Tuesday, 17 April 2012

A Mother's Work (Meme)

I have been tagged by the fabulous Mummy Plum to participate in the #amothersworkmeme.  As I have enjoyed reading other blogging mum's responses to this I am very pleased to be asked to be involved and it'll be a nice little synopsis for my children to know what Mummy did pre-them, so here we go, firstly the rules :
  • Post the Rules
  • Answer the Questions in as much or as little detail as suits you
  • Leave a comment on MotherWifeMe so we can keep track of the meme
  • Tag three people and link them on your blog
  • Let them know you tagged them
  • Tweet loudly about taking part using #amothersworkmeme
Did you work before becoming a mum?

I most certainly did, I have worked since I could at the age of 16 as I have always been quite an independent person.  My first job was with a concession of a well known clothing shop within a large department store in a South-East shopping centre.  It was great because a lot of my friends worked in the same department store, in various sections so it was fantastically social.  I don't know how many times we all crawled in for our Sunday shifts, having only been to sleep for about 3 hours, but the fact we were all suffering together got us through the day! 

My first full time job was an Administrator training position, within a training company.  Here I completed NVQ levels 2 & 3 in Business Administration along with numerous other vocational qualifications.  This job really helped me grow from a shy teenager into a confident adult. 

My next career move came along when my parents decided to move out of the area we were living in.  I was happy to make the big change, and found myself landing a receptionist job with the Students' Union at the University of Essex.  Only being 19 myself it was ideal as it gave me an abundance of people my own age to make friends with, which was probably one of the scariest factors in moving at that point.

I really enjoyed my years, nine in all, at the University and slowly progressed up the chain of command until I was the Administration Manager.  By this point I had become a mum, and was completely living and standing financially on my own two feet.  As J1 was due to go to school,  I made the decision to try and get a job 'in the big city', which was more financially viable, although a lot longer hours. 

London had always scared me as a place, however, as I was older and more confident I took to City Life with full gusto and after a short (and rather boring) stint as an Office Manager at a high-end Estate Agents, I was head hunted by a Construction and Fit Out company for a Head of Department role.

Again I really enjoyed what I got out of this role and period in my career, plus this was where I met my husband.  When I fell pregnant for a second time, the commuting and long hours became almost impossible, so when redundancy became a reality it actually couldn't have timed out better.

What is your current situation?

Even though I was planning on becoming a Stay - at - Home mum once baby number 2 was born, the redundancy meant I could really take it easy throughout my pregnancy and focus on catching up on lost time with J1.  Until I got that time back with him, I did not realise how much I had missed out on so it was wonderful.

I am very lucky in that I have been able to remain a SAHM, although some days (especially as J2 has hit toddlerhood) I think getting up and going out to work would be the easier option! 

As I chose to be a Domestic Goddess (*coughs / splutters*) I have enjoyed it thoroughly and only had minimal moments of feeling I should be doing 'more'.  When those moments have occurred, something generally happens that reminds me that I am infact doing the most fulfilling job in the world.  I do find I have the best days when I structure our week, like I would for any job, rather than just ambling along.  That's just me and my over-wrought need to work to a 'plan' (read *list*).

Freestyle - a chance to get across your own point of view on the subject?

When I wasn't a Mother I used to judge SAHM and think 'What are they doing?'.  I dislike myself for doing that now.  I laugh at the fact that I used to think that my going to work in an office all day was more important than staying home to raise children.

Then when I became a Mother and wasn't in a financial position to be a SAHM, I resented those Mothers that could be at home.  I then had to tell myself that what I was doing was important (it wasn't, but helped me at the time).

I should never ever have judged.  This is what makes me most infuriated now.  When I was a working Mother, I used to feel judged that I was a full time working mum when people used to say 'So who looks after your child all day long?' - interpreted by me as *failer*.  Now I am a SAHM, I feel judged when people ask that inevitable 'What do you do?' question.  Even though I very proudly said 'I am a full time stay - at - home mother' I used to find myself following this up with 'But I used to be a Head of Department for a Company in London' (yes, I annoyed myself) and that is what they were interested in.

I don't do this anymore.  I now say very proudly 'I am a full time stay - at - home mum' and when they (usually) ask if I do anything 'else' at home (I am assuming they mean, run a home company or online business or similar) I look them directly in the eye and ask where I would find the time?  This usually stops them and their judgement in their tracks.

When J2 goes to school I am hoping that my response will be 'I am a writer' and by that point I will be still enjoying the full time world of Motherhood, combined with a work from home job that I love.  Pipedream?  Maybe, but I am going to strive my hardest to make it reality. 

Who are you tagging to take up the Mother's Work Meme baton?

Glasgow Mummy
Looking for Blue Sky


  1. You've had some interesting roles and you always seem to have been in the right place at the right time, even for redundancy! It comes over very clearly how much you are enjoying what you do now. Good luck with the writing, I know you'll make it happen. Polly x

    1. I have always been very lucky with jobs. I managed to get ones that I really enjoyed for the most part, which I think is important given how much time they take out of your life. I have made some really long term and close friends from various jobs too.

  2. This was a really interesting read. I need to structure our weeks otherwise I feel like you, that I am ambling, and that feels too aimless for me. When the days are more structured and I put time boundaries around things, I feel like I am accomplishing stuff. Sounds to me you did very well in your external working life and are now doing equally well, if not more so, in your career at home. Being a mother is a career - like response to others reagrding what you do at home. People just dont realise how all consuming it can be.

    1. I agree with you, by structuring our time it does make me feel like we are accomplishing things, that is a very good way to put it!x

  3. Lovely to know a bit more about what you did pre -kids and pre J2. Thanks for taking part in the meme. I don't think any Mum ever has it 'easy' - there's no soft option, whether you're a working Mum or a SAHM. I also used to talk about my career more too in a ..'hey..I used to be someone' kind of way - and then get annoyed with myself. I think being comfortable with your self worth as a SAHM takes time. It's a mindset change.

    Looking forward to reading one of your books one day. (Signed copy of course!) x

    1. It is very much a mind-set change, as much as not earning a salary independently, that has been a very tough one for me. Thank you (Polly, Older Mum and Mummy Plum) for the faith in my ambition to write, if I can make it happen signed copies for everyone lol!

  4. Ooh thanks for tagging me :) I will enjoy doing this one. I loved reading this as I'm always fascinated by the former lives of bloggers x

    1. You are most welcome! Will look forward to reading your post.


I would love for you to quack your thoughts along with me and will always try and quack right back.