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Member Stories

Mum and Then Some

by Lindsey Nathan on 19 February 2018 09:33am 2495

Meet Jane Edwards, one of our first Home Helpers to register.

Jane joined Close to Hand as she was looking for flexible work with a purpose to fit in around her new role as a mummy. Prior to having her daughter 10 months ago Jane enjoyed a full time job, however having left that role to concentrate on her family, she was finding it a struggle to find local, meaningful work.

Jane is passionate about promoting a community where flexible work is celebrated and women know their options. She has recently set up a Facebook Group ‘Mum and Then Some – East Sussex’ a community page that offers support to other local mums in the same position and shares job adverts and ideas that are suitable for mothers.

New mum, new life

"We are 10 months in, new parents, new life. Our baby girl is struggling to rest through a snotty nose and three teeth emerging. My eyes ache, my body feels sluggish and my brain almost feels like it is shaking. To be honest, I expected all this and like everyone will get through it, but some things about motherhood seem to slap you in the face with surprise more than others.

Prior to having a baby, I worked full time. I was the bread winner. I was qualified, independent and confident at what I did. I worked long hours, was flexible, motivated and enjoyed having my own ‘thing’. Now here comes the slap. I was no longer able to do any of this. Overwhelmingly, I still craved all of this, but now I also equally, or if not more, wanted to be a fulltime mum. Confused in every way, I started to research what I could do to fulfil this. What I found was more like a brick wall rather than years of knowledge passed down from the generations of women that had already experienced this. There was no support, no direction, no agency, no website, no guidance, no advice and no options.

Now I was confused, surprised and angry, a combination that for me personally usually works its way into a passion to fight for the underdog, especially now the underdog was me! Isn’t that in itself ridiculous? That being a Mum makes you an underdog in the working world, after all, you have just amped up your CV tenfold! Who doesn’t want an employee that can multitask, deal with anything thrown at them (possibly literally), sell ice to Eskimos (“Yay, broccoli for dinner”), work independently or as a team member? Why is there no work situation that supports this change in a woman’s life, one that means they can use their skills and expertise AND still be a mother as well as independent? Why am I cornered into a job that doesn’t feel like it gives me a purpose? Why do I have to work 9 hours at home (which is the so-called day of a mum at home, it feels like more) to then go and work a job that barely buys me the coffee to get me by on.

To be honest I still don’t have the answers or a bulging bank balance to sit around and think about it. More and more questions appear, but I also don’t feel resolved to the fact that this is just how it is. I feel determined that something can be done, that our community can support its mums, dads and families so that they have, choice, independence, drive and purpose. This is surely the community we want our kids to grow up in."

If you are looking for flexible and meaningful work, you can register here as a Home Helper. You don't need any prior care experience as Close to Hand is all about providing a friendly face, a helping hand and companionship. You can set your own rates of pay and choose when you work. 

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