Welcome to Meet the Working Mum Interview. Today we meet Rachel Hawkins. Rachel works for an education charity and also blog at Our Rach Blogs.
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.
I’m Rachel. The annoying one from Our Rach Blogs. I live in Bristol, with my boyfriend and our son who is 3 and a half.
What do you do for a job? Is it what you have always wanted to do?
I work for an education charity. It was my first job after having my son as I couldn’t return to my previous job. I can’t say it’s something I’ve always wanted to do but I’ve been there 3 years now and there are days I really enjoy it. Sometimes I’m so busy I can’t think straight, but I enjoy the buzz. I like to be busy as it gives me focus.
What was your motivation to return to work?
Money and independence. I was hesitant about returning to work. I’d been out of the game for over a year and my confidence had taken a knock. My previous job hadn’t utilised skills I’d picked up over the years and I wasn’t mentally in a good place either. It took a good few months to get my head around the job and I experienced a mental break down not long after starting. However, I persevered and I’m so glad I did.
How many hours do you work a week?
30+. It varies, if I’m really busy then I can end up working all day every day but I’m lucky in the respect my job is flexible and I can take the time back.
Do you have to travel far from where you live to where you work?
I live on the outskirts of Bristol and my office is right in the centre. However, I work from home 3 days a week which can be an absolute dream.
If you use public transport what do you do to pass the time on your commute?
Twitter. I spend the majority of my time scrolling through Twitter posting inane tweets that likely drive my followers insane. I ALWAYS listen to music, I literally go into some sort of a panic if I’ve forgotten my earphones.
What do you do for childcare? Does this work for you?
We’re lucky when it comes to childcare. My son is in pre-school so spends a portion of the week there, with his hours increasing from September. Then on the other days I work he is either with my Mum or my boyfriend’s Mum.
What does your morning routine look like? What do you do to get you all out of the house on time?
I am up EARLY. If I’m going to the office then I am out of the house by 6:15am. I literally roll out of bed, head to the shower half asleep and then get ready and head out the door. If I’m working from home then I can have a slight lie in and start work at 7am. My other half will usually get our son ready for school or to go to his Nanny’s/Grandma’s.
What do you like about being a working mum?
I love the independence. I love having a different focus, my own money and the sense of achievement I get.
What don’t you like about being a working mum?
The guilt. The tiredness. The stress it often brings. I hate it when my son asks me where I’m going and I say work and he looks disappointed. Or when I’m working from home and he’ll ask me to play or do something with him and I can’t. hat’s hard, however, I want him to have a good work ethic. It’s something I’ve always had and want to pass it on to him. I’ve slowly increased my hours over the last couple of years and since 2016 I’ve found the increase difficult. I have less free time and sometimes feel like all I do is work but I remind myself I’m lucky to work for a great company who offer me flexibility.
What would you change? Hours you work, commute you have to make etc.
Sometimes I wish I didn’t work as much, for reasons outlined above. However, I’ve become accustomed to the increase in pay and wouldn’t be able to take the salary drop were I to decrease my hours. I’d love to have more time to focus on my writing and the other things I take great pleasure in but it’s not a huge problem. I’m pretty content the way things are.
What three tips would you pass onto a mum about to start back at work
Believe in yourself. Don’t stress. And try to remember that guilt is a futile emotion. It doesn’t help anyone.
For fun show us a picture of your work handbag.
It’s a New Look rucksack. Literally like walking around with a human permanently attached to my back. It’s so damn heavy. There are a whole manner of strange things in there. Currently, the strangest item is a plastic burger bun. Yeah, I have no idea what that is doing in there.
Thank you so much for taking part in the Meet the Mum interview series Rachel. I totally agree with you about showing your son all about work ethic. I am the same with my girls and want them to see that if they put the effort in they can be rewarded back.
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