Flexible working. Feminism. Fun.

Flexi Mamas: Bridget from Bridie By The Sea

Flexi Mamas: Bridget from Bridie By The Sea

Welcome to Flexi Mamas, a series about barriers that working mums face. This week’s Flexi Mama is Bridget, mum to 2-year-old Emma and stepmum to 13-year-old James.

Logo for Bridie By The Sea - The Misadventures of a First Time Mum in Brighton

I used to work as a TV production manager before I had my daughter. I loved my job in TV and always knew I would return to it in some shape or form, when the time was right for Emma.

I had worked hard to climb up the career ladder and was in a good place with plenty of experience under my belt. There was only one downside to my maternity leave – the company I was working for couldn’t hold a position for me due to the nature of how TV companies work, so finding a new job felt like starting from scratch.

Last autumn, I received a job offer and it seemed like everything I had been wanting, and needing. Four days a week within a digital media team – perfect. I was so excited to be going back to work – hot coffee, decent lunch – but I had no idea that it would be so much harder than it looked.

Returning to work after maternity leave is tough, or at least it was for me. My mind was about 2 steps behind for a couple of months, and working in a digital team for the first time meant there was so much to learn. I even remember being in meetings and some of the tech jargon seemed like gobbledigook. Put this together with sleep deprivation – it made me feel like a complete imposter.

Over time I caught up, but then noticed that I seemed to be pushed out within the team for things that were completely out of my control. My contract was agreed that I wouldn’t work on Fridays, and yet several members of the team would make back-handed comments about me not working on those days. The resentment festered and I couldn’t help noticing the odd looks between other team members. This just wasn’t working.

As my happiness at work dwindled, the mummy guilt I felt at leaving Emma was really hard to cope with. What was I doing this for? I wasn’t being paid well and the nursery fees seemed to be increasing every month. I felt like I was disappointing all sides, never 100% present for either sides of my life. I’d either miss something at work as I had to collect Emma, or I’d be impatient and rushing for my daughter. I eventually realised that this job wasn’t really worth it and decided to hand my notice in.

When I left my role, I explained to my boss that I think the part-time role within the team needs to be reviewed. Either the role was too big to fit within 4 days, or the culture of the team just doesn’t allow for flexi-working. She didn’t agree with me at the time, but weeks later I learned that my replacement is now working full time so perhaps some thought went into it after the event.

Flexi-working is more than offering a 4 day a week role and expecting that member of staff to cram a full-time role into those hours. I’ve recently heard of other companies offering job sharing, so I think things may be changing slowly.

Since leaving my job, I have made the decision to work full time on my blog as well as doing social media management for independent companies in Brighton. I had been working at monetising my blog previously, but now I have time to invest in it, things are going from strength to strength.

Never say never, but I don’t anticipate going back to work in the same role again and have accepted that my priorities when it comes to work have completely changed.

You can find out more about Bridget on her blog, Bridie By The Sea, or on her social channels:

Mummy in a Tutu

7 thoughts on “Flexi Mamas: Bridget from Bridie By The Sea”

    • Thank you so much Sarah, so kind of you. It’s certainly a learning curve and I think a lot more thought needs to go into flexi working for companies if they’d like to support parents going back to work xx

    • Thank you so much Sarah, so kind of you. It’s certainly a learning curve and I think a lot more thought needs to go into flexi working for companies if they’d like to support parents going back to work xx

  • Great series. Can we as women really have it all? We have been sold that idea but is it true or is there always something that has to give? Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime ?

  • Love this series. I decided when we moved house that I would focus on blogging too. Working from home with both kids at home has been tough, so I’m glad the summer hols are over haha! #ablogginggoodtime

  • I love this Bridie. So honest! I think you are right most companies offer part time but really the job requires full time attention and so it leaves us feeling like a failure. A failure you are certainly not and I think it takes a lot of guts to do what you did and find happiness and balance a different way. Glad it’s all working out for you. Thank you for sharing with #StayClassyMama Katie. This is a really great series. x

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