• Sarah Thomas

Work life balance - the pressures we put on ourselves.

It's been a tough few weeks in our house as our eldest has been settling into 'big' school. She'd been in her nursery since she was 4 and a half months old, so leaving her group of friends, and going somewhere she didn't know anybody, was understandably daunting. I hadn't anticipated the emotional toll it would take on the rest of us. Safe to say things have been more than a little fraught at times. Thankfully, she now trots into class quite happily and is full of stories when she comes home.

Over these last couple of weeks I've reflected a lot on my decision to take voluntary redundancy. Admittedly our finances will probably never be so healthy as they were, but on an everyday basis life is so much easier! My husband and I both worked for a family-friendly employer only a 15 minute journey from our home, and our daughter's nursery was on the same site. It really doesn't get much better than that for families; but none the less we were rushed and stressed.

Children get sick. Deciding which of you should leave that important meeting, or call in for another unplanned day's leave is stressful. You are letting people down. They've already been sick twice this year. No matter how flexible a company is they cannot account for the pressure we put on ourselves.

​Things only get worse when they move to school and you can no longer rely on the extended hours care provided by a private nursery. While many schools offer before and after school clubs they are often over-subscribed and come at a cost - not to mention the guilt you feel thinking of your child at school while all their friends skip merrily home.

So anyway, fingers crossed we can keep this going a little while longer. And good luck to everybody juggling work and childcare - you're doing great!

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