My friend Alexis is the epitome of awesome. She’s the kind of person you simply just want to be around. I knew Alexis in a former life as we worked together at an agency in New York, and we both found ourselves on the west coast, living by the beach and cultivating quiet and perspective. […]
I have been plunged into a scenario that most working mums dream of – the chance to genuinely have a work life balance through a home-working ob – that also pays the bills – and you don’t have to be self-employed.
I jumped at this chance, turning my back on a career move that would have helped me climb the ladder, but at the expense of my family. Its a choice I made with my head as well as my heart and a choice I was very grateful to receive. It took hard work and perseverance to get to this point though – 5 months of job-hunting, application forms and interviews – to whittle down to the jobs that were actually going to be achievable without your family self imploding.
I know the feminist part of me says that guys dont have those considerations – they just go for it and expect the other half to pick up the pieces of school runs, bedtime routines etc. But my hubby would be happy for me to go for the job with the longer ladder – we just cant afford the childcare costs at the moment (and I do still want to be a part of their daily lives before they become teens and wish to disown me out of embarrassment).
Childcare is still a big issue for Mums on middle to low incomes. The fact of the matter is that if you have a preschooler, work just doesnt pay. Have 5 years off and you have an awful loy of catching up to do – and best of luck getting flexible working around school hours. There are still many schools who do not offer breakfast clubs and frequent after school clubs, so even once they are at school age there are still a number of hours to cover if you want to fit in a 9-5 plus commute time.
So I am so delighted to have found a forward thinking organisation willing to invest in home working. They recognise that people can be just as productive, if not more so, when they are given the chance to be parents too and spend more time working rather than commuting.
I will let you know how it goes – just need to sort out my new ‘she shed’.
This blog is for Unicef – thanks for reading.
The reports of the desperation of Syrian refugees and the suffering they continue to endure as they seek a safe haven concerns us all.
Yet it is difficult sometimes to prove concern is genuine when walking by a homeless person in London begging on the side of the street. I acknowledge their existence with an apologetic smile knowing that I havent got much in my purse to give, mainly because most of it has gone on childcare and commuting and food – but at least I have the money to start with.
A couple of the people sleeping rough looked like they could be asylum seekers. It made me wonder if they too had travelled a long and perilous journey to survive only to end up on the side of a cold wet street collecting coins with a coffee cup. I wanted to give but I couldn’t, so I joined the many walking past one person in need. If we can’t help one person then what chance do thousands of migrants have?
It is a sad and lonely thought about the real truth of being human – there is only so much we can do beyond our own needs and that of our family.
This blog is for UNICEF.
Thanks for reading.
On my birthday in January I enjoyed a ride on a dressage horse for the first time in a year. For Mother’s Day, I took the children to a local point to point to get another dose of horses. We were all having a good time until the horse we backed, Mr Bennett, hit the last fence as he approached the racing post gunning for 1st position. We didn’t notice any problem until we saw the jockey try to stay on board a racehorse who was suddenly moving very strangely. The jockey jumped off just before or after the post, I can’t remember exactly where as we all noticed the horse’s back leg hanging like a sock – completely broken. Within seconds the vet was there to give him a painkiller and the green screen was erected. My children looked on hoping he would be alright but I explained that a broken back leg usually means the horse has to be put down. One minute we were cheering his name, the next we were watching him as the vet had to do what he could for the horses’ likely last moments.
I reassured my daughter that he died doing what he loved most. But nethertheless it was a sad introduction to horse racing – one moment the thrill of cheering your horse on then the sympathy for the groom, trainer and owner as a beautiful and graceful horse is sadly put to sleep.
Another analogy for life and it’s peaks, troughs, twists and turns.
I too have lost horses, they are unique beings – once they touch your life, the need to be part of the horse world – in whatever shape or form – is perpetual.
They are brave too – Mr Bennett crossed the line on 3 legs and still came 3rd – an amazing horse.
This blog is for UNICEF.
Thanks for reading.