In 2011-12, 53% of women whose youngest child was aged 5 years and under were employed. When their youngest child was aged 6-14 years, the proportion of mothers who were employed increased to 75%.
This coupled with countless sleepless nights, numerous cuddles, tears, laughter and tantrums, I think working mums fit more into a 24 hour period than any other person on earth.
For some working is a choice, for others working is a necessity. With the rising cost of living, trying to reach for the Australian dream of home ownership, and with the mindset of providing our children with all that they need and desire, it is therefore necessary for many mums to consider going back to work after they have their children for financial opportunities.
My own story was really similar. I had my first child in late 2010. I had been keen to remain independent once home on maternity leave so I saved for a few years before my son came along. I had envisioned my maternity leave consisting of meeting friends for coffee, getting my hair done, visiting the shops and having a great time. The reality turned out to be quite different. My husband had a career change two-months after our son was born and it took a few months to get that moving. So we were living off our savings for a little while. The new opportunity took us interstate for a short period which meant that I couldn’t really form any strong bonds with my mother’s group – having only just met them all before we had to move.
Once back home I had to get back to work – for two reasons. Financially we were not where we needed to be and I had to get back to work to keep the mortgage and bills paid. But I also really wanted to get back to work. I wasn’t sure if becoming a mother would change me, but I have a strong work ethic and whilst love my children very much, I craved the work environment. I wanted to contribute to our household financially, I wanted to continue to grow my career and see where I could end up. My theory was why couldn’t I still do all that and achieve amazing things in my career all whilst being a mum?
It takes some juggling and compromise, but if you want it to work, it can.
And so began my journey into being a working mum. Since that time, I have had my second child, worked full time, part time, freelance – from both home and office environments. I have worked with a few different employers and had different colleagues and managers. My experience in this area is wide and varied and will continue to evolve in the coming years.
So I welcome you to this new space I have created – Wine For Mama. A place where there is no judgement, no opinions, just information and examples where you can take as much as you need to make your life a little easier – learning from women who have been exactly where you are and continue to be a working mums.