18 months ago I gained a place on the Media Parent’s ‘Back to Work Scheme’ and was asked to describe how I felt about jumping back into the whirlwind world of TV, writes Ali McBride. As my daughter Matilda reached the impressive age of 8 months, I wrote these words… ‘Bewildered, daunted, excited, pressured and engaged’.
18 months later when asked to write how I feel about being a full-time working mum the exact same words spring to mind… ‘Bewildered, daunted, excited, pressured and engaged’. The difference now is that the ball of fear has gone from the pit of my stomach. Yes I’ve become the master of plate spinning, yes I yearn for the nights out I once took for granted and yes I wish there were more hours in every day but, on the flip side, after the initial gut wrenching tears at the nursery gate both mum and daughter are right into the swing of balancing work, rest (okay that’s a joke) and play.
To ease myself back into the world of work I ventured into Edit Producing. Like many parents are now finding it seems to be one of the few jobs where you can manage the demands of work and home life with the stability it brings. But, as soon as I accepted that my daughter was flourishing in the company of others (devastating for any new mum to learn that other people actually have the ability to look after your first born as well as you!) I realised I wanted to get back to Series Producing to see if I could manage spinning a few more plates. So for the last 5 months, on Call The Council, made in house for BBC Salford, I’ve juggled 2 crews, 5 offline suites and delivering 15 x 45 daytime programmes for the BBC alongside teething, dressing up as your favourite book character and a few sleepless nights. Dare I say it… I’ve loved it.
So would I recommend going back to work in TV after starting a family…. Yes I would. I know I’m lucky.. supportive hubby and grandparents on tap, but as well as that I feel that there are an increasing number of people who understand that you can make great TV and still leave the office on time(ish). I’d say go for it, set your own boundaries and be safe in the knowledge that whatever work throws at you, you’ll cope because it’s usually more manageable, and less sticky, than anything a two year old chucks your way!