Thursday, 23 February 2012

A Mother's Work MeMe!


As promised, a MeMe, but thankfully I've got mother.wife.me holding my hand to help me on my way.

I've been moaning thinking a lot recently about how mothers (and fathers for that matter) are just expected to "get on with it", fork out for extortionate childcare costs and work all hours in inflexible jobs, often with low pay and little or no career prospects.  There is a wasted and untapped resource desperate to make an impact and do a fair days work for a fair days pay. Think of all that lovely tax that the government is missing out on by overlooking mothers and actually creating a reasonable means for us to work AND bring up the next generation (of tax payers.)

A thought: Our society doesn’t value or support mothers as well as it could.

I’ve blogged a couple of times on this issue, as has mother.wife.me. So, we’ve decided we’d like to team up and make a bit more noise in the blogosphere about it.

Step one is to start a meme. So here it is:

A Mother’s Work Meme.

Rules:
Please post the rules
Answer the questions in as much or as little detail as suits you
Leave a comment on mother.wife.me so we can keep track of the meme
Tag 3 people and link to them on your blog
Let them know you tagged them
Tweet loudly about taking part (well ok, that isn’t a rule, but how about if we start a
hashtag - #amothersworkmeme)

Questions:

1. Did you work before becoming a mum?
2. What is your current situation?
3. Freestyle – got your own point you’d like to get across on this issue? Here’s
your chance…

Oh and finally….Little Blue FeetJapanese Mummy UK A Mum and More, A Twenty Something Mum, Multi Layer Mummy you’re tagged!!
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A Mother’s Work Meme Response from Bargain Mummy Buys

Did you work before becoming a mum?
Yes, I decided to build up my career before having children as I was aware it would not be easy afterwards. I got as many promotions as I could and made sure my salary was locked before I went on maternity leave.

What is your current situation?
I now work three days a week in a "professional job". I am constantly subject to derisive comments from others about being "part-time" despite the fact I am always a full time mum. We are lucky in that my parents look after our children three days a week although they are getting older and it is not easy for them.
To get my part time position was very difficult and I really had to jump through hoops, I felt there was nothing to really protect me from a flat refusal apart from my own wit.  I am constantly exhausted from trying to be the best worker and best mum and don't know how long I can sustain it for. I feel I am being pulled apart and every time I leave my children to go to work my heart breaks a little.

Freestylin’
A lot of my friends have had their part time work request refused, so they have been forced to leave their jobs to seek (lower paid) temporary contracts.  A lot of people seem to sneer at the idea of a woman wanting to spend time with her children if she previously had a career, like it's some sort of consolation prize.  The fact is that I physically could not work full time and give 100%. As it stands, being part time has benefited my employer as I never take sick days and am much fresher coming to work for three days.
I don't want to leave work completely as in the current job market I fear I will never find work again.

11 comments:

  1. Here we go.... lovely to see our respective tagees are on the case with their A Mothers Work Meme contributions. It is going to be really interesting to collate everyone's thoughts and experiences from this.

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  2. Oooo this sounds good, and something I personally have lots to say about! xx

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  3. I've joined the meme - here is my post
    http://www.littlebluefeet.com/2012/02/mothers-work-meme.html

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  4. Thanks Kelly that's great! I'm just popping over to have a look...

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  5. Oh I have lots to say about this! Do I have to be tagged to participate or can I just wade in and add my thoughts on the matter?!

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  6. NO please don't wait to be tagged! But when you've done pop back here and post your blog URL so we can gather together all the contributions. The hashtag on twitter is #amothersworkmeme

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  7. My addition to the #amothersworkmeme is a go go! Lots of interesting reading on the others already out there.

    Well done!

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  8. I hear your pain about work/life balance. I returned to work part-time when I had baby #1. My boss at the time, said he got more form me in 3 days than he did from most of the so-called "full-timers" (but maybe he was just being nice):-) I guess, smoking and tea breaks soon take a chunk out of a working week.

    During this phase of 2 years, I felt dreadful that #1 had to go to a childminder from 4 months old. When I was at work I fretted about #1 and when I was with #1, I fretted about work. Feeling that there was no "win-win" situation, we took steps to ensure that #2 would not have to go to another childminder.

    Having left the place of "employee" some 8 years ago now, (time flies), my few attempts to return to the "professional" roles I had BC (before children) have failed. I'll never know if it's becasue I'm a mum or other shortcomings. I have kept my professional qualifications up to date throughout that time and still do self-employed work to keep my hand in. Part of me would like a happy medium of a part-time, employed role because on top of everything else mums have on their plate, generating an income yourself is b****y hard work!!

    PS: In my experience , it's never the dads who get the call from school or nursery asking for said child to be picked up because of illness or injury.

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  9. Great comment about dads never getting the call from school or nursery. So true. Why is it always the Mum? I was the bread winner, and my husband never worked and I always got the call, despite them telling them to call him. Because I was the bread winner, I was looked on as a mum not doing her job.. being a 'proper' mum!
    I took time off to be with my kids, and no-one looks at me seriously now. The big fancy jobs I had don't fit in with my life, and the other jobs barely pay my petrol!
    I now have 3 part time jobs and run around ragged so I can pay a few bills, and be there for my children. Have it all? Crikey!

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    Replies
    1. I'm in the same boat now, I have three part time jobs too, I'm ridiculously busy and feel that I am glued to the computer, it's not the best thing for the children really but it allows us to keep a roof over our heads. Having said that, I could never go back to being a normal employee or a stay at home mum, it just doesn't stimulate me enough and it makes me unhappy. That may be selfish but being a mum is unselfish for the majority of the time so sometimes you have to claw back what you can!

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