The Return of the Mum
Shrink Grows Kids is 2 years old! And more exciting things are happening: I have been offered two book deals and am about to sign up with the lovely people at Pan Macmillan for my first ever book. So thank you to everyone who has read and supported my little site. Your reads gave me the confidence to continue and it has led me to things beyond my imagination.
Those who followed my journey from the start may have realised by the tone of some of my blog posts that I started this blog as a child psychiatrist that had been somewhat cast aside by her profession for her decision to work a maximum of 3-days a week such that she could be there for her children. Working so little is highly frowned upon in a profession where apparently working till 10pm and on Saturdays is deemed a standard working week (thanks Mr Hunt). In the battle of children vs career, for me children had to win out.
It’s a tough decision faced by many driven parents and I respect the individual choices made by others even if they differ from mine. For me, I am lucky enough to be married to a banker who pays the mortgage and financially as my post-tax income would have been equivalent to quality childcare, money was negligible in the decision making. Unluckily, being married to a banker means that for much of the time parenting responsibility falls to me as Banker is often out of the house before 06:30am and not back again until 8pm, if he is even in the country. Thus I squarely felt the responsibility of how our children turned out was down to me. As a child psychiatrist who spends days and years hearing and helping children and families that have struggled, it seemed implausible not to at least attempt to practice what I believe and preach: spend time with children.
For quite some years I took positions that allowed me to work a 3-day week by virtue of my being over-qualified and under-paid and saw friends and colleagues speed by in the race to the top. It was not without its frustrations, anger, tears, self-hatred and despair. What was the least anticipated, yet most destructive was the loss of identity. I would never have seen myself as one for airs and graces and felt that I took people on face-value, but it was amazing how naked I felt when stripped of a prestigious job title. Signing on reluctantly for gym membership post-baby fat one time I felt wounded to see that the lady had listened to my description of my work circumstances and had written: Occupation: House-wife/ Doctor.
I had never identified myself as a house-wife. A mother yes, but not a house-wife. I don’t and doubt I ever will darn my husband’s socks (although once my mother-in-law did offer to teach me).
It was with this inkling that I wanted something more that I tentatively set up my blog. Slowly by slowly, with your help, a sense of confidence and purpose grew that even if the system would not support me, I could use my skills to support myself. I started speaking to friends about work outside of the NHS which although I loved, had rejected me for my lack of ambition/ work-ethic/ dedication because of my insistence on limited hours. We set up a little private practice which has been doing great. This led to more confidence in my ability, to connections and friendships which have led to more and more opportunities, which have eventually culminated into a return to a prestigious NHS position on MY TERMS – 3 days a week. Alongside, the material from my blog has continued to grow, albeit slowly of late, and I am still pinching myself that a publisher is willing to support me in growing it into a book. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I could or would become a writer.
My horoscope predicted that 2016 could be one of the best years of my life (so be happy all Pisceans) and I am really looking forward to the year. My message to other parents that chose children over career is to say “Believe in yourself”, give it time, you never know where it might lead you and soon you’ll be back on top.
THANKS FOR SUPPORTING MY BLOG.
WATCH THIS SPACE FOR NEWS OF MY BOOK!
Here are some posts from rock bottom that might help:
Advice to My Former Self – Desperate Working Mother of Two Young Children
Did You Get Maternal Adjustment Disorder?
Congratulations – that is excellent news and I wish you the very best with the writing and the books! I hear all your frustrations (and echo them), so it’s wonderful that you have found a new path for yourself.
Thanks for all your support! I’ll be sure to mention you in the acknowledgements for the book as I think you have “liked” every page. Thank you so much!
Amazing Holan, an inspiration to all of us still trying to figure it out. Here is to a great 2016.
Thanks so much, good luck to you too!
Good luck and congratulations
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your blog. It helped me a lot reading your stories and what you read made me smile when I needed most. I also felt that someone is sharing the same pains, difficult choices as I had.
I am clinical scientist, I work for the NHS and the least I can say is that I LOVE my job. When I had my two children, I had to come to terms with working part time seeing other people climbing the ladder at work. But I think that being with my children and learning with them and from them, being at the school gates, talking to them on the way to and from school doesn’t go on a CV but is such an enjoyable and valuable experience that I wouldn’t miss it.
Thanks again for sharing your experience and congratulations again.
Thank you so much!
Thanks for your supportive comments! It’s a shame the NHS is this way, and the new junior doctors contracts will make it worse. I agree that I would not take back the time I spent with the kids, they grow so quickly. Now that we will likely work till we are 70 years old, I don’t think we will regret having taken this time. Good luck to you!