Welcome to this weeks Meet the Working Mum Interview. Today we meet Laura Jones, a English, Spanish and Italian speaking mum who works in translation. Laura also blogs at Mummy Lauretta.
If you have missed any of the previous interviews, or if you are new to this series, check out all the other Meet the Working Mum’s.
An intro and a little bit about you, your family and where you live.
My name is Laura, I’m 34 and I live in Nottingham with my partner and our five year old identical twin boys.
What do you do for a job? Is it what you have always wanted to do?
I work in an export office. In 2004 I graduated with a degree in languages. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, just that I didn’t want to work forever in an office but that I wanted a job where I used my languages. My job is a customer service administration role including some translation. Last year I also qualified as an NCT Birth & Beyond Practitioner and Breastfeeding Counsellor and have started to facilitate antenatal sessions for expectant parents.
What was your motivation to return to work?
When I went back to work after my maternity leave in 2012 my main motivation was the income as we could not have carried on surviving on one salary. I also knew that it would be good to keep my mind active.
How many hours do you work a week?
I worked 15.5 hours a week from December 2012 until last year when my boys started school. I now work 18.5 hours a week over 3 days plus approximately 12.5 hours of antenatal facilitation per month (evenings/weekends).
Do you have to travel far from where you live to where you work?
My office job is a half an hour drive from our house but it’s further than it used to be now the boys have started school as I have to drive just over 5 minutes in the wrong direction first! I do sometimes find the commute quite stressful but have managed to be on time about 99% of the time.
What do you do for childcare? Does this work for you?
Before the boys started school they were at nursery/pre-school where they had been since I went back to work. It worked so well as the nursery was on the way to work and very close to my partner’s work so I could drop them off on the way. Now the boys are at school they go to a childminder one morning and two afternoons. It’s worked out really well in that she was recommended by the school headmistress and when I phoned only had the days free I needed. The boys are really happy to go there.
What does your morning routine look like? What do you do to get you all out of the house on time?
I have to be super organised. I make sure everything is ready the night before i.e. lunches, bowls on the table for breakfast, clothes/uniform out, and basically all we have to do is get up, eat, get dressed, brush teeth, make-up (for me only ;)) and out the door. I get up about ten minutes before the boys so that I’m washed and dressed when they get up. Sometimes it’s hard, now they have to eat breakfast before we leave the house and they’re really slow! I loved being able to just get them up, dressed and bundle them into the car when they used to have breakfast at nursery. There’s a fine line between letting them be independent in getting ready and helping them so you’re not late!
What do you like about being a working mum?
I like that I am also providing for our family. It means we can afford to have a car and go on days out or for the occasional meal somewhere. I also like having my own money so I can buy myself nice things e.g. I just invested in a new camera.
What don’t you like about being a working mum?
I’m not the best at keeping on top of the housework. When I was studying for my NCT qualification it was really tough to manage the boys, work and study.
What three tips would you pass onto a mum about to start back at work?
1-Research childcare possibilities, talk to other mums, go and visit more than one nursery and trust your instincts, you’ll know the right choice for you when you find it.
2-Weigh up how much you will earn with how much you will be spending on childcare (we had double the expenditure to think of)
3-Don’t take on too much too soon, try out the new routine for at least a month and see how you go, if you feel you could do more hours after this trial, great.
For fun show us a picture of your work handbag – what make is it and what’s the most unworkable thing in it I.e. Kids hair accessories, toy cars etc.
My bag is from NICA. I love their designs. I have the wallet in this design plus a larger bag in a different design that I used to use as a changing bag. The boys haven’t managed to add their stuff to this bag really, I just found a packet of wet wipes for sticky fingers in there!
Thank you so much for taking part in the Meet the Mum interview series Laura Isabelle an identical twin sister and I am in awe of how my mum brought us up and managed to work at the same time.
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