My adventures into Motherhood
I’m officially a stay-at-home-Mum. I handed in my resignation a few months ago and how do I feel? Not remorseful that’s for sure. Of course, at my work leaving lunch I said some nice things about the fantastic opportunity I’d had working with my colleagues who I will miss dearly, and I think I almost sounded convincingly sincere. I had quite a tough act to follow, in Catherine, also leaving the company, who sobbed into her bunch of flowers and actually couldn’t get any words of appreciation out. I mean, sheesh, given how much love I have for my job, (not much) nothing short of an Oscar-winning performance could have topped that emotional display.
My last paycheck was deposited at the end of February. And I thought I should celebrate with something frivolous and non-Mumsy because it might be the last time I earn my own money for a looong while (sorry Nath!). From here on out, it’s careful budgeting with cost-efficient family meals, a Primark wardrobe for both Sof and I, and budget haircuts with home dye-jobs. With that in mind, my last hurrah was at Zara with a floaty soft pink pleated maxi skirt and coral top, with a pair of rose-gold metallic heels from Office. I have no idea where I’m going to be able to wear this adult outfit to, but it sure is nice to have. To finish the outfit off, I received a Rose-gold bracelet by DKNY for my Mothers Day present. Nothing like a big fat tip-off email with link to online purchase to ensure that you get something for Mothers Day, when you got a great big pile of nothing for your second wedding anniversary a mere few months earlier.
So, done and dusted with work…. now what?? The magical solution of working from home doing something well-paid and easily fitted in around child-rearing has yet to present itself as a golden opportunity. Would it be ok if I just went to playgroups, had lunches with friends and went shopping?? My cousin from Sydney recently fitted in a sneaky visit on a work trip courtesy of his new high-powered ‘Director of Digital Strategy’ job title for a multi-national conglomerate, and he asked me what I’d been up to that week. I answered “finger-painting”. Cue massive occupation-void opening up between us like the Grand Canyon….. At least when I tell people about finger-painting they instantly understand what it is I do – unlike my cousin’s job.
That aside, the conundrum of earning money whilst at home is a very real problem for lots of Mums. Lots of us need to go back to work, but would love to stay at home – if only it paid better – so how can we create that situation for ourselves? I was just talking with my friend Vicki who would dearly love to pack in her office job which she is attempting to do from home, but looking after a baby that is only demanding more attention as her skills increase (her latest trick is crawling) means that the office work just doesn’t get done during the day, leaving it to Vicki to work crazy hours after the baby is asleep at night to make up the difference. And never mind the housework, dishes and laundry….. Vicki has taken on a Mother’s Help a few afternoons a week to get some jobs done around the house and keep the baby entertained so she can maintain her head above water. To prevent an actual drowning, Vicki is trying out a few different schemes, and one that we’ve both considered is the ‘at-home merchant’. With online shopping and Amazon marketplace, the ease of ebay and PayPal, you’d think that hocking goods from your own home would be a cinch. Well, the dilemma is in what to hock and how much will postage be? And all those hours spent at the post office. You can of course use Amazon warehouse for storage, packing and shipping, but you pay by volume a substantial slice of your profit margin, so again – what is small, light and able to be marked up substantially that we can turn a profit on it? My other idea is consulting, but to be honest, I really don’t know enough about anything to be consulted on it. I guess I will have to keep looking for that magical opportunity to present itself, or I will simply be on a ‘career break’ for the next few years and then go back to work in my office job.