As a mom you always have that voice in your head that tells you that you should dedicate as much time as possible to your kids in their childhood. It’s part natural, part conditioning, and I honestly believe that it’s a very fair consideration. Today I want to talk to you about how I decided whether I should go back to work after two kids or not. And why in the end I did.
Maternity leave is certainly a time of mixed emotions – especially with your first child. On the one hand, you’re changing diapers around the clock, getting spat or vomited on, and just trying to make sense of your new life with a baby. On the other hand, you’re in awe of this beautiful miracle that God has blessed you with.
Here in Canada, we are very lucky to be able to take 12 or 18 months of maternity leave. Even still, every mother will tell you that this time flies by way too quickly. Just when you feel like you’re getting into the swing of things and forming a routine with your baby, it’s time to go back. A part of you might be really looking forward to this so you can get out of the house more, have conservations with adults, and feel like you accomplish something more than just feeds and diaper changes in a day. But at the same time you might be sad, anxious, and have all sorts of questions popping up in your head.
Will my baby be okay without me? Am I going to hate myself for going back to work and leaving my baby behind?How will I get ready, get my child ready, and also make it to work on time every morning? How will I focus at work when I have so much on my mind?
Work-life balance. I always say it doesn’t exist. At least not in the sense that most people expect. Let me tell you why.
On any given day, I can either be a great mom, a great homemaker, a great blogger, or a great accountant at my job. I can’t be great at everything everyday. If I try, I’ll end up being mediocre. Everything that we do takes energy. If you try to do something really well and put all your focus into it, know that it will take that much more energy. Yes, some people may have more energy than others (combination of body type, metabolism and the foods we eat etc), but everyone’s energy is limited. We all have only 24 hours in a day and need to rest in order to function well.
Continued from Part 1
Starting Full-Time Work
I started full time work just as enthusiastically as anyone else. I’d just had an amazing summer after finishing my undergrad at university, with a backpacking trip to China and Southeast Asia. I also tried my hand at cooking for the first time that summer and loved it. Life was amazing!
I was already engaged when I started working full-time. My fiancé lived and studied in Melbourne, Australia. The plan was to have our wedding in Pakistan which is where his and my extended family lived. We wanted to have the wedding sooner than later, so for the first time in my school life, I did something slightly off the beaten path. Unlike most of my peers, I opted out of writing my CPA exams in the first year after university and decided that I would start the exam writing process the following year, after coming back from my wedding. Accounting firms help you prepare for your exams during the first year of work by providing you knowledge refresher classes and some time off for study. They pay for your exams as well, which is great. My firm was very understanding and said no problem – I could write my exams the following year!