How not to return to work after having a baby: part two

As you may recall from the first instalment, I didn’t go back to work after having Dude. I did keep looking for work, preferably something I could do from home. In my heart of hearts, I knew that leaving the Dude to be cared for by someone else regularly wasn’t right for him. I did start to feel more confident about him being ready for a little ‘away’ time from me as he is so very independent whenever we go anywhere. He runs off, gets involved in other kids’ games, climbs things, goes really far away from me without a glance back to check I’m there. I thought maybe he would actually benefit from a couple of half days away playing with other kids.

A few weeks ago, I took him to visit my mum up at Byron. I thought I’d get heaps of time to myself while grandma gets her fix. How wrong I was! He was very suspicious of everything she offered him to eat, due in part to the fact that she mixed up some ricotta and avocado in mashed potato and he wasn’t a fan of the whole mixed mushy thing. And towards the end of the week he started having a tough time teething and just wanted to be held and fed for hours and hours.  He really clung to me, even when he wasn’t teething, and I realised that I really am his security point, so because he was in strange surroundings, he kept me close by.  The whole idea of putting him in some kind of care for a few hours a week completely went out the window; he clearly wasn’t ready.

I must say I was beginning to find it really hard going having to justify my choice to stay at home all the time, and deal with not having enough money to do what we need to do.  Mr Chewbacca stresses out about it all and feels he just doesn’t earn enough to keep us all going comfortably.  I think he’s a bit resentful of the fact that he has to be at work every day and I’m at home, and while he understands the importance of what I’m doing with the Dude, he still feels a bit ripped off.  I guess that’s fair enough.  It’d be different if he earnt a lot more money and we were more comfortable and living somewhere we love.  But that’s another story for another post.

I would still log onto various job-finding websites a couple of times a week and search for work-from-home jobs.  They are few and far between, especially doing writing or editing or online work.  Most jobs working from home involve telemarketing or something equally hideous and I just knew that kind of thing wouldn’t be suitable.  It would have to be something that at least utilised my skills in part and I wouldn’t want to be on the phone all the time.  I half-heartedly searched and found nothing much, although I did apply for half a dozen or so positions over the last few months, with no success, barely even an acknowledgement.

Then, a break! A close friend texted to ask if I was interested in 12 hours work from home doing what she’d been doing for a past few months, admin type work, mainly online.  Yes!  I immediately said I was keen and we had a chat about it. She and I have known each other so long that she knew immediately it would be up my alley, and I knew she is always on the money. She recommended me and I met with my prospective employer, Dude in tow, and she offered me the job!  It’s not great money, but better than nothing and at least a start.  It’s possible the hours may change, so who knows.  I’m actually enjoying it, enjoying the forced routine, and the Dude is coping well too.  It feels like such a smooth transition, no stress, no pressure, defined hours, and a very flexible employer.  It’s been only two weeks so far but I certainly do feel very lucky to have secured something like this.  I now realise that it’s unlikely I’ll ever go back to working 9-5 in an office; that’s so last century!

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Author: curiosikat

Writer, editor, linguist, social historian...

One thought on “How not to return to work after having a baby: part two”

  1. Kat! I hear you sister… I think it’s a shame more parents don’t have the opportunity to stay at home and work. In technological age, it’s illogical that workplaces don’t make more concessions for mothers and fathers. Imagine how many more women (and I say women as we are generally the primary carer of our offspring) would return to workforce if they were offered more flexible hours and locations.

    I am so thankful to have the opportunity to work from home as I see my friends with children about my age (the children, not the friends hahaha) struggling with returning to work from a ‘judged mummy’ point of view, childcare options, commute times, money etc and I think it would just about turn me off having more kids.

    My job may not be my dream job, but at least it allows me to be a SAHM.

    My other gripe is that more people don’t have part-time or job share opportunities. Imagine if you and Mr C. could work part-time each and have equal time at home with the Dude… Nich and I hope to get to the point where we can both work part-time, unfortunately, I don’t think it will happen until our kids are in school.

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