"You seem to have about 10 jobs, do you ever stop to take time for yourself or your family?"
It was a flippant comment from a regular customer at work that got me thinking, is there such a thing as working too much when you are employed part time? Even when you think you have a healthy balance? Also what effect, if any will it have on my relationship with Max?
I recently updated my CV. I'm not necessarily looking for a new job, but with my Digital Mums qualification I realised that I should probably adapt it to focus on more digital skills than retail. Let's face it, if I do quit my current retail job, I don't want it to be for another one. As I was writing said CV I hit a brick wall. How does everything fit in and how do I explain it all?
First and foremost I'm a Bookseller, it's a part time job that I've worked the same hours since returning from maternity leave 5 and a half years ago. But I'm also a blogger, and whilst I don't spend half as much time on it as I would like, it's something that I've dedicated a lot of time too and learnt valuable skills. I have now started freelancing a bit with some social media channels which is another thing to add to the list. It's only small now but I'm hoping to turn it into something more permanent.
Then there's charity work. From being a YWT panel member, to helping the EHRC and now doing something with Pregnant The Screwed, I seem to spend a lot of time either on my phone or at a screen. Not to mention travelling here there and everywhere.
So when someone asked me if I ever stopped to take time for myself and my family I had to stop and think. My gut reaction was of course I do. But in reality I drop Max off at school most mornings and he's asleep before I get home. I get to spend the weekends with him, but I'm a person he sees on fleeting glances. Is that going to affect him in the future, will he resent me for not spending all my time with him?
I can honestly say that I don't think he will notice, I don't think he will care. If anything it's spurring him on to have a good work ethic. On a recent trip, he spent the whole journey there doing maths revision, even though he didn't need to. When I tell him that I have to sit and write a blog post, he asks he can sit and write a story, or record a mini movie on the camera. He understand that my work is more than just heading out to a shop for 4 hours in the evening and I hope that it instills a sense of pride in his own work in the future.
I can hold my hand up and say I'm that parent that sits in the park on her phone whilst her child plays. But I'm networking, talking to customers, securing a blog opportunity or something that will help our future financially. Also let's face it, Max would rather play with someone his own age on the see-saw than me! Everything I do, I do it for him and we are fortunate to have memories that will last a lifetime through different parts of my many jobs.
So yes, I do work too much. But is it honestly a bad thing? No matter what, my child knows I love him, I will always be there for him, and I will always put him first. I wouldn't be doing 10 jobs if I didn't think I could handle it. I'm proud to be a mum that's spinning plates, and whilst they might wobble, they won't crack.