Mum to, from left, Ruby (eight), Jasper (one), Felicity (nearly five) and Matilda (six) I was an account director in Wilson Hartnell PR. I will have left two years ago this month. I came to the decision because it just made more sense for us as a family.
The logistics, once they got into school, were getting harder and harder each year. My husband and I sat down and looked at the realities of it, versus what we were paying out in childcare. I also was very happy to make that decision. Not that I wasn’t very happy at work or whatever, but I was happy with what I had achieved to date in my career.
I recognised that, for my family, it was going to be of benefit to us all, to have me at home. Felicity was three when I left. I felt I had done my time; I feel that I can hold my own when it comes to talking about my previous working life. It was a decision I made.
The juggle is endless when you’re working. My job was always busy. I also was never very good at switching off when I came home. In the world of PR, you’re always on, and anything can happen at any hour. And then there were trips to London; a lot of my clients were based in the UK.
At the same time, in my husband’s job . . . he was doing more and more travel. Up to three to four nights a week. It just wasn’t feasible for me to hold down a busy job and home, pretty much singlehandedly, for three-quarters of the week. If I’m to be fully honest, my plan would have always been, if I had a family, to be in a position where I could be at home. Certainly for these years, anyway.
It’s really hard once they get into school. Creche, although it’s a fortune, is the easiest
‘When you’re working, you come home to the worst hour of the day. Whereas now, I can just approach those things with a little more patience’
option in terms of childcare. We have afterschool activities every day of the week, and I’m taxiing up and down the road. I used to have to say no to all those things when I was working, because I just physically couldn’t get somebody collected or dropped home. You don’t want to be asking other mothers all the time. Because you already feel like you’re a mother nobody sees at school. And you don’t want to be the mother who’s just asking, and then you’re never there to repay the favour.
I’m really happy to be at home. It’s busy, but not stressful. It’s not the same as juggling work and home. There are certain days that are a bit Groundhog Day, but you’re your own boss; you can change that. I suppose, when you’re working, you kind of come home to the worst hour of the day. Whereas now, I can just approach those things with a little more patience and pace. Life isn’t as frantic.