I’m stuck

Hamster-wheel (1)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.

 

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35 thoughts on “I’m stuck

  1. It’s that thing that all us mothers have to battle once we give up our careers to have kids. I’m fortunate that I can do what I do from anywhere, so I’ll probably never go back to working for someone else. I can’t imagine the frustration you must be feeling! But there are LOTS of bloggers in this boat and it’s something I read about almost weekly. And do enjoy that home time, they grow stupidly fast!

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  2. Yes, us parents are the best multitaskers and could do the jobs of 10 people! But you are right, it is so hard to find work that suits. So many people are in the same ‘boat’ unfortunately. I am lucky as I do work from home (when I can with a screaming toddler), but that doesn’t suit everyone.

    Keep looking, something may just pop up eventually :). xo

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  3. Oh I know this tune well… it is SO freaking hard, ridiculous really. I ended up going back to my old job (which I SWORE I’d never go back to!) because they offered flexibility & decent money for 3 days pw. But it means that I’m trying to do a full time job in 3 days pw, a job I don’t love, which gives me the sh*ts quite often. But I need the stable income so it has to do for now! Good luck 🙂

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  4. Mothers are awesome and you are doing a fabulous job being at home , it seems a good decision for right now. I guess we make the best decision at the time and who nows what tomorrow brings.

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  5. I know the feeling! I feel guilty I’m not a teacher or a nurse in this small country town I live in but to be honest it’s not my cup of tea. We always planned I’d be a SAHM but I do miss the work place. Blogging has suddenly brought something that was missing in my world. And how lovely is our bloggy community 🙂 something perfect will pop up soon. Til then enjoy your time with the kids, they’ll be big kids before you know it x

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  6. It’s really hard isn’t it? My last baby made some structural changes to my pelvis while she was in residence, which unfortunately means I can’t go back to the line of work for which I have qualifications and experience. I just can’t be relied upon to stand up for more than half an hour at a time.
    I have guilt coming out the yityang that my husband works (though in fairness only 3 days a week) and I get Family Tax benefit, and the copy-writing work I can drum up (which is hit and miss.) He has no problems with this, he’s a lovely man, but it’s really impacted my sense of self worth and how I feel about my contributions to the family.

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  7. I have said those exact words only recently – “I feel stuck!”. At home with my 2 year old, not able to find suitable part time work and feeling like my career has halted. My word for 2015 has been acceptance – accept the stage of life I am at, and create opportunities for myself around that. It’s always comforting to hear your own thoughts echoed by others in the same situation!x

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  8. Yes I can also relate, I find it so hard to balance work with my home life. I feel like the worst employee ever because I just can’t stay focussed on my job – I’m always worrying about home or thinking about things on the to do list. I wish I didn’t have to work but I do and in a way I enjoy not having the stress of money always being an issue.

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  9. You are right that the economy and society loses in not recognising the value of parents, and that’s usually Mums who just want some flexibility in employment in exchange for great skills and hard work. I’ve compromised, but it’s not a bad compromise. Enjoy the time at home with your little one.

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  10. Oh every word of this post rings true. Even though I’m lucky to work for an organisation that offers all roles flex and have negotiated a 3 day a week role on my return to work after mat leave, in my area of expertise which I (kinda) love… I still feel trapped in a way. If and when I’m ready to change jobs or companies there are simply no part time roles on offer in my area of qualification. Its crazy that big corporates don’t realise the benefits to their organisation and the whole economy by offering flexibility! Things need to change. In the meantime enjoy being at home.. such a precious time. Xx

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    1. That’s awesome you were able to negotiate flexible working days, if only more organisations thought that way too 🙂 You’re right, more big corporates need to get on board with flexibility! Maybe one day we’ll all be running huge corporations and can offer parents awesome opportunities…

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  11. Enjoy the time with your littlest while you can and why not eat some red frogs while you’re at it? Win, win! Good luck with your search – I am sure when the time is right, and the job is right, the planets will align in your favour.

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  12. It really is the Story of Us isn’t it. Not to put a downer on it but I was always under the impression that once they started school – I’d have more time to work, haha, then they said once highschool starts they don’t need you as much. They had no friggin idea! It could be because I have four but I just don’t see it like that. I have gone from doing up their seat belts to being their full time taxi driver. All in between trying to work 30 hours a week and be a professional at all times! I have had several jobs and most recently left a management job with good money because the stress was just too much. I demoted myself to less money and although there is still a daily struggle to fit everything in – it is less stressful than before. I don’t have any advice because it is such an individual and family decision. Just know that you are not alone. Mel xx

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    1. Thanks Mel! I know lots of parents that have also chosen less stressful jobs after having kids, to try and get more balance back. But it’s still a shame to have to do that after working so hard to get there in the first place! You’re right though, we’re all in a similar situation, I just wish more organisations realised that too and were more flexible at times.

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  13. Enjoy being home and watching your babies grow, it really does go very fast. It’s amazing how the right things tend to pop up when we least expect it… who knows what is waiting out there for you… or maybe it’s something you’ll create yourself in time? Take care Xx

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  14. You, my friend are a rock star. I am not a parent yet, but I teach junior high so I often feel like I have 102 twelve year olds… someday when I’m a mother I know I too will have to battle the balancing act of work and home life and I hope I can do so with such grace and sense of humor as you have. Good luck as you navigate this next chapter!

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  15. I once had a job with flexible hours, where I felt valuable and was able to contribute. But the stress of working and mothering and keeping house was, in the end, too much. So I accepted a redundancy last year and am now at home. I am writing and not really making any money but for the moment I am happy. I no longer have to run around between work and school although it would be nice to not have to worry about money again. I hope you can find a solution that suits you and your family’s needs – it’s seems such a simple ask, doesn’t it? Yet it’s so very hard to find…

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