I left my last job on January 28th 2015 and since then haven’t thought about work since. Not one jot. I’ve missed the people I used to work with, who over time became real friends to me, but I didn’t miss the work at all. And then two days ago I was offered a job that was hard to refuse, back at a company that I only left because I wanted to take the next step in my career and they couldn’t offer me what I wanted. A company who were good to me and gave me truly incredible opportunities, meaning that I stayed there for the longest time I possibly could.
Staring at this email, I was left feeling so conflicted. Flattered to be thought of after 3 years of being absent from the company, and unsure whether I should even give this the slightest thought given that I now live in Brighton and the job would be a daily commute to Central London. I knew all about this slog from watching my other half face the early morning and late evening commute and it ain’t pretty. When you google train times, you’re assured that the Brighton to London Victoria journey is 51 minutes but that’s actually laughable…it’s more like 1 hour 15 minutes if you’re lucky and Southern Rail haven’t decided to cancel your train. And that’s before any tube travel to get to the office.
As I pulled myself out of my inner monologue rant over train travel, I then remembered the obvious. What about Emma? How would I feel being away from her after so many months being inseparable? I had wanted to ease myself in and take her to nursery a few mornings a week, before starting her on full days at nursery. Was I being too overcautious, as she seemed to love being there last week. I suddenly became overcome with worry for her, feeling like I was suddenly ditching my little girl for my career.
I chatted to my ever supportive other half about it and all he asked me was:
“but darling, what do you want?”
Now there’s a question. What do I want? And I knew the answer. I want it all. I want to be there for Emma every time she needs me but also continue my career, on a diverted route, which I fully expected and embrace entirely. I want to avoid that awkward conversation where you ask tentatively what their thoughts on flexi working are and if I could leave at 4pm to pick up my daughter from nursery. I don’t want to disappoint people I work with by not being there when I’m needed. I don’t want to be the weak link, and deep down I know that’s how I’ll be seen. If truth be told, I regret being a freelancer as what I’m feeling right now is the familiar freelance pull towards saying yes based on the fear that another opportunity won’t come knocking again. Should I just go for it?
Above all, I guess I crave for a little bit of me back. The me before I was a Mum. I know I’m not really supposed to admit that but equally I want to be truthful to myself. I don’t really have the answers and I expect the prospect of me going back to work is a completely new chapter for our family too…one that will be logistically way more complicated than I realise. It’s decision time, and not an easy one at that!