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.