43 Things: The Work Conundrum

Number 40 on my 43 Things list is ‘Change My Working Life’.

 Currently, I have two (very) part-time jobs working for local primary schools, for which I attend a several early evening meetings in school each month, and work from home the rest of the time.    I’m now in my sixth year of doing these jobs, and quite frankly, I’m bored with them.

 Ideally, I’d like to work part-time in an office environment.  I don’t have any grand career aspirations these days: before I was married I had a couple of fairly senior PA jobs, I worked as a recruitment consultant (something that I’d always wanted to do), and spent four years getting paid for cruising around the world on various liners.  So I feel like I’ve done the career thing, really.

After Will was born, I worked two days a week in an office job, which was perfect for me – plenty of time at home with my baby, and a couple of days a week earning some money, wearing heels and something not covered in baby sick, and conversing with adults about something other than my child. 

Unfortunately, when William started school, my employer wouldn’t let me change my working hours to enable me to pick Will up from school at 3.30 pm, so I took the decision to leave as I felt that at four years old, Will was too young to go to after school club and not be picked up until 5.30 pm.

And ever since then, I’ve been at home.  I’ve built up my eBay business, which I’m really proud of, and as I said, I have my two school jobs.  But I’m a little bit bored, and the days are hanging a little bit heavy.  And if I’m honest, maybe a bit lonely, too.  Not in a ‘woe is me, I have no friends, I have no life’ type of way, but just a bit lacking in adult company during the day.  And I’m a bit scared that I’m becoming a boring housewife with nothing to say.

So this week, I’ve been pondering on how to go about changing my working life.  And it’s not an easy one, I’m afraid.

  • Devon is not exactly a place buzzing with exciting work opportunities.
  • There are very, VERY few jobs around at the moment (I know, I’ve been looking).
  • The childcare issue – yeah, this is the biggie, really.  Ashley is away for work so much that I can’t rely on him to be around to help if I need it.  And the only other realistic option locally is Ashley’s mother, who I wouldn’t ask in a month of Sundays for help (various historical issues which I won’t go into here and now).
  •  And then there are school holidays – nine weeks in the summer, three plus  weeks each at Easter and Christmas, not to mention three week-long half terms through the year.  Yes, there are holiday clubs, but Will’s reached the age that he’s really not keen on them now.  And I’d feel mean forcing him to go.


All of which limits my options somewhat. 

 But only for a few years.  It only seems a heartbeat since Will was a toddler, so presumably, it will only seem like another one until he’s leaving home to go to university (typing that actually made me feel a bit sick).

And by the time he’s a teenager – only another couple of years – he won’t need an adult around 24/7, so things will be more flexible, and perhaps I can review the work situation then.

So, in the meantime, I think I will have to count my blessings, and try to make the most of spending time at home and having the freedom and time to do the things that I enjoy doing.  But I’ll keep looking for a job, and keep an open mind, because as life has taught me, you never know what’s around the corner.


7 thoughts on “43 Things: The Work Conundrum

  1. This was the whole reason I retrained in Beauty. It was ideal to be self employed and only work till 3pm to do the Little Mans school runs. He is 10 now and in a couple of years I might go back to work and it won’t be such an issue for a 13 year old to be a latch key kid.

  2. its such a hard thing to manage isn’t it? have you thought of doing a college course? might be an idea to do something that interests you and you might meet some interesting adults?? xxx

  3. I feel for you! As a single parent in Paris, I had no option: Claire would get dropped off at 8.15am and picked up at 6.30pm! But then, kids in France get a nap in “maternelle” until they are bout 6 anyway, so it wasn’t as horrendous as it sounds. Then in primary school she was at after school club until 7pm. Horrendous French working hours I tell you. When I came back to the UK I kept this up for a bit but when I lost my job when Claire was 10 it was fab because I could actually take her to and from school, and then I did a stint “self employed” where I taught French and typed and generally scratched a living like that. It wasn’t enough so I had to go back to work but I joined the NHS as a medical secretary and loved it (very flexible employer, too), but the workload became ridonkulous. Now, I’m on benefits having had the brain haemorrhage, and I’m loving being my own woman although those people who CHOOSE to live on benefits are crazy, cos money is very very tight. Anyway, as I’m getting better I’m looking at my next step and I feel the same way: I’ve done the career thing when I was younger, very senior PA positions etc, and my GP won’t let me go back to that anyway. Question is, what do I do?? Sorry, didn’t mean to hijack your post, but I just wanted to say I kind of know how you feel…. 🙂

  4. I haven’t enjoyed my job since I returned from adoption leave, but it’s so family friendly with my contract menaing I don’t work the Christmas schoolhols or the summer ones I would be a fool to leave. You are so right when you say that time flies so quickly when they are young. There the ones to make time for now.
    Lisa x

  5. Mo’s idea of doing an evening course is a good one – is there anything nearby that would take your fancy? Alternatively, I see lots of people looking for Virtual Assistants these days. I imagine it’s probably quite similar to what you’re doing though. What about volunteering? Obviously it’s not a way to make money but it’s a great chance to get out and about and meet people while doing something that is rewarding too.

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