Mums Should Go Back To Work. Discuss.

So the government has said that mothers should go back to work to help the ailing economy. If every mother who wanted to was in a job, the economy would be something like ten percent bigger than it is, and that can only be a good thing. Yes?

Apparently, some of the problem of women not working after having children can be solved by encouraging them to study science and engineering and make sure they get started out in good careers. I did that. I have a physics degree. Before having children I was a software engineer. I was earning £40 an hour, so in the year before our oldest child was born I took home about seventy thousand pounds (less rather a lot of tax). Funnily enough, this has not led to me being a working mum.

I always knew I would give up work when I had children. I didn’t want to have children, and only see them for long enough to tuck them up at night. I believe that the best start you can give a child involves time. Lots of it. I was lucky enough to have a husband able and willing to support us all financially. I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. (Except on a bad day, of course, when I’d have bitten off your hand for a job that meant I could sit in a nice quiet office and drink an entire cup of coffee before it got cold.)

I was a little bit depressed after the birth of my second child. That was the point at which I realised that there was absolutely no chance of getting back into a job anything like the one I had had. Once you are out of IT for more than a year or so, that seems to be it. My most likely next job seemed to be as a supermarket shelf stacker. So I started a business.

This is one of the other points the report made today. Women should be more entrepreneurial. That’s another tick for me. Science, engineering, good job pre-children, start up business. It was fun and I learnt a lot, but it never made enough for the hours to be worth it. I had a toddler who hated TV because she knew that when I put the TV on she was going to be neglected for an hour while I packed up parcels!

Going back to work has been creeping up my list of important things to do. Now that Mr 5 is at school I wouldn’t feel so bad working full time, but how? I have been retraining as an accountant, but I am in that position where all my CV demonstrates is that I have not had a ‘proper’ job for more than a decade. For the sort of jobs I am qualified for, I first have to convince them that a 38 year old will be just as good a choice as the person 20 years younger they were expecting to apply. How can I convince the bored person glancing at the 26th CV of the day that actually I would be great, despite the fact I have no recent employment to demonstrate the fact I am quite capable?

If the (very expensive, I’m sure) government report can answer that question, I would be most grateful.

About planetcoops

Living a busy family life in a beautiful place with a hundred and one things to be achieved.
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4 Responses to Mums Should Go Back To Work. Discuss.

  1. Laura says:

    I want to say so much about this, but I don’t even know where to start…
    With your talent, education, and variety of skills, I would hope you would get hired sooner than someone younger, with less experience. Keep trying for it, if you do want a job right now. And tell the government that they can hire you to answer that question…
    I didn’t have anything close to the background that you have, and took a lower paying, part-time, school hour job. It really suits our life style right now to have me doing what I do, what with all the volunteering, house keeping and other projects on the go all the time.

    • planetcoops says:

      I know! I don’t know how people manage to work full time if they have as much other stuff they want to do as us, but I guess they manage. I hope to find out!

  2. Passive slimmer says:

    Mmm, this all sounds so familiar!! Good luck to you my friend, with some luck for me and the other fantastic hard working clever suitable mums out there. X

    • planetcoops says:

      Yes, good luck to us all! Although I’m at an advantage being nearer to larger populations now. It’s even more tricky when you live in the countryside.

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