So I’m having a hard time at the moment trying to figure out where I should be. I am loving being at home looking after our youngest, and feel fortunate to be able to do so, but I am missing the mental stimulation of work. Not to mention the extra wage.
But when I’ve looked for employment opportunities that fit my wish list – role suited to my background and qualifications, providing some sort of flexibility for family balance, pay relative to my qualifications and experience – there is nothing. Either they are willing to pay a decent wage and equal to my experience, but I have no flexibility for kids and would barely see them as I’d be working long hours. Or they are flexible with hours so I could have some time with my kids, but I would be back to a graduate type position, and after the cost of childcare, I’d be left with next to nothing.
Why does it have to be this hard? (Now imagine me hitting my forehead with the palm of my hand).
Do organisations not realise the benefits that parents returning to work can offer?
As well as my list of job experience, I can also provide them with my ability to multitask. At home, I can manage to prepare dinner with a screaming toddler hanging off my leg, allowing me to only pivot on one leg and reach as far as my arms will stretch, whilst my six year old is asking me complicated questions about different types of rocks and ancient Egypt – all without losing my shit, or cutting off my finger by accident in the process.
Give me 15 minutes of uninterrupted time and I can get the washing machine on, dishwasher loaded up and on, and the vacuum run over the floors. I could probably even squeeze in a partial prep for dinner too.
Imagine what I could accomplish in an office without the noise of a screaming child, a computer that actually cooperates and the ability to just get on with the task at hand?
In a previous job, I was able to get a full week’s worth of work done in three days. When I left, they split my role in to two positions, both of them full time. Shows how much I can get done when given the opportunity, and have access to red frogs and coffee 🙂
I once worked with a manager who said that if he had the ability to choose who the organisation hired, he would only choose parents, for this exact ability of being able to multitask successfully.
Politicians are always banging on about how valuable parents are and that they want them to return to the work force after children. Well how about you make it easier? Some childcare centres in Australia are charging more than some of this country’s most expensive private schools. Or think of it more like paying rent on a house in Sydney. $800 a week. $40,000 a year. And that is if you can actually even get a place in a childcare centre. Don’t even get me started on the lack of vacancies in child care centres.
So I think for now I’ll be grateful for this time at home with our youngest. Once he is older I’ll reintegrate myself back to the corporate world and swap my jeans for a suit. But I will keep looking for that unicorn of a job that would offer me everything I was after.