I have made a decision.
Over the last few months it has become more and more apparent to me that I will not be returning to work. This is a giant leap for me – my job has formed a huge part of my sense of self for the last ten years, and even though I always planned to stay at home with my kids, when Matthew (little fella) was born, I knew that I had to go back for my sanity as much as anything else.
With two babies there is way more to consider. On a practical level, it would cost basically my whole wages to put our two kids into childcare while I was at work, and while I bloody love my job, I don’t know how much I would love it if I couldn’t even afford to buy a copy of Grazia once the creche bill had been paid each month.
Before Michael was born, I was prepared to do this. I thought that I would go mental being at home with the two lads, and the idea of actually paying to work (which is what so many of us Mums have to do these days unfortunately) seemed better than not working at all. The last few months have shown me that it is more important for me to be at home with the lads, for now.
It’s for my heart more than anything else. I am still so raw from the trauma of Michael’s birth, and the effects that it had on our family, and tipping the scales at either end of my spectrum sends me a bit loopy. With that in mind, I think – I feel – it’s more important for me to be home with the boys, maintaining our delicate equilibrium as much as I can.
I’m lucky because the nature of my work allows me to plan to work from home eventually… and that is very much the plan, once I start to get more than two minutes to myself each day.
This decision has been made all the more terrifying this week thanks to all the news of the threatened cuts to our children’s allowance. Going from being an independent, crust earning Wo-Man to relying on my boyfriend for pocket money is earthshattering-ly scary for me. I don’t like relying on anyone for cash – never have and never will. The fact that I would be getting a few quid each month that would be all mine really factored into my decision to leave work.
I feel like the government have spent the last few months beating us with sticks, adding levy after levy, charge after charge and it has to stop. We are consistently punished for earning too much, but not enough to ask for help. We have been financially battered over the last few years, and this time, they are threatening the tiniest payment that is used to raise a family. With so many ridiculous payments that go out on a monthly basis, how they can target the most vulnerable people in society – women and children – is beyond me. And it makes me really really angry.
My Mum has told me that we shouldn’t stay quiet about this. And she’s right. We need to make a stink – tweet it, facebook it, SHARE IT. Say no to a cut in children’s allowance.
If we shout loud enough they have to listen to us.