When I started working again last year, I thought a part-time job was the solution to end all solutions. I'd still get to spend most of the week with the kids, and then I'd work two afternoons and a morning at the weekend. It was simple. I'd get a little balance back in my life, I'd do the job I'd recently trained for, and I'd earn a little money again. It was a perfect plan.
And in a way, it was. Is.
But you know what happens to perfect plans, don't you?
My plan hasn't exactly been the "breeze" I imagined. For one, childcare has cause me more stress than I wish to share. Two, I've discovered building a practice on part-time hours is crazy hard. And lastly, working part-time has occasionally left me feeling disconnected from my job. In the days that form the gap in between my last working day and my next, I can forget about it almost entirely, wrapped up in my other life - my family.
It's an adjustment, of course. But lately I've wondered if, in fact, working full-time wouldn't be less complicated.
At least with a full-time job, you have full-time childcare - a dayhome, or full-time nanny, say, which tend to be more reliable than part-time babysitters - often students who before long move on elsewhere. With full-time work, you have a fixed routine, a fixed salary, you know where you are and what's expected of you.
(I'm not suggesting that working full-time as a parent is easy, by the way - NO WAY! I don't believe either option is easy and I'm grateful to have the choice.)
The issue for me is this strange, obscure divide of roles I now have. I have two jobs: first (and foremost), being a mum, being at home with the kids. The second, being a therapist. I now have a full-time job and a part-time job. I love both. I feel like I don't have time for both. But I do both.
In the attempt to find balance in my life, it appears I've created more of an imbalance, and it's going to take me a while to figure it out.
How do you - parents who work full-time or part-time - how do you manage it all?