Am I a working mum? I mean let’s face it, as mothers, mummas or mummys, we all are really— it’s just that some of us are paid in cash and others are paid in love, snot and drool! Raising a child is no easy task, whether you’re in their company 24/7 or slogging away at work, missing them. I prefer not to pigeon-hole myself, but if I’m going to be put in the ‘Stay At Home Mum’ or ‘Working Mum’ box, then I guess I need to hop into the latter.
I work three days a week and spend the other four with Byron, so I suppose I have the best of both worlds right now: I contribute to our household and have the opportunity to have time with adults at work, that you can seriously crave after being stuck inside with a baby or toddler all day (and it really is refreshing to be able to have a conversation with someone without saying “Listen, please! I won’t tell you again!” or be asked “Why?” every time you ask them something, or have to go and wipe their bum); but I also have the opportunity to spend some time with my best little buddy and soak up the cuddles, kisses and the funny little things he likes to do, because one day he’ll grow out of them and won’t reach for my hand when we go to cross the road, or want to sit on my lap while he watches Peppa Pig, or lay on the floor and fix pretend cars for his preschool friends.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my working life, lately. I work in HR for retail and I’ve worked for the same company for 12 years, in various roles. People either react one of two ways when they know that; a surprised and somewhat impressed look as to how someone could be so loyal or not get bored after so long, or most commonly, it’s a look of pity, where if I had the ability to read their mind, I’m certain they’d be saying, “Oh. That’s a shame. Poor girl.”
And I thought the same too, for a long time. I didn’t want to get that little gold badge to signify I’d been there for 5 years, let alone the one I got after a 10 year stint. And I’ve realised that perhaps I’ll be there for the 15 year mark too, because I’ve had some what of an epiphany; it’s okay. It’s okay that I still work there, because it’s my job not a career.
a paid position of regular employment
an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress
I’m not career-driven, at least not right now and I have no great ambitions to be a designer or teacher or journalist or anything that I could be missing out on progressing to, while I’m working my job. It’s not what I want nor need right now. I don’t need to rush and think about working somewhere new. I have to think practically too in terms of having a second child one day, so where I am makes perfect sense for now. Never say never, because I’m always keeping an eye on what’s out there, in case something interesting pops up, but I am happy being a mum and this little work-life balance thing we have going on right now. Perhaps I’ll have a different job in the coming years, but the time for my career will come.
People are too quickly defined by what it is they do to earn a buck. So next time someone asks “What do you do?”, I’ll be talking about who I am. How I’m a mum to a beautiful three-year-old, I love taking photographs and making content for my blog and YouTube Channel. I bake, cook and keep my family well-fed. I like to travel abroad and lay in the sunshine. I love skincare and cosmetics. I enjoy being creative.
We are defined by who we are, not what we do. Or at least I think we should be.
“We must not allow other people’s limited perceptions to define us.”
— Virginia Satir
“I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as making a ‘life.’”
— Maya Angelou