Good question. I've not felt much like posting recently, being knackered both mentally and physically. And up and down like a yoyo. i didn't really realise how much of my identity was sunk into having employment, and that's been hard to adjust to. There have been knock on effects on other areas of my life, and at times I may have panicked.
For the sake of sanity and having what I think is my most coherent and sensible outlook down in pen and virtual ink... if I think about it logically, moving heaven and earth to get back into a data/admin job is a bad idea. I didn't like it,Ｉ’ｄ feel guilty and would miss the child, and what is the point of doing that for a job that I always wanted to leave? It came to me while I was gardening on Friday that this is the job I really love - it keeps me cheerful and active, allows me to engage with people on my own terms, and I can use all the different bits of my brain. Win!
So really I should just try and expand my gardening clients. Carefully (I spent half an hour on the phone to a total knob chasing one advert). The voluntary garden therapy work is nearly nailed, and that will lead to a much better chance of (a) getting a job in the field when I need one, and (b) starting up my own consultancy in this area.
In the mean time, I have a couple of job leads for regular (if boring) income - one with an interview! Yay! I'm vastly over qualified, but it works around the child issue and has potential to be quite interesting (working as hospital admin, but also triaging calls from patients and doctors).
I think one thing that has really been bothering me is that I suspect none of this psychological drama would be occurring if I was male. I have a lovely husband who supports me, and the men I know are also fair-minded and great guys, but the odds seem really stacked against females with children, and that pisses me off. maetang
posted a link to the male privilege checklist, and it just concreted some ideas I've been having (http://www.amptoons.com/blog/the-male-privilege-checklist/
I don't know many couples with children, but it seems to me however wonderfully fair and equal minded and supportive the man is, the woman takes the crunch as soon as kids come along. It's sad...Ｉ suspected the world was slightly unfair before I had kids, but now I'm sure. First solution is that one of you gives up work. And unless there is a huge preference due to one of you loving your job (and how many people can swear that?) logic says it should be the lower wage earner. There are other factors I'm sure, but despite about a decade in a technical field (so about 5 years longer in a higher paid field), guess who was earning less in the partnership? Me, of course. So given that like most people, I don't "love" my job, it makes sense that it's me staying at home.
Second option is basically full-time childcare. Given that I can smother my guilt, resolve the fact that I'd not see much of Ben, and find somewhere I think would be a good influence, even in a well-paid job my wages would effectively take a massive hit from paying for nursery. Now in most parenting situations, the woman organises childcare and does a lot of dropping off and covering for sickness. Probably doubly so if it's family based favours. It's not that my husband wouldn't, it just somehow works out easier that way. The expectation that mothers stay at home to look after children has somehow morphed into an expectation that they take responsibility when they choose to delegate childcare. After all, the least they can do if they can't be bothered to bring the children up is to ensure someone else does it properly, eh?
Third option is some sort of hybridised care package. It's what we plumped for, and it has it's ups and downs. It's fair, but fair in that we both suffer the pain to some extent.
It's a lot of generalisations, and random thoughts spewing out of my brain, but it's been niggling me and I need to put it out there for future thought.
The other thought I have is organising some sort of North of Bristol permaculture group. There's plenty going on in the city centre, but nowt out here.
In other news, the garden is slowly but pleasingly progressing, and my running has got both faster and longer. And I've decided to do only half of my RHS exams in June because I need to take it easier on myself.