Going back to work full-time? Let’s chat.
I had just had our fourth child, 4 years ago. I had been at the company for over 10 years and I was just DONE. I needed a break, not to have to travel and a chance to reconnect with my family. 6 weeks maternity leave and 6 weeks working part-time – that was not enough to manage 2 kids under 2 and then a 6 and 8-year-old. So, I quit my job – and worked for myself the last several years.
Last year, a call came from a previous boss who I admired. After 4 years of self-employment I went back to work full-time. Here are 10 things i’ve learned since.
10 Things I’ve Learned Since Going Back to Work Full-Time
1. Schedules are a Good and Bad Thing
I miss sleeping in and doing whatever whenever. That said, my body appreciates a schedule.
2. I Actually Feel Like I Get ME Time
Being at home with kids can totally deprive yourself (or at least for me) of ME time. Sure, every other week I had a GNO. There were playdates and my husband helps whenever – but there was always adjustments that had to be made and until I went back to work, I didn’t realize how little ME time I actually was getting.
3. Doing Your Hair and Getting Dress is a Good Thing
I felt like I was in such a slump when I stayed at home. There was no time to do my hair and really, I didn’t have a need to. Going into the office a few days a week, I enjoy putting make-up on, getting dressed and feeling human again.
4. Introverts and Working in an Office
I am a total introvert about 90% of the time. I love a good chat and laugh – BUT that being said, I totally had to put on a blanket of grace going into an office atmosphere. How easily I forget about people just wanting to chat or popping in to ask rather than email when I am in work mode. It’s just the office and how most offices (especially those with mostly women) are run, but it was definitely one of those flashback points and a good reminder how introverted I can be.
5. Having Kids Can Make You a Target
I once heard someone mention that they should have a child so they would have an excuse to get out of work. WTH. This made me chuckle. It’s 2015. Working and life go hand-in-hand. While it isn’t always ideal – I am typically pumping out emails while my kid plays with the train in the doctor’s office while we wait for the nurse to call us back. I’ve learned to ignore the haters and give it my all. At the end of the day, my boss is happy, work is done and some people just don’t get it. More thoughts on working and juggling 4 kids to come…
6. There is No Such Thing as a 40-Hour Work Week
Thankfully I love to work. That 40-hour work week thing, totally a myth at least in my line of work.
7. When It Rains It Pours
Murphy’s law totally applies to working full-time and having children. When my kids all piled back into school full-time this August, the inevitable happened. Every single one got sick, and the sicknesses lasted for weeks on end. My husband and I did this crazy juggling act (while doing everything we could to not catch whatever the kids had) to make it work. We survived. You will survive, but like woah.
8. Defining Your Priorities is a MUST
Something I did before accepting this job was layout what my priorities were. My family is always a priority but what was it if I went back to work that I would need to keep focused on.
For us, we decided on these 2.
- The older kids would not come home to an empty house every day. There may be some days but not everyday.
- We would have technology-free family dinner at least 4 times a week. Good conversation, laughter, catching up and communicating around the table – this has been so good for our family unit – even though truth be told, most of the time it’s done at the table with takeout.
9. Delegation Rules
Since my full-time job isn’t my only job, there is no way to keep all the balls in the air without delegation. I have an assistant who helps maintain my other businesses so those are something I don’t have to think about until night and the weekend.
10. There is No Right Answer
I have a friend who asked me what I thought about going to work full-time. It wasn’t a mean spirited question, it was one of those deep conversation starters. I thought and prayed long and hard before making the decision to go back to work. Like everything else, there are good days and bad days and everything in-between. I know the decision in regards to going back to work full-time for ME was the right one. I was able to watch our younger 2 kids for the first several years of their life. Those times are something I wouldn’t ever want to replace. That said, this is my current chapter. I’m writing it the best I can, and enjoying this season to the fullest.
Are you contemplating going back to work full-time? Have you gone back to work recently? Sound off!