My little girl was less than a day old when I first thought to myself “OK, how the hell am I going to manage to care for this baby AND work?”
True, I had other baby-related challenges heading my way that I had no idea about at that time, but my sleep-deprived and drug-fuddled brain was already thinking about being a working mum.
Before that, I’d assumed I’d head back to work after six months maternity leave, with baby in a nursery and everything else pretty much back to normal. (And yes, I can hear you falling off your chair with laughter!)
The full reality of balancing work and baby didn’t hit me until about three months later, when I had to seriously start looking at my options. At that point, the book ‘Working Mothers: The Essential Guide’ by Denise Tyler would have been perfect for me.
There’s a surprisingly wide range of info you need to weigh up when looking at your working options, including your right to ask for flexible working, managing your time, benefits and tax breaks, finding good-quality childcare, handling guilt and whether you’d be better off being your own boss. ‘Working Mothers – Your Essential Guide’ covers all of these subjects in just enough depth that you get a good understanding of each, but not so much that you risk getting overwhelmed.
And let’s face it, this subject can be overwhelming both in terms of all the financial information you need to wade through and all the emotions you feel about leaving your kids while you work.
This book isn’t just for new mums, though. It would be useful if you were returning to work after a career break, changing your job or just feeling frazzled by life as a working mum. It looks at balancing work with a family of any age, too. In fact I picked up some tips about delegating chores to kids that I’ll be trying out when my children are a bit older!
The 2012 edition of ‘Working Mothers – The Essential Guide’ is available from Need-2-Know books