The challenges of change

It’s said that change is as good as a holiday.

But when you have kids a holiday isn’t really a holiday is it? So while change is good it can be challenging when you are a parent!

As I write this, I’m preparing to embark on a major life change. I’m about to return to the workforce full-time in a new role.

It will be a dramatic shift for our family as I haven’t worked full-time since before my daughter was born nearly five years ago.

I will also have to return to the office after having the privilege of working from home for most of the past four years.

Already I’ve been asked, how will you juggle it all?

It’s a funny question. Perhaps a better one is ‘how will you both juggle it all?’ The reality is I could not make this change without the support of my husband, a hands-on dad who shares the parental load.

I’m sure I will do doubt suffer pangs of ‘mum guilt’ every now and then. I will miss many of my daughter’s school drop-offs and pick-ups. I won’t really have the chance to volunteer for tuck shop duty or the P&C (although I doubt that’s really my thing). I’ll also spend less time with my two-year-old son who is growing up way too fast.

But I’m ready for the change and it’s far from my first as a parent.

After my first round of maternity leave our little family moved states and I changed jobs.

Not long after that we welcomed our second child.

Then with two children, aged 3 years and 7 months, we packed up our entire lives (again) and moved states just as the Covid pandemic hit. I packed up the house and flew solo with the kids, while my husband put the dog in the car and drove to beat a border closure.

It was a far more stressful and challenging experience than when I put my belongings into a car and moved well over 1000km away in my twenties. I actually did this twice and both times it felt relatively stress-free and liberating.

Shaking things up is no walk in the park when you have kids, but I’m always up for a challenge.

I also like to be prepared, so I have spent a lot of time researching tips for families when both parents work full-time. The recurring theme is prepare and plan! Meal plan, pre-prepare lunches and dinners ahead of time, pack school and daycare bags the night before, clean at night (not all weekend), lay out everyone’s outfits the night before, make an appointment with exercise, the list goes on.

I’m sure I will work it out, as no doubt many other full-time working mums have.

So as I sign off on my last column, wish me luck!