Friday 30 March 2012

A Mother's Work Meme

I was tagged a few weeks ago by A Working Mum in the Mother's Work Meme created by Mother Wife Me.

So here are the rules etc.

A Mother’s Work Meme
Please post the rules
Answer the questions in as much or as little detail as suits you
Leave a comment on so we can keep track of the meme
Tag 3 people and link to them on your blog
Let them know you tagged them
Tweet loudly about taking part (well ok, that isn’t a rule, but how about if we start a hashtag – #amothersworkmeme)

1.  Did you work before becoming a mum?
2.  What is your current situation?
3.  Freestyle – got your own point you’d like to get across on this issue? Here’s your chance

1. Did you work before becoming a mum?
I was a case manager for a health insurance company and I loved my job. I had had a few roles in the company and really enjoyed the work I did. I knew when I became pregnant we'd have to make some tough decisions, as the cost of childcare and transport would have left me with very little take home pay. Then I ended up going off on sick at 16 weeks pregnant as I felt "weird". The stress was getting to me, and I wasn't coping at work. Turns out, I was developing pre eclampsia, and had my baby at 27 weeks gestation. I never went back.

2. What is your current situation?
When Joseph was born I was adamant I wanted to raise him myself at home. I was advised to keep out of nursery until he was 2 by our medical team, as he was immune compromised. So I accepted voluntary redundancy and stayed home. After he turned two I was approached to join a home care company. I hadn't worked in care for a number of years but thought it would be suitable work for me to balance child rearing and bring in some much needed cash, as things are incredibly tight on one income.

So now I work variable hours, around 20 per week, and at the moment I am working nightshift. I am knackered, but happy. I love the work, the hours are great, my bosses are understanding.

3. Freestyle - My Bugbear - Flexibility and Ridiculous demands for no money
I applied for several jobs before finding this one. I found that no one wanted me as I couldn't be flexible. I am willing to work evenings nights and weekends, but can't work in the day so easily (for the next reason coming up), so you would think that in many roles this would be ideal. No. At every turn I got knocked back. It also peeves me that work training etc is all done Monday - Friday 9-5. Support work is not Monday - Friday 9-5 so why don't these companies that offer training offer unsociable hours? Childcare is NOT flexible. We have no family at all in the UK, no one who can take Joseph for a day or whatever. You can't easily book childcare for one off days. It's virtually impossible. And I wouldn't really want to dump Joseph just anywhere. It just annoys me that there's this buzz word of "flexibility" but it's a dead end, one way street.

The next thing that really sticks in my throat that certainly up here in the North, its very difficult to find anything above minimum wage that has any degree of flexibility. Childcare is so expensive, its a real discincentive to work. My husband works and whilst he doesn't earn a fortune the government has now decided we don't need tax credits or help with childcare. It's stupid and its unfair. I have really struggled with this. I am happy to accept my close to minimum wage job as I have little costs, but it just gets my goat that the burden falls onto women, by and large, particularly those who haven't got a stunning career.

Thus endeth my rant. I'm copping out and not tagging which I know is naughty but this has been a well circulated and well loved meme. If you see it, and fancy doing it, then you are tagged!



  1. Hello! Thanks so much for taking part in A Mother's Work Meme. It's a very good point that in certain areas of the country it is difficult to find anything above minimum wage that has any degree of flexibility. That, coupled with crippling childcare costs and a government busy taking away tax credits and child benefit from families that really do need it, make for a stressful time for a lot of mothers and families.

  2. Hi and thanks for taking part. It's interesting what you say about being up north making a difference to availability of jobs. I've just spent a few days with a friend in London (I live near Leeds) and was amazed at how many more opportunities there are in the south and how prosperous people seem. There is definitely more of a polarisation in the North of wealth and opportunities.