With my eldest starting big school in the Autumn and my youngest turning 2 (where has the time gone?) this Summer, I had become acutely aware that the baby years are almost behind me and that I should start thinking about my next step. In my head I was laying the foundations for my job search, by bookmarking recruitment and company websites of interest, with the aim of starting the job hunt in earnest after my daughter had settled in at school. In the 2 years, 9 months and 17 days I have spent as a Stay-at-home-Mum, my priorities have clearly changed. I no longer seek to climb the career ladder (for now!) and having spent a lot of time with my children, I still want to be there at the school gate and to support them. This probably equates to having my cake and eating it…don’t mind if I do!
I long ago discounted the notion of starting my own business or having a crack at the numerous direct selling opportunities that promise to give you the flexibility around your home life but in reality mean that you fit in work when the children are napping or after they are in bed. How would I find time to write my blog if I did? I knew too that I would not and could not work full-time or spend many an evening on a laptop. It just doesn’t work for our current family dynamic and we are fortunate that I don’t have to. We don’t have the luxury of free grandparent childcare so any job would have to cover childcare costs but to be honest, I don’t think that our parents should be looking after our children on a regular basis (the odd night or weekend is very welcome though!). They’ve been there, done that and I rather suspect I will feel much the same when I reach that stage in my life.
Anyway, I was after that elusive part-time job where I could still use my brain but be there for my children. So imagine my reaction while I was surfing one of the recruitment websites that was advertising for a part-time, term time only job based in Reading. As a bonus it was an industry that I am familiar with and as a charity, my recent voluntary work with the NCT has given me some valuable extra experience. It ticked all the boxes and it was an opportunity that I couldn’t ignore. I was disheartened to find that there had already been 100+ applications according to the recruitment website and felt that my chances of landing the role were slim. Fortunately the company name was mentioned in the ad and I decided to apply directly through the organisation’s website in the hope of giving myself a better chance. I suspect that this, combined with the fact that I put in my application at the eleventh hour, improved my chances.
Two weeks after going for the interview I was offered the job and two weeks after that I started work. I was lucky to be able to negotiate my working hours so that it would fall on my daughter’s pre-school days and even more fortunate that my next door neighbour has just started childminding again. I love it when a plan comes together! My only debate now is how to categorise myself. I am technically no longer a Stay-at-home-Mum but equally I don’t feel like a working mum yet and with 6 glorious weeks to spend with my children this summer holidays, I suspect I will be more confused than ever on what to call myself.
And for those of you wondering whether I have managed to maintain my straight hair and make up for work, it’s only been 3 weeks, so yes. Give me another month and the curly hair and natural face of the 4 days that I don’t work may make an appearance!
‘I Did It Mummy’ fundraising for BIBS – https://www.justgiving.com/IDidItMummy