Friday, 22 June 2012

Cherie Blair

When I met Adam I was living in a little village just outside of Bristol. I worked in a large retail store dealing with recruitment and running a busy department. My earning potential was ok, not great, but ok.

Adam on the other hand was living in Wolverhampton; he commuted to Birmingham where he was working for one of the biggest firms in his field. He was 1 year in to his 3 year chartered accountancy course and had a LLM to his name. His earning potential was around 90% higher than mine.
When it came to deciding where we were going to live, on paper, the decision was easy. In practice moving miles away from my friends and family, my job and an area I had grown up was one of the hardest things I had to do, and the trials I faced living in Birmingham still make me emotional now. But we knew what had to be done, so I gave up everything and followed my now husband.
Giving up my job, and having to find a new one gave me a chance to look at what I wanted to do with my life.  I became a child-minder and loved my job. A year after moving to Birmingham we decided to make a move to Tewkesbury, it was half way between Birmingham and Bristol and meant I could see my family a little more often. There wasn’t a call for child-minders in Tewkesbury, although I stayed on the register for close to a year I dint get any business, so I had to have another rethink. I applied for a few jobs around Tewkesbury and Cheltenham but didn’t get any replies. I was good at baking and surprisingly good at decorating them too; I started to sell my cakes and really enjoyed doing this too.
I carried on making and decorating occasion cakes after having the monster, but it soon became apparent, as the orders rolled in, I would need to find childcare for her if I was to continue, it was around this time I fell pregnant with the monkey too.
I looked at the cost of childcare for both children and worked out I would be paying out a lot more than I was earning. By this time Adam was on a decent salary so did I really want to pay to work while someone else looked after my children? Even if I went back to my previous retail job, I still wouldn’t earn enough to cover the childcare costs, leaving us out of pocket each month.
The logical answer was for me to become a stay at home mum. A job that 90% of the time I really enjoy. Imagine my surprise when a friend linked this article yesterday morning from the lovely Cherie Blair, saying that I have failed my children, and warning I will bring up my girls so they can’t live without me.
It’s pretty damning reading actually. I would also like to ask how I am a yummy mummy when I spend most of my day wiping bums and picking sick out of my hair not exactly glamorous or yummy is it? And have you actually tried to go shopping with children in tow, it just doesn’t work!
I firmly believe that a woman’s decision to work or stay at home with their children is a personal one, it’s not an easy decision to make at the best of times especially when you have one person saying you will damage your children by working and another saying you will damage your children by staying at home. I am quickly learning parenting is a loose, loose situation; you can never make the right decision, no matter what you do.
Choosing to stay at home, for me was a purely financial and practical decision. Maybe if you took those factors out my decision would change, maybe it wouldn’t. Either way it has nothing to do with an ex-prime minister’s wife the way I choose to raise my family

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