I have been in and out of work for a few years, only part time and never anything too serious, mainly temporary work whilst the children are little. However, as we decided our family is complete, I wanted to look for something a bit more permanent and somewhere I could make my mark.
I started my new job last October and it is a really good place to work. I am not even ashamed to admit that this post is going to be an open love letter to my employment. As a working mummy, we want a lot from a job. It can be really hard to find a healthy work/family balance, made harder by the fact that most of us will always put family first, and this can be hard on a business. Especially if you don’t have understanding managers/peers, we all want to feel valued and appreciated, but we also need understanding and empathy, and often you won’t get this in a job. I have had some really terrible experiences with jobs in the past and they left me feeling like I would never find my place in the working world. But I am loving my new position, and I feel like I fit somewhere and can be appreciated and understood. It hasn’t exactly been an easy start though but everyone I work with has been amazing!
Not only am I a working mum with the juggling acts that comes with this role; I have health issues now too. At the end of last year, two months into my job (and with still a month of probationary period to go), I ended up in hospital and was really quite poorly. It didn’t get fixed either, so I have to contend with monthly (sometimes more frequent) flare ups. My employer but especially my manager has been incredible. I guess this blog post is just a shout out to employers who do understand, the ones that try to make working life easier for us mums, people with illnesses that can’t be helped, or for all the employers who just have a little understanding and human empathy. I am luckier than I have ever been, I have an amazing network of family and friends that are always there for me and now I have landed a great role for an amazing company and get to work with some wonderful people. I still have bad days, and it may not get any easier, but when I am at work, I try hard and I forge aheads sometimes even when I am in pain and I try to be a good employee and I hope that my manager can see this, and I hope she can see what a truly good boss she is too. She makes my life/work balance easier to handle and I look forward to going to work knowing that the company and people I work for are some of the most incredibly understanding people I may ever meet. Not only did I have the pain to deal with, when I suffer from a flare up; but the guilt of missing work or not being able to do things, can be just as hard. I am not sure what I would do if I didn’t have my understanding manager, my flare ups are not necessarily something you can see, so it can be really hard for some people to understand when you are in so much pain but look absolutely fine. She listens and offers help and support which is above and beyond her role as my boss and I don’t think we thank people enough for just their simple understanding and non-judgement. So this is my thank you to everyone who has helped me, supported me, tried to cheer me up, offered me advice or simply been there to listen to me moan. The simple act of showing a little empathy and understanding, even if you have never suffered anything similar yourself is a wondrous thing.
I know I have rambled on lovingly but its because we are always quick to complain about work and moan about our day, we sometimes forget to appreciate when we have something good. In the past, I have worked at some awful places with some not very understanding people, and I really feel for the people who still have to face this everyday, we spend a good portion of our life working, it shouldn’t be torturous, and we shouldn’t have to compromise on our family values. So I just want to point out, that if you are lucky enough to work for a good company, even if you have bad days (lets be honest, we all do – it happens!) just remember to be thankful and that you could work at much worser places. And if you are really lucky like me and work for a really family friendly, understanding company, share that – tell people – there is nothing wrong with being happy in your work, nothing wrong with that at all!