I hadn’t planned on going back to work yet. I’ve been a stay at home mum since my eldest daughter was born 6 years ago, and I thought I’d carry this on until my youngest child starts school. That’s still 2.5 years away.
And yet I’m now faced with a choice…
The perfect job
I’ve just seen an advert for the perfect job. I think I could search for years and not find a job that suited me as well as this. But is that a good enough reason to go back to work?
I would be in charge of teaching music at a local nursery. As a bit of context, I studied Music and Primary School Teaching at university. I also run the local baby & toddler group and have been teaching piano and singing (around my mummy duties) for several years.
It’s also only 20-25 hours a week so I wouldn’t be away from my kids for the whole day.
I’ve just rung and spoken to the nursery and the lady on the phone urged me to apply. It seems like she feels I would be a good fit too.
But I’m not remotely prepared for this.
This has come completely out of the blue. I wasn’t searching for jobs – a friend of mine shared the job on Facebook.
And yet the second I saw it, I knew it was the perfect job for me.
What if an opportunity like this never comes up again? What if this is my one and only chance to get back into the workplace, in a job that I love? What if my whole life has been leading up to this point?
The choirs I’ve run, the toddler group I’ve organised, the music I love – is it finally all coming together? Should I be running to embrace this change? Is this where my life is heading?
But at the same time, what if Charis (2) isn’t ready for nursery? She’s a shy little thing and has always found disruptions and busy settings stressful. What if we lose the close bond that we have? What if I lose the ability to interpret her “words” and to predict her feelings?
Will I forever feel guilty for putting Charis in a nursery a year earlier than I did with her older sister, Jenny? Will Charis think that I didn’t enjoy being with her as much? Will she think I’ve abandoned her?
Back to work or stay at home mum?
I love being a stay at home mum.
- We have the freedom and time to explore Charis’s interests
- She always knows that I’m there for her
- I know my daughter better than anyone else
- In unfamiliar situations, I am her constant
- It’s a privilege to see her learning and developing
- I can bring her up with the values and morals that are important to me
- We make each other giggle
- We enjoy spending time together
- I have the time and energy to prepare crafts and activities for us to do
- I know she is safe 100% of the time
- I can read to her 1-on-1
- We can go wherever we like, whenever we like
- She will always run to me when she is afraid or sad
Is going back to work worth jeopardising all of this? I’m not sure that we’d be much better off financially, once childcare is factored in, and yet I’d have to sacrifice so much.
Plus there are the practical things to consider – what would I do about Jenny’s (frequent) hospital appointments if I was working? What about school pick-up? Where would Charis go to nursery?
Do I apply?
And so I’m left with the dilemma – do I apply? What if I decide that YES this is something I really want to do, and then I don’t get the job? I don’t want to get my hopes up.
And yet, I don’t even know if this is really something I want to do. Do I want to do it, or do I feel that I should do it because it seems like such a great opportunity?
The application is filled in and sitting in my inbox…