Life is all about balance. Balancing your work-life balance, eating a balanced diet, being balanced in your views and as a leader for me, weighing things up to make a balanced decision is part of everyday life.
Lots of relationships in people’s lives are balanced too, you’ll hear people saying “You make a good team, you really balance each other.” Whether you find this in your personal relationships or at work, it’s something to hold onto for sure. Professionally, I know this from experience and feel lucky to have found this in my current post. I am lucky to work with an amazing leader and I hope we provide the balance for all those we lead.
When things do not balance it leaves us considering what could be and can lead to us being unhappy. Throughout life we have to make decision to balance things. I think when we can do this it really makes a difference to a mental well-being.
Having just become a Mum I am returning to work after almost a year of maternity leave. Of course, I am aware how difficult life as a working Mum will be, but I have decided to return to work in order to get the balance right for me and my family. I think for me, it will make me a better Mum as it will give me a balance of caring for my daughters and being a teacher. Before becoming a Mum, I was a teacher for 18 years. Of course, nothing worth its weight in gold comes easy in life and this is definitely a good example of this. I have yet to find a fellow colleague who says it’s easy being a working Mum, but I do speak to several working Mum’s who say it gives them a balance, the balance they need. I can empathise with this and that’s what I am aspiring to achieve.
I also feel that returning to work part-time as a senior leader will give me a balance of work and home which I hope will make me more reflective about both my work at school and work as a Mum. It will give me time to step back, step out of the building to think. I am going to maintain my Mum work day solely for being a Mum, in order to keep the balance well and truly alive. I think without this self-discipline it’s impossible to get the balance I am looking for.
Only this morning as I was out running did I realise that another benefit of having this balance of work and mum work as I like to call it, I will be able to truly say I can empathise with fellow colleagues who work part-time. In an era where schools and organisations are encouraged to look for flexible working patterns for employees; and particularly women who return after maternity leave, I feel this is incredibly valuable for me to experience. One day, perhaps if I choose to become a Headteacher, I can truly empathise about the benefits of working part-time as a Senior Leader. The best Headteachers I have worked with have always been the ones who have ‘been there, done it, got the t-shirt’ ones and I want to be able to say I can understand how it can work so that I too can ensure I can offer such flexible working contracts to keep staff and families happy, which after all is what all emotionally intelligent leaders do. This quote sums-up my aspiration: