SAHM / Working Mum Series: Introducing Simone
"First off I want to say a huge “Thank You” to you Roxanne-Sasha for reaching out to me for this interview! As a new blogger, it’s certainly an honor to be given this opportunity to share my voice with your audience. To tell you a little about myself, I am a 28-year-old single mother of one three-year-old boy. I reside in the great state of Texas where I’ve lived all my life minus the 1 year I lived in California, my birth state. When I’m not at work or working on my blog I like to spend time with my family, take hip-hop dance classes at my gym, and I love love love singing karaoke!"
1. What made you decide to return to work on a part-time basis?
"Money! Or lack there of lol. While I was pregnant with my son, I worked as a part-time bank teller and needed every dollar I could get. I had bills that needed to be paid and barely any savings. On top of that, my job only offered two weeks of paid maternity leave (booo!). I literally worked up until the day that I had my son. I went to work on a Thursday, the week before his due date, and had him Friday afternoon."
2. How old was your son when you decided to return to work? Did you ever suffer with mum guilt?
"My son was 6-weeks-old when I returned to work. It was especially hard for me physically and emotionally because I was breastfeeding. Since I was still nursing, I had to pump at work. I hated I couldn’t be there with him all day, but my mom watched him for me while I was at work so my mind was at ease having her there with him. I also worked close enough to my house that I could go home for lunch, so I would go home to see him on my lunch break every.single.day. I did this for an entire year!"
3. Did being a stay at home mum appeal to you in any way? Did you ever consider being a stay at home mum permanently?
"Before I had my son, I thought I would never want to be a stay at home mom because I felt it would have been a waste of my schooling. After I had him, although I didn’t want to stay home permanently, I was not ready to go back as soon as I did. I had plans on going to school for a certification in the field I currently work in (Medical Laboratory Science) so that was my next step after leaving the bank."
4. What did you miss about working?
"I didn’t get a chance to miss anything about work. I wasn’t really absent long enough to feel the effects of me not being there. Time really flew by back then."
5. How have your aspirations changed since becoming a working mother?
"While I enjoy the work that I do and the flexibility of my schedule, I would one day like to be a work from home mom while working PRN in my field to stay current with my education. I love the freedom that being a work from home mom provides. Of course there are going to be distractions if you have younger kids, but once they get school age you should have more time to get some work done (in theory!) without being interrupted by them. I have seen so many avenues in which money can be made the non-traditional route and I am willing to give it a try if it means I get to live life more freely without being a slave to the time clock."
6. What do you think is the perception of working mums?
"I think people have gotten used to the idea of moms being the breadwinner or at least contributing finances to the household through work outside of the home or other avenues. I personally see it as the norm in today’s society and I believe others for the most part have the same perception."
7. Are there any negatives of being a working mum?
"Negatives for me would be the fact that you have to compromise missing certain moments with your children due to the demands of work. The moms I work with typically complain about feeling rushed when leaving work because they are trying to pick their kids up from school on time. Also they have a hard time trying to juggle their kids extracurricular activities because other parents or relatives that have to work as well. I haven’t experienced this yet because my son has not started school yet, but I know it definitely helps to have another person whose schedule is flexible and who is reliable and able to help out with the kids."
8. What are the positives of being a working mum?
"It feels good to be able to contribute to the household finances. It helps to support the activities your child might want to participate in and most of all provides financial security if you are wise with your money. If you are living with a spouse or other family members you are able to take the pressure off of them so that they’re not the only one responsible for providing everything for the household."
9. What does a typical day in your shoes look like?
"Well, I have a unique schedule. I work weekends until midnight (Fri-Sun) and I’m off Mon.-Thurs. So, when I am working I only have time to do just that. I work 12 hours each day and during that time my son is either with my mom or with his other grandmother. On Friday my mom watches my son and on Saturday I wake up early to take him to his grandmother’s house on my way to work. Sunday after I leave work I pick my son up from his grandmother’s house and finally head home. On my off days, I will typically use my first day off to rest and then the remainder of the week I “adult”. I run errands with my son and take care of any other business I have for the day. At least one of my off days I try to find something fun for us to do. We may go to the arcade in the mall or have a mother-son lunch date. Sometimes we just chill at home and play with his toys or whatever else he wants to do. On a good week I may even make it to the gym for my favorite hip-hop dance class."
10. What advice would you give to working mums or mums who are thinking of returning to work?
"I would say it’s important to always make time for your kids as much as you possibly can because time flies so quickly. Even though you may see them every day they are constantly growing and changing and they need you to be present not only physically, but emotionally. Never let work take you away from your kids. At the same time, don’t feel bad about having to work either. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having to work to provide financial security for your family. Don't be afraid to explore non-traditional options to make a living and if you see an opportunity that will allow you to spend time with your kids *and* make money, go for it! It’s all about balance."
11. What is your favourite thing to do after a long day at work to unwind?
"Since I work three 12-hour shifts in a row I really don’t get to officially unwind until my last day of work. Nothing beats a good meal and my favorite tv shows to cap off a long work week. After this, a hot shower and a good smelling candle puts me in the mood for one thing..SLEEP!"
12. Finally, where can we find you on the internet?
"It’s been an absolute pleasure participating in this interview. If anyone would like to connect with me they can currently do so on Instagram @thesinglemamathatcould. In the bio they will find a link to my blog (www.thesinglemamathatcould.com) aimed at helping single mothers like myself. The blog will launch January of 2018 and they will be able to sign up for an email notification when I go officially go live! I am also on twitter @singlemamathatcould. Thank you once again to you and your readers. Wishing you much success in the future!"
Thank you, Simone, for sharing your thoughts on being an independent working mum. I truly admire your work ethic and despite working such long shifts, you still have your own dreams which you are one day hoping to pursue. By God's grace you will be able to work from home, spend more time with your son and get to have as much time as you need to unwind after a long day working. I have really enjoyed speaking with you and I would like to take this opportunity to say I cannot wait for your blog to launch! There is nothing more empowering than women supporting women, so please show some love to Simone @thesinglemamathatcould.
I love to read everyone’s comments and stories about their own first-hand experiences with motherhood. I feel that as mothers we have so much to share to help others because you would be so surprised at how your story could help to inspire or encourage mothers. I am excited to see how the different topics planned shall unfold and of course to meet so many remarkable and diverse mothers. If you would like to be a part of my series please feel free to contact me at;
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