Mummy of Jacob (3) and Jesse (1) at Hungry Caterpillar Day Nursery Chalfont St Peter.
Works for NHS, commutes from Chalfont St Giles to Stanmore.
What motivated you to return to work after having children?
I love my job; my work is a big part of my identity so it’s important to me to remain connected to that. My job is very ‘mental’ and looking after the boys is very physical and I love that I get to do both in the week.
Why did you choose a nursery over other childcare options (grandparents, nanny, childminder)
I think nursery gives the boys more stimulation and structure than they get with one adult – it’s reassuring to know that 3 days a week they are following a developmental curriculum and building relationships with other adults and kids outside of the family. Also, in a bigger group they are learning important skills like turn-taking, patience and have greater opportunities for socialising with a wider range of kids in terms of ages and backgrounds.
What is the biggest challenge you face as a working parent? How do you make it work?
Time! Or rather lack of it! I struggle to work just my contracted hours (don’t we all) and often fi nd myself leaving work really late and feeling guilty about picking the boys up later from nursery than I intended . Getting us all washed, dressed and out in the mornings can be stressful too. Preparing the boys’ nursery bags and clothes the night before makes a huge difference. I get up earlier than the boys wake up so i can get ready in peace and prepare morning drinks etc. All that creates a calmer atmosphere for all of us.
What strategies do you use to cope with the ‘really crazy days’?
Getting out of the house with the boys. Fresh air / having physical space really helps me and the boys get to burn off steam. I also take alot of deep breaths. Exercise in the evening, followed by a glass of wine, a long phone chat with a friend or my mum and an early night rights alot of wrongs!
What is the best thing about being a working parent?
The sense that I’m connected to two of my most important life values – maintaining a rewarding career and spending quality time with my boys. I get to be sensible and silly… I’ll be in a challenging discussion with a medical colleague one minute, then laughing at fart jokes with the boys the next…I get the best of both worlds.
What is the worst thing about being a working parent?
The constant merry-go-round of kids-work-kids-bed can be exhausting.
What’s the funniest thing your children have said or done?
Jacob is very ‘visual’ in his humour. He does this hilarious bum wiggle dance (I can only assume he’s seen his daddy dancing). He’s now started to mimic my husband and me. For example, the other day he put some stickers on my chest of drawers and said to me with a serious face: “Mummy. If you take my stickers off I will be VERY cross with you. I mean it, mummy, I will be VERY cross”. It had me in stitches – I was like “are you 3 or 33?!”
A Huge Thank you to Izzy for helping out with this great Article for our Hungry Caterpillar Day Nursery – Caterpillar CHAT Magazine!