too.

By the time I really knew what was happening I realised – between the hot-desking and drive-mapping - that  I was shattered, stressed out and very shouty at home from all the traveling and ushering around of my daughter, between nursery and two sets of wonderful grandparents.  

I was actually in the lift one day at work, doing the coffee run, and clear as the cliche, I had a light bulb moment – there was absolutely no reason for me to be at work in a job I didn’t like with a Management team intent on tripling our workload (at the same pay) and feeling broken at home.  Well, apart from the regular money.

But I cut back on worry-spending, formed an exit strategy and was able to leave within six months.  I promised myself (and my partner) three months to find my feet again. I became a Work At Home Mum, a phrase I’d never even heard of before; I thank OneBusyWahm for the knowledge.

Becoming a WAHM:
Even luckier, I guess, I worked my way through my PND, and my partner got a promotion which meant I suddenly didn’t have to provide income for the house.  I was also less shouty at home after two years as a new Mum; there is a reason many relationships break down before a child turns three. I managed to work from home (and Starbucks) for eighteen months, sometimes not knowing what opportunities lay ahead, but gaining new business skills, business confidence, and becoming a self-published author, twice. 

As a self-employed Mum, I learned to rely on myself, and that planning work three months ahead was essential to maintaining a regular quarterly income.

And now, a little bit tired of the too-many-avenue-streams-to-just-break-even ride that some Freelancers enjoy, and with some big purchases coming up (long-haul weddings and static caravan obsessions) I have returned to part-time teaching in Further Education (16-18 year olds) and I absolutely love it; and yes, I’m looking forward to the monthly pay day again.  

There is also a reason that children are ready for school around the age of 4; I should be able to answer some of the questions my students ask.  While the 400+ that Mini Stylist asks are simple, the barrage is the very definition of overwhelm by 6pm and I have to tell her, "it’s too late for why’s now, we’ll start again tomorrow".  

I’ll also have a change of scene from the house, my main place of work, so I won’t be guilted into spending more time on the laundry than on chasing invoices.  It will be good to have a line manager, whose very presence will ensure my discipline doesn't need much of a nudge, not that he'll be immediately aware of my thoughts on this.

Although I will no longer be able to fulfill that very important task of ‘clearing the Sky Planner’, I know half-term will turn up shortly.    

Becoming Working Mum (again): 
I've already found that driving a pre-schooler around is a lot less stressful than boarding buses with a pram (the times I've had to miss the bus because there was no room for us, and I was too anxious to ask any passengers to budge up).  And while I won't always be at home when Mini Stylist and Daddy return from nursery, I won't be far behind them (and won't have to start the dinner every night!) and will be there for bed-time, which I know many parents can't be. 

I am a lot less anxious than I was three years ago, and have more self-awareness as a Mum, and better abilities at managing family commitments with workloads. It's time to reignite my career.

Plus, I'm ready for some different challenges.

Be sure to keep an eye out for the dramas that unfold on my journey from WAHM to Working Mum, which I hope to write about during my actual lunch breaks, Ofsted permitting.

I'd love to read your tips and advice on returning to the work-place after being a freelancer!

My Life As A Mummy


  1. You were very lucky to be able to work at home. This is an exciting journey you are taking, although probably a little nerve wracking at the same time. I'm sure you will love it. Good luck, I am looking forward to seeing how it goes x

    1. Thanks for your lovely comments, Jenni, I imagine I won't know my bottom end from my top end in the next few weeks!

  2. A good read. I hopped over after reading your lovely comment on my own blog, I'm glad I did :)

    I wish you all the best in your new job.

  3. This is such a great post Emma. Best of luck going back to work and I'll keep a look out on here for more of your escapades! In the meantime I've nominated you for the Liebster Award- more information here


    1. Woo-hoo; thanks Shula, your comment has made my first fortnight in work!