Making the move back into part-time work

by Natalie
Mums Off Duty, returning to part-time work

Wow, last month was crazy. I feel like I’m only just coming up for air. Tuesday was really the first day of ‘normality’ for me. I had to give myself a few moments, alone in our quiet home, just to centre myself, take a deep breath and go “aaaah”.

May marked the month that I returned to being employed by someone other than me! I’m now a Supervisor at a lovely charity shop one day a week – just a six-month contract, but a milestone nonetheless. I haven’t had a boss (unless you include Ethan) since 2014, when I officially handed in my notice for my digital comms job in London. I’ve been through an intense month of training but as of this month, I’m back to working my regular hours.

Moving house really triggered my search for part-time work. I decided a small but regular income would come in pretty handy prior to our move (blinking stamp duty is leaving us penniless!), and I want to make a contribution. My blog is still my full-time job but, as is the way with freelance work, you’re not guaranteed a regular monthly income. We’re making a big financial commitment with moving, so it made sense for me to secure some regular work.

I did wonder if I’d be able to get my head round returning to employment, after such a long time being self-employed. It’s different for sure, and has had its challenges, but I honestly think the whole experience has been really good for me. Here’s why.

It’s making my brain work in different ways.

Mums Off Duty, returning to part-time work

Working in retail uses a totally different skillset to working on my blog. And I love that the two are so different.

I’m learning and developing new skills all the time in my new role which is challenging, but in a good way. Sometimes you’ve got to push yourself out of your comfort zone, right? Because that’s when you realise you’re more capable than you thought. It’s a big confidence booster.

It’s kinda nice to get out of the house.

Don’t get me wrong, I love working from home. The solitude doesn’t bother me. BUT, I’ve realised how beneficial it is for me to be out of the house, working in a different environment for one day a week.

There’s physical and mental separation which I think makes it a bit easier to switch into work mode. I am disciplined when I work from home, but that separation is lacking. It’s nice when I return home from my part-time job because I sit down and think, “I’m done.” With my blog, I can work on bits and bobs all evening without ever really properly switching off. I think that’s something I need to work on!

I was lucky to be trained by my counterpart in another shop who was so lovely and helpful. She is a mum of three and for her, working one day a week in the shop is her break from regular ‘mum life’. She works very hard in the shop of course but for her, being at work is way easier than being at home and she really enjoys having that time for herself (and the extra money of course!).

The boys get to spend quality time together.

Mums Off Duty, returning to part-time work

They go swimming, play computer games and lounge about, happy as Larry. They haven’t really had a dedicated day like that before, when I’m not here. I miss them both, obviously, and I get major FOMO, but I know it’s important that they have their time together too.

It’s different for Ethan, seeing me physically leave the house and go to work. He knows that blogging is my job too, but going out to work in a shop is a much easier concept for him to understand!

Share your thoughts

I’m happy that I’ve made the move. Yes,  this last month has been busy and stressful – doing something new is not easy. While I still have a lot to learn, I do feel a bit more confident in myself and my abilities. It’s early days of course but at the moment, I’m feeling positive about the changes. I’ll keep you posted on how I’m getting on.

Have you returned to work recently? How do you feel about it? Please feel free to share your thoughts below.

Natalie xx

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Sarah Stockley June 12, 2019 - 2:57 pm

That’s fab! I have the best of both worlds as I work part-time and work from home too. Sometimes just escaping to a different place for a couple of hours a week feels amazing doesn’t it?!

Natalie June 23, 2019 - 8:59 pm

It really does. I love being home but a change of scenery feels so good.

Mandi Morrison June 12, 2019 - 4:36 pm

It sounds like a great transition back into employment for you. I think you re right too, having a change of scenery must be so nice when you have worked from home.

Natalie June 23, 2019 - 8:59 pm

It’s kind of easing me back in! I’m really enjoying it so far.

Claire June 12, 2019 - 4:44 pm

I loved going back to work when my son was 8 months old. I enjoyed the normality, the routine, and the adult company. But I also really enjoyed every minute of our precious time together.

It can be really hard going though and you feel torn in a million directions.

Great post, thank you for sharing x

Natalie June 23, 2019 - 9:01 pm

It is hard, isn’t it. There’s always guilt. But I think some people really need to go back to work for themselves, and for their own sanity! Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it.

Lyndsey O'Halloran June 12, 2019 - 6:14 pm

I would love to go back to work part time on something like a 6 month contract. Like you said, self-employment is hard and not guaranteed.

Natalie June 23, 2019 - 9:34 pm

I love working freelance and the freedom it brings, but I’m also loving the regular paycheck from my part-time job!

OddHogg June 12, 2019 - 8:52 pm

I have gone back and forth with the idea of returning to “normal” work. I have enjoyed being self employed for the last 3 years but I’m also ready to get back a bit of me and go out of the house without the kids!

Natalie June 23, 2019 - 9:51 pm

It’s hard isn’t it? I wasn’t sure if I could do it, and it is only for one day at the moment, but I’m enjoying it. I’d never give up my blog and freelance work though, I love it too much!

Amy June 13, 2019 - 7:41 am

Good luck in your new venture! I haven’t returned to work yet but when my children are a bit older I’d love to do something like you are doing, just for a bit of sanity!

Natalie June 23, 2019 - 10:13 pm

Thank you! I think it’s definitely good to do something for you and get out of the house for a bit. I’ve really enjoyed learning new skills too!

Anosa June 13, 2019 - 10:57 am

I am sure it will be weird for a little while but then you will get into the swing of things and it will be like you never left.

Natalie June 23, 2019 - 10:14 pm

Thank you – it’s just one day a week at the moment but I’m enjoying it so far.

Jenni June 14, 2019 - 12:19 am

I quit my job both times I was pregnant, and found it hard getting back in to work. I tried freelancing first, but eventually found a part time job and enjoy the stability plus the freedom it gives me to still have time for my kids.

Natalie June 23, 2019 - 10:15 pm

Freelancing is great but no stability. Congrats on finding a good job that fits in with your family!

Alexandra Cook June 14, 2019 - 1:30 pm

Oh wow, Congratulations! Good luck in getting back to work. Hope everything is still the same as before.

Natalie June 23, 2019 - 10:15 pm

Thank you! It’s a different job but I’m really enjoying it so far.


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