I’m writing this at midnight because I can’t sleep, its beginning to hit me, now, nearly 4 years into this parenting lark, just how difficult it is having a child and trying to function as an adult, earning money while working around nursery/school hours. It’s not only that, it’s finding a job that allows you to work in a manner which enables you to balance things at least 3 weeks in advance to give everyone involved the proper notice to ensure that the child is not left stranded at one location while you are obliged to stay in another.
How do people do it?
So, I guess the good news is… I got a job! I’m not sure if I should disclose the specifics, but I have a job in a well-known shoe store, located within half an hour’s walking distance of my house, the position is part time. So I, being the naive graduate I am thought this meant I would tell them my availability, for example, I am able to work 16-20 hours between the 8.30-5.30pm Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri and the occasional weekend shift if they were really stuck, and to be given notice of these shifts at least 2 weeks in advance so I could arrange with nursery/friends/family the childcare arrangements. However, this does not appear to be the way the Adult world works, I am told what shifts I am working and when, I do as many hours as I am told to do with very little flexibility unless I specifically book a day off, and given about a weeks notice. I only found this out today which is why I am panicking and doubting my ability to be as flexible as they require me to be, and also the potential for me to be working nearly full time hours, with little notice, the last summer I have before my baby goes to school.
I am utterly grateful to have found a job, but as with most things I have perhaps jumped the gun a little bit, I knew that I needed a job for September, so started applying for a few, not expecting to actually get any, but in the hope that I might gain interview experience and feedback on my CV so that at the end of August when the heat was really on, I should be able to find one rather easily. I am very grateful to be employed right now, It was hugely unexpected and I am looking forward to working, I guess I just thought it would be easier, that I’d be able to decide which days I’d be working and how many hours, but that would be to easy right?!
I have the feeling though, that all this panic and anxiety is completely unfounded and that it’ll all just fall into place, and I’ll manage to work a bit and then the extra income will allow me/us to take Arlo on really cool/exciting day trips on the days I am not working… I’m just really worried that I’ll be expected to work almost a full-time job and miss out on this precious last month or so of his pre-schooler hood, but on the other hand, this is the norm for many many parents, and perhaps I expect too much! To be able to worm just enough to make it financially viable and then spend 3/4 days a week just with Arlo is significantly more than others get to do.
This real world Adult stuff is super hard, there is a temptation to just pack a suitcase pool savings and buy a one way ticket (with Arlo of course) and live a very minimalist lifestyle country hopping, home educating or I believe they call it “world schooling” running some dodgy online business or winning the lottery to make ends meet, but that’s a pipe dream, and right now I have to then figure out how I’m going to factor in school hours and a part time masters degree into this part time job and parenting business!!!!