How To Balance Motherhood And Work

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It ironic that Camila's last piece was about how to manage your finances considering how her summer went down...

Mothership

It is I, Camila! After a long summer I indeed live to tell the tale to thee Live Mag patrons! Okay enough of the melodrama – my summer was ridiculous.

By the time my end of year exams came round not only was I running out of my student loan money, I was also having a complete meltdown (the last exams I took were 5 years ago in school!) So as any mindless moron would do, I proceeded to run out of my exam halfway through… Who does that? Who actually does that? Well apparently I do. I panicked and I let it get the better of me. Long story short, I ended up failing uni and was forced to move out of my home because I went broke. I had to find work for the summer to pay my rent but could no longer afford childcare. I had arrears piling up everywhere and when I finally found a job, at first I didn’t even have the money to get there.

Balancing work with motherhood was yet another challenge I hadn’t faced. Motherhood and work is just as much a struggle as motherhood and university but in different ways. I didn’t have the freedom to walk in and out whenever I needed and when my son was sick one day it was a process to let my manger know and wait until they found cover.

“…my life seriously fell apart this summer..”

On the other hand, at work all I had to do was show up and work then I could go home, but with university the work and studying doesn’t stop – I need to complete assignments and meet deadlines even when I’m at home. I suppose this is where the distinction in motherhood and a career, and motherhood and work comes in. Having a career and children must be much more demanding.

Childcare was another issue. Childcare costs in the UK are outrageously expensive, I was fortunate enough to receive help from my friends and family who took turns in looking after my son while I was at work. This was only a temporary job though and I wouldn’t have been able to depend on friends in a permanent situation. Nonetheless I was able to clear all my debts eventually. I also retook my exams and thankfully progressed into my second year at university.

Even though I came out the other side of the tunnel, my life seriously fell apart this summer and I had to really dig deep to try and figure out how it all went so wrong. There are always ups and downs in life, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, but I consider all the downs to bring some sort of lesson with them, and it’s up to us to figure them out. The thing with me is that I often take on too many different things at on time. It keeps me motivated and I enjoy the variety in my life. But if there’s one thing I learned, it’s that you can undeniably do everything, but you can’t do it at the same time.

I’m back at uni now and my son has just started school, I left work and realised that just because my life isn’t as fast paced as it was before, it doesn’t mean I’m failing – the speed doesn’t matter as long as you keep moving. My only priorities are my son’s studies and my own studies. We are both in full time education now and that’s more than enough for me to focus on.

Feature image from Lives Of A Woman.

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