I have just completed my first week back as a working parent since having my youngest daughter. This is my second return to the world of work. I was back in the office for a year between my two maternity’s. I wrote a post just before going back about my reasons for returning to work.

As we enter a new year there seems to me that there has been a growing debate about working parents and children attending day nursery. This is on the back of the Royal Princess starting her nursery journey and a case of a child being lost whilst attending a nursery in the UK (article here).

In my opinion is seems strange that there is still a debate to be had. Each family will have their own priorities, pressures, opportunities and considerations for work and the family. There is never one option that fits all. Some families it makes more financial and emotional sense for a parent to stay at home. For others it makes so much more sense for one/two parents to work either full or part-time.

We should all be able to respect that all parents make the right choice for their family. In light of this I have written two poems one for the stay at home parent and one for a working parent.

Stay at Home Parent

Endless cuddles,
Trips to the park,
Looking after the kids,
From light till dark.

Home with the children,
There are so many games to play,
Painting, sticking, reading.
Having fun throughout the day.

But the work is all-consuming,
You never gets a break.
So keep up your energy levels,
You have to stay awake.

Peace for maybe an hour,
When the baby has a sleep,
But that hour goes by quickly,
And the toys are still in a heap.

Unpaid and overworked,
You have the hardest job of all,
But also lucky and so privileged,
To look children whilst they’re small.

Working Parent

Mornings are a rush,
As everyone needs to get ready,
It’s nine o’clock in the morning,
And your exhausted already.

Work is exciting but stressful,
It’s full of highs and lows.
Sometimes you will love it,
Everyday you have to see how to goes.

Using your skills,
Challenging your mind.
Can help build your confidence,
And give you some balance you find.

You of course miss the kids,
But maybe not the mess.
The whingeing and the whining,
Work is a chance to compress.

If a home is filled with love,
And happiness is apparent.
Be proud of yourself,
For being a working parent.

Working parent, juggling home, time with the children and work

Me and Rose when I went back to work after first maternity

Thanks for reading my post. If you enjoyed these please see some of my other poems here:

Toddler obsessions
Tired mum needs a break
Daddy’s home

Today my youngest daughter started nursery for the first time at eleven months old. It was the day that I started the letting go process. Since she was born a year ago she has been fully my responsibility. Today, she has to learn to be without me and I have to learn to share my little girl with the world. The reason she is starting nursery so young is I am returning to work after my second maternity. As a family we had lengthy discussions about how me working would fit our family life and the reasons for returning to work. With two pre-school children our childcare costs are excessive so this decision did not come lightly.

My main reasons for returning to work are:

  • Getting back me – being a mum is everything I have wanted in life, but I do feel like I’m losing some of me being at home. Having returned to work once before between babies I know that work can be a break! This inspired my mum needs a break poem.
  • Financial reasons – you can’t get away from the fact that life is expensive and working helps us our family manage overall finances now and in the future. As a family we have ambitions for our home and life and money will definitely help us get there.
  • Nursery opportunities – my eldest daughter has been at nursery for two years now and I have seen the wonderful things a good nursery can teach children. Having the patience and energy to complete projects and tasks with small children takes great skill. After having my toddler at home more the last year I truly appreciate the work nursery staff do everyday.

Even though I have multiple reasons for going back to work, it doesn’t make the transition process any easier. Walking away after dropping her in today broke my heart a little bit. Having gone through this before, I know it gets easier but it needs time. At the moment she is refusing to eat there, so this is my main concern, but I’ve read that the change in environments can make this happen.

As a parent I think you are predisposed to worry and feel guilt about every decision we make. I just need to remind myself that we are making the best decision based on our circumstances.

If your thinking about going back The Guardian wrote this article offering advice on going back to work after children.