Being a part time working mother of two children isn’t easy. There is a constant internal battle: am I a good mother, a good wife? Am I doing my best I can at work? Am I making enough time for my family, friends…and myself? The frequent self-doubt can be exhausting.
Getting the right balance is tough, and at times can leave you feeling that you are failing, perhaps not in all areas, but at least one. You can’t be great in everything after all… or can you?
My husband and I are lucky to have family support with childcare if we need it, so if we are both at work we know our children can spend some quality time with their grandparents. For that we are so grateful. I am lucky that I have understanding friends who are also parents and who understand the struggles of juggling so many things at once, so if I don’t reply to a message until three days later… it’s OK. Chances are, they forgot they sent me a message in the first place!
The main thing that makes everything much more manageable is having flexibility at work. The understanding that yes, work is important, but so is life. As my husband works shift work in the Force, each week differs in terms of childcare. Thankfully, with my role I can map out my part time days to fit around his shift work, so between us we can manage the school/nursery runs. This alone is a huge relief! I can then come to work and focus my energy on my responsibilities and leave at the end of the day feeling like a champion for ticking off my to do list. The trouble is, not all companies are as accommodating.
Having experienced working for a company who are less supportive of working parents, who didn’t offer flexibility, and were generally disinterested, made me a much more anxious and stressed worker. I found it harder to concentrate on my tasks, I was losing passion for the role, and I felt constantly overwhelmed with deadlines. In all, no one was benefiting.
Businesses need to re-think their policies for flexibility, acknowledge that even the smallest change can make a huge difference to their employee’s work/life balance, and understand that part-time workers are by no means less skilled than a full-time worker. The results? Having a happier workforce that is more dedicated, focused and loyal to the company, and perhaps will go that extra mile… surely that is a good thing?
Hasson Associates proudly support part time workers, and currently employee 2 part time members of staff whilst also offering flexibility to the full time workers. You can learn more on flexible working here > https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/rights-at-work/flexible-working/flexible-working-what-is-it/