A Fork In The Road

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.


About Ciara McDonnell

Ouch My Fanny Hurts was born in the late stages of my first pregnancy. I was sick and tired of everyone going on and ON about how brilliant it is to be pregnant, when actually, lots of it was quite crap really. And, my fanny hurt a lot. So, I decided to tell the truth about my experience while I was pregnant, and the journey I have been on since, as our little fella grew a little bigger, and we brought our second son into the world in what turned out to be fairly scary circumstances. It’s my story, and I am delighted to share it.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to A Fork In The Road

  1. SarahJane says:

    Aw Ciara, you are so lucky to be able to do this, I DREAM of it every day, constantly calculating if its possible for us at the moment. Unfortunately it’s not, but hopefully some day it will be! We dont have children so that we can spend all day in work, only to come home to tuck them in at night, its not fair 😦

  2. Fair play Ciara. I’m sure it was a very tough decision to make but I bet you feel relieved now that it’s made! Your little boys are very lucky to have their mama all to themselves. Enjoy this special time. Your family will be rich for it. xx

  3. Go Ciara! Enjoy your time with your children as much as you can, and honour your need to have outside work/ interests as and when you need them. It is a big financial and status jump, I know, and one that many don’t understand. But you can make a way that works for you all, when the time comes.

    I am making a living as a freelance writer – not big money, but 1/4 of our total family income. I took a couple of years out when ours were tiny, and now we have two at school. It can be done remotely – I am contributing editor for a parenting magazine and write a column and freelance features, as well as my own books. And I had no previous experience like you do.

    Totally with you on the money front – see the Parenting FB page rant in response to Kate’s question.

  4. Colette says:

    Hi there,
    It is a big decision,won’t be easy but you will not regret it, not one bit. I work remotely from home as with recent paycuts in my job and childcare costs here in our area as they were in the boom, it would cost me to work. I do need to work for family finances and for myself too. I work when the baby sleeps and the others are in school and then hit the laptop when they are in bed at night. It is tough going, no time for myself during the week and the house is permanently scruffy, we will be in this house for ever as no chance of moving, no money for nice handbags,shoes but my kids love having me drop them off at school, collect them, go to the park, bake, draw, go for hot chocolate, break up fights, tame tantrums…
    It is only for a few years.
    The child benefit is essential in this house too. The government quietly paid bondholders (unsecured) €1billion last week and the ‘leak’ about the CB cut said tbat the proposed cuts will net the state €5mill

    • Colette, thank you. I plan to work my (sizeable) arse off from home too – even though your house may be scruffy, I know you’re a happier lady as a result of it… and I will be too. I am so angry at the government, and I feel so strongly that we must protest this – we have taken all the other crap they have thrown at us lying down, but it’s time for the tenable force of the Irish Mammies to unite – it’s just bloody ridiculous. Thank you for posting. x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s