Lateral jobhunting

I am having fun cobbling together some kind of a means of earning a living around childcare. Im the lucky one in that I am one half of a joint income partnership, albeit a modest one. But when you have to shoe-horn work around nursery and school pick-up and drop off times you have to think laterally.

Thinking laterally for me means scanning Gumtree jobs for anything part-time that makes me think ‘yeah I could do that’.

I like Gumtree jobs because some of the positions are quite off the wall. Its also the kind of place where you will find people who just want a little bit of help with childcare/ house-hold chores/ dog grooming/ horse care etc – all of which I have plenty of experience of but have never been paid.

I already have two little jobs. One working from home and one teaching children to cycle on roads but both pay a fraction above the minimum wage. In fact I would earn more working in a petrol station. Oil still rules the world but I dont fancy being its mistress.

While I find income I still have to pay the HMRC for the childcare costs they shouldnt  have paid me last year because I was over the threshold of eligibility. Well in that case they neeto re-assess the limit because I had to leave a perfectly good job because it was no longer earning anything after childcare. A bullshit system ? Must be the Tories….

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

disposable potential

There are two things in this world that are disposable but have the potential to change lives: money and time.

The two are inextricably linked. Like so many people in this world, my husband and I are low on cash and low on time and in this situation it often feels you are going nowhere fast. I am fortunate enough to have the flexibility to use my time as I wish, partly because childcare costs mean I am at home.

My husband is shifting career paths and has taken a reduced salary in order to do this. When he isnt working, he is driving, when he isnt doing either of those he is sleeping. I suppose I am just trying to do the right thing by everyone and help put a bit too, which often feels like my life and how it is divided resembles a complex multi-coloured pie-chart.

He is trying to negotiate a better deal, one in which a family of four could be sustained, but it isnt easy.

I re-assure him that as long as we can afford a roof over our heads and food in the cupboard we cant ask for more.

It is at times like these when you realise how much inflation is winning the race over earnings and foodbanks and foodbank collections in local shops are now more and more commonplace.

This blog is for Unicef. Thanks for reading.

Right mindset for a guilty mum?

What is better? Working from home around the children and other commitments or commuting every day to an office, paying for childcare and returning home to spend evenings and weekends with your children?

I have done both and I can honestly say I havent the faintest idea. At work in an office, my baby boy is in childcare and I can focus on work at home my baby boy is with me most of the time but my focus isnt always on him and Peppa Pig episodes do come in handy, but I will always ensure during the day we get to do something purely for baby boy, even if it is just for a couple of hours. But I still feel guilty. I think that is the biggest problem deciding between both lifestyles, the guilt is equal.

You have to be really good at ‘mindfulness’ when working from home and looking after children as well. I have to let go of the to do list for periods so I cam focus on being Mum, but be ready to pick it up again as and when I need it. If I mix both, I become this ‘on edge’ mother and snappy and I hate that. So you have o be a chameleon but not let it f*** up your head.

My daughter isnt as affected as she is at school and I am still able to be there for her at the beginning and the end of the day but I still wonder if she has noticed a difference in my mindset. As for baby boy, I would love to know what he thinks too, but at 3 years old (almost) I wonder if he could tell me (or am I too afraid to ask).

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.