There’s no perfect answer, but everyone has an opinion. For most families, it depends on such a complex set of circumstances, not all within their control. Our needs change from time to time as well.
Every family is different but it’s a challenge we all face, so we’re presenting a series of special guest posts on part time work over the next week. We’ve got some mums with really different stories to share, so there will be something for everyone.
We’re not trying to show any ideal situation – in fact the opposite – but by asking mums to share their stories and what worked for them we can probably all learn something. Those with young children can think about what they might need when the school years start. Those with one or two children can think about their plans if their family expands. And all of us can think about what can be done to make life easier for those of us juggling it all. I’ve written elsewhere about ideas for the childcare rebate and public transport, but there’s no single answer, so please share your ideas.
I’m certainly no expert on part time work. I work full time. This wasn’t a deliberate strategy, but when I got pregnant I was in a job that was simply impossible to do part time, so when my baby was nearly one, I applied for another job with more flexible hours, less travel but still full time. I had an agreement with my new employer that I would develop a proposal to reduce my days when I could tell them I’d found a way to get the job done in fewer days. Two years later, we’re still waiting. This is partly because my employer is great about so many things. I work from home one day a week, and I can often take time off for the important things when it’s needed.
It’s also a bit selfish because I think I’d still get calls on my day off if I had one, and I hear too much about mums who are paid for four days but actually work five. If I’m going to do that, I’d rather have the money and the flexibility that working full time brings, like having a cleaner to help keep things ticking along at home.
We also want mums to take part in our poll. We know that the answers are more complex than just a number of days but please give us your answer and tell us your story in the comments.
The more stories we can share the easier it will be for others 🙂