A Mum’s Decision Between Employment and Family Time

Balancing Work and Family

As a 43-year-old mum of three, a part-time job at an upmarket High Street store initially seemed ideal for me. Juggling life as a yoga teacher, managing a household, and raising my children, I took on this role with hopes of flexible hours.

Conflicting Priorities: Family vs. Work Demands

However, changes in management led to last-minute shift changes and expectations for weekend availability. This clashed with my priorities as a mum.

Despite legal rights to parental leave, the shifting rota and demands for more availability began to impact my work-life balance significantly.

Tensions in the Workplace

The workplace environment soured, with tension brewing between childless colleagues and working mums like myself.

Some colleagues felt that parents were exploiting their status to shirk responsibilities, causing resentment among team members.

Quitting Over Christmas Expectations

The breaking point came when I was unable to commit to working during Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Boxing Day.

I handed in my notice, unwilling to compromise on family time during the festive season, prioritizing precious moments with my children over work commitments.

Struggles of Working Mothers

Navigating the demands of a retail job, especially during the intense period around Black Friday, became overwhelming.

Despite dedicating myself to the job, the workplace atmosphere seemed unsympathetic to the challenges faced by working mums.

Impact of Family Priorities

The need to balance family obligations with work responsibilities took precedence. Instances of last-minute absences due to a child’s illness or unforeseen family situations led to guilt, but there was no alternative when family needed attention.

A New Opportunity

Transitioning to a new job at an independent boutique, offering flexible hours and understanding around the festive period, provided the solution I needed.

The owner’s flexibility accommodated my need for family time during Christmas.

Supporting Mums in the Workforce

Advocating for more supportive work environments for mothers and investing in additional seasonal staff during peak times like Christmas would benefit all employees.

Acknowledging the needs of working mums ensures a more inclusive and balanced workplace.

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