It felt like my right as a woman, my ‘get-out-of-jail-free card’. I didn’t have to put up with this shit at work because soon enough I would be out of there realising my true ambition: being a mother, looking after children at home. Probably wearing an apron a lot. Just like my mother.
Oh the joy of not having to go to work. Towards to end of my first maternity leave I interviewed for a job and didn’t get it. I was only a little disappointed because it gave me the justification to stay at home.
I did a lot of baking.
Then I had a second child (in fact I think I was pregnant when I applied for that job).
Money was tight. I spent a lot of time dissecting our spending becoming obsessive about our Good Budget app. At my height of madness I drove 12 miles out of my way to buy half price Lady Grey teabags from Asda because I was doing well on my petrol budget but not my grocery budget.
I started a book group, and a knitting group.
I set up a community group supporting local children on their birthdays.
I was getting busier, but not richer, and I wasn’t feeling fulfilled.
I thought, why not have a go at going back to work? What’s the worst that can happen? I needed a better way to occupy my mind, and if we could earn a little more money along the way then it would be a bonus.
I turned down a job selling raw chicken. I got down to two jobs: cheese and bread. They both seemed to want me. I dropped the ‘4 day’ bombshell. One said yes, one said, we’re not so keen.
4 years later, 2 more children later. I’m still in the ‘yes’ company. They also said ‘yes’ to giving me a day a week to do an MBA.
And, a lack of spare time aside, I’m so glad I went back to work; I’m setting a great example to my children about equality of opportunities in the work place, I’m earning a decent salary (of which approximately 75% goes on childcare), I’m putting aside for my pension, my work time makes me appreciate my family time and, boy does my family time make me appreciate my work time. I have ambitions! I want to run a company! And I swear I’ll get there one day.