Episode 10: Meaghan

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In this episode, I interview Meaghan, a midwife, mother of 3 and owner of the online children’s clothes shop Mister and Muse (https://www.misterandmuse.com.au/). We talk about the logistics of getting 3 kids around, night shift, conflicting work shifts and what the nursing and midwifery industry is doing right and wrong in retaining working mothers.

The Lowdown

– Family of 5
– 2 working parents
– 1 full time
– 1 part-time (shift work)
– 3 children
– 1 at school
– 1 at kindy
– 1 at home/childcare

My guest blog post ‘8 Things I’ve learnt from interviewing working mums’ on the BHND blog can be found here: http://bhndblog.com/8-things-ive-learnt-interviewing-working-mums/


3:00 Sleep
3:32 There were 5 in the bed….
3:54 Solving the night time squish with a new kids bedroom?
4:14 King size beds
4:44 An extra 30cms in the bedroom
4:56 The kicking zone
5:20 Who are the people in your family?
5:50 Husband leaves the house around 6 am
6:52 The year of 5 people going in 5 different directions
7:04 The joy of having 2 at school
8:00 Working around kindy hours
9:12 Mix of day and night shifts
9:50 Nurses and midwives going back to work after children
10:30 Shift work!
11:18 Generally rules are to return within 2 years of children
11:36 How much time off after having a child?
11:55 Night shift can work for the family
12:02 Nightshift = no childcare, dayshift = childcare
13:20 Nightshift, get kids to school then sleep
13:58 Health impact of getting less sleep
14:04 Parenting super powers
14:28 Being a pushover!
14:48 Experience with 3 kids
15:16 Podcast about working and having young children: Improving the Lives of Working Parents Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/improving-the-lives-of-working-parents-podcast/id1201085082?mt=2
15:54 Partners super power
16:00 Fun!
17:16 How is the childcare managed
17:40 I am doing all drop offs and pick ups for all 3 kids
18:18 1 hour overlap of night shift and husband leaving at 6 am
18:54 Weekend shifts to avoid the overlap
19:00 Always getting 3 kids out the door in the morning with partner already out
19:38 Being a morning person
20:00 Quality family time in the morning: http://www.headofacodfish.com/victoria/
21:04 Pre-kindy and school baking
21:24 Had the ability to choose?
21:56 Logistics do play a part
22:02 Work and home balance has been taken away to a degree
22:14 Mum guilt
22:36 What works well
22:42 Respect and understanding of goals between partners
23:28 Change in thought process when having a baby after a bigger age gap
24:22 Not really sure where to put energy when you don’t know if you are having another child
25:22 Glimpses of life with older children
26:02 Career change mid child rearing years
26:42 Days governed by 1-year-olds sleeps or a 2-year-old tyrant
26:52 3rd child syndrome
27:44 Different personalities and birth order
29:08 Growing up as an only child then being a parent to 3
29:28 Downsides
29:38 Parents quality time
31:10 Using all the babysitting budget for things you have to do, not leaving much for date nights
32:24 What scenario has worked best?
32:32 Having more set routine for work, better ie childcare can be booked on set days
32:52 Husband also has more stability with taking on extra work
33:14 Enforced 7-day rosters
33:28 Doesn’t take into consideration some would prefer weekdays, or weekends, night shifts, day shifts, set days etc
34:12 In a workforce of 70 you could make a roster work with these preferences because there is always going to be some one who prefers that shift
35:02 More flexibility, shorter shifts would work better for some people
35:24 Next step – 2 at school
36:20 You get more time then you fill it in with other things
36:50 Study, more hours, different work role
38:02 School days get filled very quickly
38:14 Do you feel well supported in your paid work environments
38:40 Would like husband to have more flexibility
38:54 Husband has a more traditional view of work
39:10 Rules and culture for men working flexibility
39:50 Flexibility for many reasons – children, elderly parents, sport, voluntary work
40:40 Flex for every role policies
40:18 Need more flexibility for men!
40:40 Rules will allow men’s flexible work but culture discourages it
41:36 Would more men taking on flexible work break down the idea of women being ‘workers’ or ‘mother’ but not both
42:12 Will more men doing both make it more understood that it they are not binary, women can be a mother and ambitious?
43:00 Funny or disastrous moments?
43:28 Always a big scramble of ‘parental admin’ (a phrase I got from Cathy here: http://www.headofacodfish.com/cathy2/
44:36 Is the third child with me?
44:56 Is family what you thought it would be?
45:00 It’s busier!
45:10 I love the dynamics
45:44 Being busy and being more effective, getting busy enough to hit your stride
46:38 The difference between a morning when you are out the house for drop off and when you aren’t
47:40 Advice?
47:44 Be kind to yourself
47:46 Don’t sweat the small stuff
48:40 Take time to communicate with your children

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We put a lot of pressure on ourselves for 100% perfecttion, but that is not what makes children happy   We have this idea that woman has children, works part time, she turning into