job interviews, sacrifice and finally another post

the irony of it all, the last post was celebrating four months of blogging, and only one post later, workingmum is celebrating six months, with little real activity on the blog. workingmum was contemplating why this should be … true, workingmum has recently developed a facebook addiction which seems to take priority above writing posts for a blog (so much easier; so much more interaction), but other things have been going on in workingmum’s life which have perhaps interrupted the desire to blog. time now perhaps to have a short reflection on those events, as they do bear some relation to the issues faced by workingmums.

life at work over the last three months has been unsettling: big time. you know – all the rubbish associated with an organisation seeking to reshape itself. amongst this, the need for workingmum to reapply for her own job (or a job of a similar nature , with a different title…ok the same job). so of course no-one likes being put through this, workingmum or not.  it has however raised a specific issue for this workingmum which might be worth airing.

when workingmum made the decision post maternity-leave, to return to work on a nearly  full-time basis , part of the decision was about keeping a career going for the time that the children became more independent . this involved sacrifice and of course still does. prinicipally sacrifice of those days with sometimes smiling, and ok sometimes screaming toddlers, pre-schoolers and after-schoolers. sacrifice (of a far lesser nature) of those coffees and chats with the other mums at either end of the school day, not to mention games of tennis, and opportunities to help in the classroom, or on the children’s school trips.

back to work. faced with the prospect of not being successful in reapplying for her job, workingmum has feared the consequences of that choice all those years ago.  nine years of giving up time with the most important people in your life. and potentially nothing in the future.

ok so it may have worked out ok…but workingmum has been shaken by the whole experience, partly because of the fear that all those years ago, she may have made a fundamentally flawed decision. 

so this is one of the reasons why workingmum has been a bit quiet of late. but hey, it’s the beginning of the summer hols..boys out for six weeks, cornwall beckons. the sun is bound to shine some of the time…isn’t it ?

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  1. * amanda says:

    Your last blog is so interesting, as whichever decision we choose – whether to work or stay at home with kids there are huge impilcations and guilt from both avenues. As a non working mum who has just moved into big new house with big new mortgage I am now looking at what can I do to make some serious money?! Easy answer may be to go back full time to my old job – Qualitative Research, but although this would solve all financial constraints overnight – it would mean more than a full time job – a long commute, a 10-12 hour day and then nights on top interviewing respondents in groups or depths – supposedly the fun bit!!! Obviously also seeing very little of my gorgeous 5 and 1 year old daughters. Hubbie knows I would become a raving stressed out shadow of myself, and is NOT keen, and also knows this is not the answer. But what are the alternatives, my decsion to not work for 4 years and be at home with kids means any new career opening will probably be closed to me, despite probably being able to do it easily… So I have guilt – guilt that I’m not earning, guilt that I walked away from a lucrative career, guilt that I’m not showing a working life example to my children, and guilt that my brain is turning to mush…..
    The answer is probably something part time, but will that pay enough?? The lesson in all this, is that as women we have such a tough job in motherhood and there is no right answer to the working mum debate, and as a generation of women born in the 60’s or 70’s we all grew up in a culture where we were led to believe we could have it all – our mothers didn’t have that attitude nor our grandmothers – haven’t we made it difficult for ourselves…

    non working mum

    | Reply Posted 13 years ago
  2. * Paul Inman says:


    The doctor prescribes that you do less retrospective worrying about whether decisions taken are the right ones. They are just decisions – choices that you make at any moment in time. More belief in ‘timeslips’ would help you (read any of Kurt Vonnegut’s fiction or Arthur Miller’s autobiography). Remember, your employers have recently engaged a timeslip approach by getting you to drop back in time to redo that moment of being interviewed for the same job in the same place of work … You can guarantee that your line managers won’t be worrying about their decision … to re-interview you or to re-appoint you …

    All the best
    workingdad (doesn’t have the same impact does it?)

    | Reply Posted 12 years, 12 months ago
  3. * workingmum says:

    hey workingdad , thanks for your comment, but to claim the title of workingdad , i hope you took your lovely little girl to school, rushed home to pick her up after school/ after school club, whisked her onto whatever delightful activity she was scheduled to endure, came home, made tea … and then sank back in exhaustion. btw it would also help your credentials if you also had a really bad day at work 🙂

    please keep posting, workingmum is just having an off day and will be entirely positive in the future

    | Reply Posted 12 years, 11 months ago
  4. * Paul Inman says:

    heh, workingmum, you started all this, so please excuse me if I don’t feel the need to establish my credentials as a workingdad. I like your blog but how about dropping the alias? Why don’t you just use the first person singular – I, Me, Mine…Oh, god, I’m starting to sound like a George Harrison song…

    Oh, and by the way I never have really bad days at work. I love my work and I love the people who sign the cheques every month. Love makes the world go round. What you give is what you get. See, I’m caught in a George Harrison loop..

    I’ll fetch my coat.

    All the best
    Me x

    | Reply Posted 12 years, 11 months ago
  5. * Paul Inman says:

    Oh, and forgot to say that the curse of being middle class (one of the curses anyway) is this need we have to keep whisking our children round from one activity to the next in a protective (and protected) environment. What are we fearful of? That if we left them still in one place they would have to think, and get bored, and cry and …

    Your children are beautiful and you are a wonderful mother and you are truly you when you stop running around and breathe the air for a moment. Don’t forget that.


    | Reply Posted 12 years, 11 months ago
  6. * fcownie says:

    you’re right about the activity thing …
    sorry, no need to establish credentials…i was being stroppy

    | Reply Posted 12 years, 11 months ago

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