Plain “apology” may also work here – I mean to both justify myself and perhaps cause offence.
I have quit my job, I apologise to my employers for this. I have done so, however, for justifiable reasons, or so I believe.
We certainly do not have so much money that my working becomes pointless. In fact, we are, for want of a better word, skint, with or without my meagre income. But here goes…
As a young mother in modern-day Britain, there are a few things I have needed to get of my chest for a while now. I am not just a young mother. Up until the end of September, I will work full-time. I am a PhD student. I am a teacher, a nurse, a housekeeper, a counsellor and, most importantly to my daughter, I am an exceptional voice-actor. The problem here is that we have heard this story so many times before that the point fails to cause a reaction any more.
What I have discovered is that although the battle for women’s rights is no doubt a positive one, things seem to have taken a strange turn.
The basic, natural and fundamental differences between men and women, and the differences between women, are somehow overlooked. In theory at least, I have all of the same opportunities as a man (of equal intellect, social class, upbringing and financial status) but we have removed ourselves so far from nature that the natural instinct that lies in many women, that is, to be a mother above all else, has become an afterthought, if it is considered at all.
It is no longer just our right to be working mums, but it has become an expectation for women to be and do just about everything. There is nothing to encourage a woman to stay at home with her child rather than returning to work – would it be considered somehow sexist to do this? Is there a woman out there who would be offended, who would think that such encouragement suggests that a woman’s place is in the home? Of course there is.
I am certainly not suggesting that a woman’s place is in the home. What I am suggesting is that some women would like the opportunity to be mothers to the point that feels natural.
Consider this – the local council by whom I am currently employed gives a mother 5 “emergency” days off for child sickness over one financial year. These must be 5 non-consecutive days, because apparently you should be able to find alternative childcare provision by the second day.
As I want my blog to remain vaguely professional, I will not utter the words that come to mind every time I consider this. Needless to say, I think it is disgusting. If my child is sick, whose job is it to be with her? Some women think differently, some women are happy for grandmothers or other family members to be there if they have work commitments. Fair enough, that’s your choice. But where’s my choice? When I have to tear myself away from my crying child almost every morning, where are my choices?
I had to ask permission of my boss to be able to start work later in order to take my daughter to her first few days at school. I don’t like asking permission. (On a side note, I happen to have a lovely boss who is more that happy to let me do that, but the point still stands!)
Having my fill…
There are so many reasons that I have made the decision to give up work, despite the negative financial implications. I’ve had enough of paying someone else (albeit a very lovely, reliable and hard-working someone!) to look after my child and I am even more fed up with people telling me that that’s just how it is these days. I’m fed up with having to ask permission of another adult to do things that I absolutely should be doing above all else. I am fed up with listening to government standards of what my daughter’s education should be (spoiler alert) and I am going to take back as much control of all of this as I possibly can.
Following my instincts
As a young mother in modern-day Britain, I believe it is my right to be a mother, first and foremost, if my instincts tell me that is what I should be doing. If I want to kiss her on the lips, I will. If I in any way encourage gender stereotypes by telling her she’s a princess and buying her dolls, whose problem is that? If I want to give up a mundane office job to be a stay-at-home mum, chasing my dreams of being a doctor of History and an author, I shall. And to really rile all the true feminists out there, I’ll say this – I’m able to do this because I have a good man, who works hard to look after us and wants nothing more than for both my daughter and I to reach our full potential.
For more inspiration on becoming a “Work at Home Mum” see these links