Monday, November 26, 2012

Musings of a working mum

I am not a happy bunny today.

It took me 2 hours to get into work today (45 mins on a good day but 1 hour normally if I have to drop kids off first). I left the house at about 7.40 with the kids. Dropped my son at nursery (5 mins round the corner) then drove across town to drop my daughter at childminder number 2. Then headed off to get to work. I have TomTom on my iPhone and it was already indicating an 11 minute delay on my normal route so I clicked reduce delay button. However, this route seemed as bad if not worse than the normal route was indicated to be (of course I only found this out when it was too late). The route also tried to take me down a road that was closed (probably for flooding) and by the time I arrived at work, 2 hours later, I was ready to kill someone, or myself. OK slight exaggeration. No, not really.

The whole palarva has left me feeling quite angry. About what, I'm not even sure. Well, I guess I am. As I was driving (after dropping my son who has overnight developed a really nasty cough and my daughter who was being extra cute - both instigating the usual guilt about whether I'm really doing the right thing working full time or not) I was thinking about lots of things. I really don't want to be a stay at home mother. And doing a job 3 days a week that I hated didn't do me any good either. I like what I'm doing (mostly anyway) but I'm not sure how long I can cope with the long commutes. It just adds so much more pressure to you on top of all the usual working mother stresses. This is what I was thinking about, while fighting my way through traffic:

  1. Why shouldn't I be allowed to work from home. We are in the 21st century. We have iPhones and skype and Wifi and Shared storage. All I need to do to use my work phone is plug my USB headphones into my laptop and I can make and receive calls - although I very rarely use them as most of the communications are done via inter-company online chat. We are trusted to sit at our desks pretty much unmanaged, but it is still generally frowned upon to work from home unless you have a good reason (a delivery or a sick child - even that at my last company my previous boss told me that if I had a sick child at home I couldn't work - which I guess is a fair comment some of the time but it is possible to field emails and deal with some queries and sometimes its quiet and you would be doing not much more than surfing the internet anyway!). Why should it not be possible for some employees (other than high-ish level managers) to work from home - even be BASED from home. Maybe my thinking & the technology currently available is just too far ahead of general corporate thinking.
  2. I do want to spend time with my kids. I miss the chill time that I used to spend with them on a non-working day when I worked 3 days a week. I worry that I'm being selfish - wanting a life outside of kids - even at the weekends sometimes I wish the time away - that they could suddenly be of an age where they could just go watch TV in their rooms without constantly needing my attention. On the other hand I enjoy being out of the house. I just wish I didn't have to endure such stress to get there.
  3. I also do want to progress and have a career. Either that or work for myself but to be honest, right now I'd rather work full time and be paid well, than work full time (trying to fit working hours around the kids) working for myself (which I would love to do one day) trying to make ends meet. I spent over 10 years working as a PA/Administrator for Senior Directors and I want to move on from that. I have great skills that I can bring into Project Management (currently an administrator in that capacity) and loving it. But if I want to do this somewhere else I probably need to stay here for at least a year before I can move on somewhere else (closer). Plus there isn't really much around now anyway. I was lucky to get THIS job.
My ideal job would be:
  • Working for a tech company - tick
  • Working in Project Management - tick
  • Working from home - sometimes but got to be careful not to do too much (have done twice in last 6 weeks I've been doing this job)
Or working for myself. Not sure how. Thought about doing an events planning business. Thought about professional organiser. Done making bath bombs but decided was too much effort for not enough return & rules & regulations are very complex. Done handmade card making. Again. OK for pocket money and is something I enjoy but not exactly going to pay the mortgage.

Well, I'm going to post this and go get some lunch as its that time already. At least this morning went quickly (it did have a 40 minute head start on me).

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