The Full-Timer, Christine

I started my job straight out of Uni in 1997. I’ve worked for the same company (Euromoney) for 20 years. I started off as an Advertising Production Assistant and am now office manager.

I have a degree from University of Kent — a BSc in Management Science. I’ve always worked full time in my 20 years at Euromoney. I am paid for five days and currently work two days from home. I only stopped work for maternity leave — once for 9 months and the second time for 10 months. I loved my maternity leave — both times. Had daily/weekly meet up with friends from NCT. Loved being with my babies full time.

I knew if I was at home full time, I’d end up going mad. However, I knew if I was at work 5 days in the office, I would end up regretting not spending enough/any time with our babies/kids. Therefore, independence and money to pay for our family lifestyle made me go back.

It is always hard going back to work after maternity leave — bit like severe Sunday blues! Hated the thought of going back to work, but once you get into the swing of things, it gets a lot better, even fun at times.

After my first baby was born I asked my then boss if he would consider me working from home 1 day a week and then allow me to use 1 days holiday each week. He agreed saying he’d like me back asap and would do whatever it took to make it work for me to come back.

We were very fortunate in having both sets of parents living close by, who would come to our house 7am-6pm twice a week to look after our daughter. We then paid for one day at nursery so that our daughter could get used to a nursery setting. That went very well. As time progressed, I asked my boss if I could work two days from home (and get paid for five days) — he agreed. Eventually, our daughter went to nursery two days a week. After our second daughter was born, she too went to nursery two days a week. It was challenging at times to be working from home and having two small children, however, I enjoyed being with them whilst they grew up. When at home, I’m just Mum in her jeans/trainers and not official Mum in her work dress.

I always felt I would have missed out if I was in the office 5 days a week and I do understand sometimes many people have no choice.

Our girls have always accepted I was working from home when younger (they’ve never know any different) and would find activities to entertain themselves with. I found working from home worked really well whilst the children were babies/very young, but also as they have gone to school and need dropping off/picking up from school. Also on a practical level — helping with their homework, giving them dinner, taking them to afterschool clubs, doctor’s appointment, etc. It has also allowed me to build friendships with other parents at school — without being the working Mum who nobody ever sees.

I’ve been very fortunate to still work from home two days a week and the children are now 11 & 9. I’ve been very lucky with the bosses I’ve had over my time at work. Some have tried to change my working pattern but ultimately I still work from home two days a week and get paid for five. I don’t take this for granted. I love being in the office, interacting with some interesting characters and achieving in my job — however, I also love being the Mum in her jeans/trainers on the other days. My advice to anyone who has been on a career break for a while and has lost their confidence is keep trying until you get there — just don’t give up. @aboutaspopularas