Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Working Experiment

So, BB is 4 months old now and it's time I started thinking about going back to work...

Do I want to?

Well, maybe, a little bit. It could be nice to have some stimulation and challenges other than those of keeping on top of the washing, cleaning, cooking, playtime and nappies. But at the same time I don't want to miss out on any time with my little guy. I had a baby because I wanted to be a mum - not because I wanted someone else to take care of him. Plus, I have spoken to a couple of childminders - nice and well meaning I have no doubt, but they do have different ideas to me...

There's also the guilt. I'd feel guilty if I worked. Unfortunately this is a double edged sword as I would also feel guilty if I didn't. Despite paying in to the UK benefit system, even during the 10 years I lived overseas, it somehow feels wrong to live off the state. Then at the same time the logical part of my brain says that it is OK - it wont be forever, just while BB is little. Once he starts school I am determined that I will model being a working mum, but in the meantime, being a mum who is at home caring for her little one is more important to me.

So what are my options? Firstly I have been offered 0.4 of a full time role at my old work until July only. Not my old job, but a job at least. They did point out that this 0.4 of full time did not mean 2 days though - it could even be spread over 5 days. I think the truth is that they don't really want me back so they are making the offer unattractive. Reality is that the funding for my role disappeared in the government 'austerity measures' . They have failed to return my calls about it since June! Do I want to work there in these circumstances? Possibly not! But I did enjoy my work before, and I had some nice colleagues, I could talk about stuff other than poop and puke! If I did this job, by the time I paid childcare and lost some benefits, I would be slightly worse off than if I didn't work at all!

Another alternative would be to work from home doing a similar thing (helping year 11 students get their maths GCSE). I could have a babysitter take care of Arthur at home and students could come here. In reality though, between school finishing and then getting Arthur's tea and bath time, I could probably only see one student a day. If I did this I would be WORSE off.

So, as trying to work out how I feel about this wasn't helping me to decide - how about a more logical, practical, financial look at the situation.

In summary it looks like this

A - do no work
B - A little work (tutoring from home)
C - A little more work (go back to my old work place)
? - If only I knew what this was!

It seems that neither B nor C make financial or practical sense. There would be nothing financially gained for sacrificing my time, away from BB. So, I either do nothing, or I have to do MORE work or different, more FRUITFUL work to be better off.

In reality I don't think more work is a good option. Already it is a challenge to fit everything in, by everything that is all the household chores, plus a weekly swim class for BB, a post natal pilates class for me whilst BB enjoys a lovely creche, a visit to nana, and we try to squeeze in some form of mum and baby meet up once a week. Just this week we missed the pilates as we had to get ready for DD to come for the weekend. More work would mean missing more things, not good for BB (or me for that matter).

So, can I work smarter? Is there something else I could do? An internet business perhaps, that I do in the free moments, while BB plays or sleeps. I am exploring ideas... and I welcome yours!!!

Meantime, I am going to try and find out just how much time I have. Hence the "Working Experiment". I am going to see how much I could achieve online in a week. I am aiming for at least one blog post a day, and some items sold on ebay, and my business ideas written up, and some research done on importing goods from Oz, selling herbal remedies, online selling, drop shipping, how to make money on ebay...

We'll see how we go.

To start with, this post was started about 4 and a half hours ago, but I have fed, played with and bathed BB in that time too... I didn't manage to feed myself properly thought - I just munched on cheese and bickies - so off to get some real food!
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1 comment:

  1. Oh yeah. It's such a dilemma. I have to say I personally feel no guilt at all about accepting government entitlements while I'm raising my little ones. Entitlements are there for a reason and if you qualify it's because it was designed with your cohort in mind. Still, now that F is on solids and it's easier for him to handle breaks from me of more than 2 hours, I do feel compelled to work. For two reasons - like you - to engage my mind and to improve our quality of life. It's a very fine balance IMO. F has just started at day care one day a week. Of course I miss him, but... what a relief! I can't believe how productive I was that day. You almost don't know what you're not achieving until you get a breather and have the opportunity to achieve again. Anyway, good luck working it out. I'll be interested to read how your thinking progresses. I'm absolutely in the same boat and I hope we can both make it work out well for our little families!

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