Friday, 2 November 2012

Big news

I resigned this week. I am officially an unemployed stay-at-home mum of one.

I have said goodbye to a job that challenged me, offered lunch breaks (sometimes), annual leave, training opportunities and time for Facebook, for one that's unpredictable and around the clock, with a client that can't articulate what he wants (lucky I've had experience with that one). Am I crazy?!

Many of you may think so as it seems I'm going against the trend here. In a timely coincidence, The Australian reported this week that an increasing number of mothers in two-parent families are back at work before their youngest child turns 1, compared with 3 years of age in the mid-1980's and 5-years in the mid-1970's. Why? Apparently "this generation of women have jobs worth going back to and the typical mortgage requires two incomes to service." You can read the full article here*.

This makes me sad. Sure, some of us can't wait to go back to work. To have some independence again, some adult time and to do a job that's enjoyable and makes us all the more better for it. But some mums (even the most career-driven high flyer types) want to be at home with their children, at least in the early years. Regardless, many women must go back to work to help support the family.

The cost of living is a huge issue, I get it. But I wonder if, in our quest for workplace equality and womanly independence, we've made it harder to be a stay-at-home housewife should we choose. Are we now too scared of what we'll lose by putting our career on hold for however long?

My decision to resign wasn't taken lightly but I feel incredibly fortunate that I at least had the choice. I know that everyone's circumstances are different and the reality of one salary funding the family is daunting, but for us it's a sacrifice we are prepared to take. I think workplace equality and women's rights are worth fighting for, but we should also fight for options - to stay home to care for children if we so choose or to have access to free childcare in order to happily work full-time (and actually get some money in return) or to be offered part-time work so we can have the best of both worlds.

Channel 7's The Morning Show provided a nice summation, here's the clip, and I think Jody Allen from Stay At Home Mum explains the conundrum well.

So there you have it - big news on the home front and of the broadsheet variety. Would love to hear your thoughts on this controversial topic...

Upstaged by a baby (understandable) when I went into the office to say 'bye' today
Me (cream jacket) with the girls and Kenzie (fluffy puppy) - will miss you guys!
*If the link takes you to an abbreviated version of the article, type "social revolution at work" into Google News and the top link should take you to the full text.

8 comments:

  1. It's a big step - I recently accepted a voluntary redundancy to be more present wih my daughter and be an active school mum next year. I have been looking for short term part time work to keep the funds flowing, but will not be looking for a full time gig for many years now, speding time withh Miss 4.5 is too important to miss. Good on you for taking the leap!

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    1. Hi Belinda - so lovely to connect with another Mum in the same situation. I'm sure you'll love spending more time with your daughter and getting more involved in the school community. PS. Your $100 party project is perfect timing, as I have a 1st Bday to plan! xx

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  2. So proud of you Mel! Joshy is such a beautiful boy and he is very lucky to have all of your attention. My mum stayed at home after my brother and I were born and I feel so blessed for this xx

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    1. That's so reassuring to hear honey. I've had a myriad of emotions running through my mind and body since making the decision, but I'm sure it's for the best. Looking forward to catching up soon! x

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  3. You are an amazing women Mel!

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  4. Congratulations latte mum. So many people have told me they grow up so fast and for me the last 10 months has gone by in a flash so I think it is terrific that you have followed your heart. Lucky Joshua x

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    1. Looking forward to spending the next year with you and Miss T too xx

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