Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Working Nine to Five

The multi faceted Multi Layer Mummy tagged me over a month ago in the thought provoking Mothers Work Meme. I have to apologise for my appalling blogging manners; it always takes me eons to respond to tags and memes ...

Here be the rules;
  1. Post the rules
  2. Answer the questions in as much or as little detail as suits you
  3. Leave a comment on so we can keep track of the meme
  4. Tag three people and link them on your blog
  5. Let them know you tagged them
  6. Tweet loudly about taking part using #amothersworkmeme 

1. Did you work before becoming a mum?
2. What is your current situation?
3. Freestyle – got your own point you’d like to get across on this issue? Here’s your chance…

Did you work before becoming a mum?

I didn't have my first child until I'd just turned 39 so I had a motley assortment of jobs under my belt by the time Little A arrived. I thought it would be simplest to list what I've turned my fair hands to in the big bad world ....

  • Bar maid
  • Cleaner
  • *Night crew cleaner for a local supermarket
  • Radio and club DJ
  • Part time music (DJ'ing) lecturer
  • Telesales executive
  • Training administrator
  • Executive PA
  • Counsellor

*The worst job I've ever had! And that's another blog post.

What is your current situation?

Little A arrived in January 2010.  I had only just completed my diploma in counselling and psychotherapy the year before. I wanted to start building my practise when Little A was about 10 months old but because I was suffering from post natal depression and the stressful effects of birth trauma this just wasn't possible.  Psychotherapy is a very demanding vocation. You don't have to be perfectly together to be an effective therapist. Good enough is fine. But you still do need a healthy amount of emotional stability and groundedness to be fully present to someone else's life story and personal experiences.

Little A started going to a child minders one day a week last year to give me an opportunity to rest and flex my mental muscles. Emotionally I was in a stronger place so I began seeing a handful of clients on my day off and Saturday mornings. We are planning a move this year so I don't intend increasing my client case load until things have settled and I know the lie of the land.

Being a therapist in private practise gives me freedom and flexibility. I am self employed and in command of the hours I work. One day I would love to have a full time practise and there are so many related courses I want to train in to build up my palate of therapist skills. I am very passionate about my work.

In the mean time I blog to my hearts content.

Freestyle  ...

The office administration roles were simply jobs to pay the rent and tidy me over. My heart was in music, DJ'ing and now helping others as a therapist; both careers have gifted me a very creative outlet. I'm very grateful.

Being self employed means I get to work around Little A's needs. I've finally started enjoying the 360 degree role of most of the time SAHM. Maybe the shackles of depression have totally lifted although I still have my low days. It actually came as quite a culture shock becoming a mum. Before Little A burst into our lives my days were organised into neat pockets of exercise, work, college and time with Younger Dad. Life was controlled and structured. The isolated chaos of the first year with a new born was a major contributor to my depression.

I don't think I could go back to working in an office. Although its only been two years I feel I've been away from that environment too long. My desk top confidence has waned and I seem to speak in a different tongue these days. Returning to the corporate world might engender a similar culture shock to those first few months of Little A's existence. Still I do miss the human contact and camaraderie found in the office kitchen, at lunch break and down the pub after a day of staring inanely at the computer.

My talents these days I think prevail in listening empathically to others and writing. Two things I feel safe and assured in.

You know, its not surprising why more and more women are having children later in life. A woman may want to establish herself in her work and attain a certain level of expertise or promotion before years of nappies and teething.  That way she has hopefully ensured financial and career security if she chooses to return to work.

And that's my two pennies worth ...

Handing the baton over to these fabulous ladies ...


  1. wow that is a whole load of jobs you've had. Which was your favourite x

    1. Hard to choose but I think it has to be DJ'ing and therapist.

  2. Hello, thank you so much for taking part in the A Mother's Work Meme. "I am self employed and in command of the hours I work" I think is the ideal situation for many mums, especially given the lack of flexibility that much of the workplace currently offers.

    On a slightly separate note - my daughter was born January 2010 and we had a major birth trauma issue, so we should compare notes some time!

    1. Yes its definitely the best scenario. Our daughters are the same age! Yes, lets swap notes sometime!

  3. I considered Psychotherapy too. Such an in-demand service and so easy to fit around your family. Well done

    1. Ah thank you Actually Mummy. Yes, flexible careers are the best ones to fit around children, if you can.

  4. I love the fact you were a DJ, it's so COOL! I hope you've got some good pics of you on the decks with some mammoth headphones on to show to Little A when she gets older :0)

    I think being self employed is the way to go. Eventually I plan to do the same (after retraining) to then be able to fit work around school hours and other commitments.

    1. Yes, I have some good DJ'ing pics - I think I need to unleash my DJ'ing memories on my blog! What are you planning to retrain in - I hope you are going to carry on with your writing too!

      Ps, My day down at the Westfield is Wednesdays! :o).

  5. I thought I'd commented on this, but somehow I haven't! Apologies. I think the therapist route is so the way to go, as Actually Mummy said, it's so in demand. Funny how we develop over the course of our working lives and end up doing such disparate jobs. Would love to know the DJ story, and the night crew cleaner - want to know how that ended! Polly x

    1. No worries! Very kind to pop over and comment. I just released the DJ story today!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...