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What does part-time work mean to you?

Working part-time means different things to different people. For some it is the ultimate work-life balance and allows more free time. However, for working mothers “Part-time” refers to “the part of your life that you get paid for” and for some this implies that the rest of the time you are sitting around having coffee, catching up with friends and relaxing.

As a mum I know that is so far from the truth it’s comical. It can be hard when you describe to someone else what you do during the day and you can see them thinking “all right for some”, “nice life”, “coffee, play dates, how easy”. And yet the reality of it can be far from this.

As a part-time vet and full time mum you are the ultimate multi-tasker, you are a clinician, a diagnostician, a decision maker, a home maker, a carer, an organizer, a cook, a cleaner, a financial controller, a peace maker…and I could go on!! All of these roles and all of these jobs need to be fitted into the 24 hours you have. For me the easy bit is being a clinician!

Other vets in my practice think that I’m joking when I say that going to work is the easy bit of my week for me, it is the part where I can think, do something for myself, for my career and not be at the constant demand of a small child!

I have several actual Jobs, I am a Mother, I am a clinician, I am a coach and mentor and I run a holiday cottage. I love all my jobs and for me the most important is being a mother to my 2 precious children, however I wouldn’t be able to do that without having the other jobs I have too.

Working part time as a vet gives me back "my time" and freedom to think, something I never appreciated until I had the children and returned to work. By working it gives me the break form the children and them from me. It may be a well-worn phrase but for me its true “working makes me a better mother”. I have more patience with them when I know that I have done something for myself, used my brain and interacted with adults.

Some may think it selfish but it’s really important to find the balance that works for you, makes your life work for you and your family. So what do you want to get out of returning to work? Is it just to pay the bills? provide a purposeful contribution to animal care? Over the past 5 years I have asked myself many questions and done a lot of soul searching, at times the balance hasn’t been right, at times I have been lost to know exactly what it is from being a mum and a vet, now I am much clearer what my needs are and how those needs can be fulfilled. Its important to know what it is you want to get from returning to work so you can make your new role as a vet and a mum work for you.

About VDS Training
VDS Training are passionate about developing all members of the veterinary team, to help you overcome the personal and professional challenges you face on a daily basis, and to build practical skills and techniques to make a real difference to you and your life.