Friday, 11 May 2012

I just want to stay home and watch Bargain Hunt: what to do when your kids start school?

If anyone asks me "Well, what will you do, come September?" again, i'll brain them. Because daughter is due to start school, she's got her place. She's good to go, with bro. And i'll be, well, what? Naturally, everyone has an opinion.
It seems to be this:  I must get a job immediately. Or I am somehow, despite getting no benefits at all, a drain on the state, and my kids will grow up not having a work ethic, despite seeing their father work all week every week. And me do all the "non-work" at home. The public, and especially the government, seem to view the starting of school as the starting guns for mothers to rush back to full-time employment, and bugger the kids. They can be flung into breakfast clubs and after school clubs. It's GOOD for them, right? You don't need to be a mum when they start school! The school does it!

Wrong. Mum work does not end when the kids start school. Your reception aged child will not suddenly stop needing you. They won't pop off to after school club happily and wave you goodbye in the morning. They'll be knackered, grumpy, tearful, and yes, NEED YOU MORE THAN EVER. And even come years 1-13, there will still need to be a mum to chivvy along the homework, serve up the fishfingers. And more than that: empty the school bag,deal with the friendship crises, the teacher grabbing you after pick-up for  "a word", the after-school judo/swimming/beavers/rainbows, friends round for tea, after-school matches. And guess what,Shiny Dave and Government? Outside of Eton, all this happens between 3 and 6 pm, some of the hours i'm expected to be at work.Not to mention what happens when one of them is ill.

So, the solution is to find part-time work? Of course. I'd LOVE a job-share. I'd be fine with doing just one school-run and sorting out arrangements for the other. That's a good compromise. Can I be a part-time teacher, please? I'd be great, honest. I'd still do all the meetings and parents evenings. What's that you say? You can get an NQT for peanuts who'll work full-time? So sod me? Oh. Let me look in the TES. FT,FT,FT,FT. 20 miles away, 35 miles away. Oh. And if anyone says to me that teaching is a family friendly job, I might nut them. How about I use all my educaitional qualifications to work in the public sector? That's pretty Mum-Friendly, right? What's that you say? It's all been cut to ribbons? My library qualification is worth nowt without libraries. Factory work, then. I'm overqualified? How about I be a TA? A Teaching Assistant? What do you mean, no? I'm overqualified? I won't keep telling the teacher what to do, honest! Supply teaching? Oh, you have Cover Supervisors now. And TA's, who are not teachers, doing it. I see. Why can't I keep on doing it voluntarily? Do I really need to answer that?

So what, then? Watching Bargain Hunt after cleaning the loo it is.


Laugh at life said...

Well said! My LO is only two and I already have people asking me when I am going back to work. It all sounds so easy until you actually have to do it!

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Once again, I quite agree with you!
I'm lucky, I work 10hours a week in a bookshop but without a hubby who is self-employed I couldn't do it, even those few hours.
The other thing that bugs me is the number of part-time jobs for 15 or less hours. A single parent has to work 16 hours to get WTC. And these are jobs on the County Council's website. If (Local) Government can't help single parents with the laws they made then who will?
I actually had someone ask me if I'd gone back to work "for the money or for something to do"!!!