Welcome to

My story

I’m Caroline and I’ve set up this site because I’m extremely frustrated at my lack of career since having children. My kids are now seven and nine years old and since they were born I’ve been trying to get the balance between work and children.

Sadly, I feel like I’ve failed at both but in particular, my work.

I’m a journalist by trade but have found it very difficult to get back into the game after leaving it to produce websites for Channel 4.  While I have done the odd piece, it’s been tricky as the journalism I would be best at, which is real-life stories can often mean tracking down people when they are at home, which is when I need to be home to see the children. I feel I can’t offer my skills to most newspapers and magazines because my day ends at 2.30pm as I get ready to pick up the children.

Is full-time work the answer?

Sometimes I dream about working full-time. That seems to be the only way I would establish some interesting work. Surely the children would be alright and there is an afterschool club for them to attend? But, and this is where the emotions come in, I find it hard not to be there for them at the end of the day. My mum was there for me and I feel this almost vice-like grip on my heart if I’m not around for the children. I look at other mums who do full-time and wonder how do they do it? Am I simply soppy, lazy or lacking in ambition? I don’t think so. No more than I think they are uncaring, tough or selfish. But I do think they’re probably making a sacrifice which probably plays on their mind. Or have they reached the sense of balance I crave?

I feel like I make a lot of excuses about my lack of career but I do know it’s not because I don’t want to work. I find it incredibly annoying that I worked my way to a job in national newspapers where I worked for over ten years and now I’m on the scrap-heap. Surely my skills are worth something?

Is the quality of after-school childcare good enough for my kids?

Now I’ve got a desk space in a co-working space which I love. I race in after I’ve dropped the kids off, work like crazy and then leave about 2.30pm. My day is just five hours long and it’s not enough. I could put the kids into after-school club but they’re not cheap and I don’t have a regular income. Plus, the club can be a little bit jungle-like for tired, sensitive children and I worry about them. I’ve seen bullying go on there and my emotions are all a tangle about leaving them there too often. I end up with the laptop in front of me in the evening, but not really focussing as I’m exhausted.

So there you have it. I’m a highly qualified journalist who can’t find work and feels constantly frustrated. I’m a mum determined to give my children a stable home life and lots of attention. I’m a freelancer, juggling a portfolio career of teaching and anything else which comes my way to fit into my part-time hours. Or actually, I’m a woman in need of some answers.

I’d love to know what decisions you’ve made and what sacrifices you’ve made. Let me know about your life choices and what could be done to make it better for professional women like me.

 

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