I have now been at my new job as a Content & Community Strategist for two whole weeks and, although a challenge to learn so much so quickly, I am loving it.  Nothing quite like a new job to get your teeth into!

 

One of the things I asked for when I was in negotiations with my boss, was the opportunity to work flexibly, ie. from home 2 days per week (meetings permitting.)  I would offer my own flexibility in that these 2 days would work around the requirements of the team and our clients, but I just felt that at this point in mine and Dexter’s lives, it was important I was around more, even if I was at home working, at least I was here.

 

It sounds such a simple thing, and one that perhaps I have taken for granted when I have been unemployed, but let me relay a brief conversation I had with Dexter this morning.  After having dropped him off at school this morning, no breakfast club necessary today, he asked if I would be able to pick him up after school:

 

Dexter:      Can you pick me up after school today Mum?

Me:            Yes, I can today love, I’m working from home.

 

Cue punch to the air …

 

Dexter:      YES!!!  GET IN!!!

Me:            I take it that’s OK by you??

Dexter:      I love it when you collect me.  Means I can spend more time with you.

 

Think my heart officially melted right then and there.

 

Now, Dexter and I both know that once he gets in from school, I’ll be back on my laptop working and he’ll be playing FIFA on the PS3.  Oh, and throwing around the new inflatable bed we bought for Ben (but that’s another story.  Sigh …)

 

But I’m here.  He can see me, cuddle me if he wants to, pester me for food – all the usual things.  I’m more ‘present.’

 

It’s hard being a working lone parent and not only that, Dexter doesn’t see his Dad … so I’m pretty much all he’s got (my family aside.)  I just got to that point in my life recently where I wanted to push ahead with my career (which I’m doing,) but still be a visible presence in Dexter’s life.

 

Believe me, it’s not easy keeping everyone happy (as I’m sure you can all relate to,) but I’ve had to put the needs of myself and Dexter to the top of the list.  Thankfully, my new employer understands that I’ll work during my own time, whether that’s for clients or personal development, and that I’m pretty much always on call – we have that respect, trust and understanding already … it makes a nice change if I’m honest, so it’s a win/win – he gets a hardworking and happy member of staff, and I can feel like I’m balancing the work/family life a little better.

 

It’s a work in progress.  I began work at 7am today but will take Dexter for a Costa after school, because one thing I’ve come to realise as I’ve got older, is that the little things count.  Whether it’s picking Dexter up from school, or a good friend sending you a book in the post just because they think you’ll like it .. they’re so much more important that fancy cars and millions in the bank.

 

Good job really!

 

So, my lunchbreak is over and it’s back to the day job.  Today, that just happens to be downstairs on my work laptop!

 

Flexible working – does it work?  For now, the answer is a resolute yes.

 

 

 

 

 

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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.

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9 Comments

  1. I love it that he was so happy about what seems like such a small thing. It goes to show how time with our kids is so precious. I feel so guilty working at home on my computer if the children are there, but from their point of view they’d still rather be close to me, than me be off in an office somewhere else. I also take note of your Costa after school idea. I often think of doing that but then I don’t because I think I’m too busy. Perhaps I will today…
    Peggy Reinvented recently posted..Top 5 personal achievements of 2013My Profile

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Mother’s guilt is a cruel thing! I know we all feel it to different degrees, whether we work from home, we’re SAHMs, we work in an office … it’s all so hard! But I think we should all try our best to enjoy this time when our kids actually DO want to be around us! Before we know it, they’ll be too embarrassed or too busy to be with us! Costa after school is a lovely treat … hope you manage to find a little time to do that today – a Christmas treat! x

  2. So pleased the new job is working out well, especially the flexible working. When I started my new job a few weeks ago, I had negotiated working from home one day a week (Fridays – I’m on my lunch break now!) and as you say, it’s lovely just to be able to take the girls to school and pick them up. Makes such a difference. Hope it continues to go well x
    Jean (notsupermum) recently posted..Featured: How to be a cool mum – without embarrassing your kidsMy Profile

  3. That sounds fab – how wonderful for both of you 🙂 I was due to go back to work as an account director in a marketing agency earlier this year when my second daughter was 6 months old, it would have been 4-5 days a week of being absent from my 6 year old and 6 month old for 11 hours a day, and I couldn’t do it, so I retrained as a childminder and now I couldn’t be happier. Sometimes you’ve got to do what’s best for you/your children as often it’s the same thing. Enjoy!

  4. Glad you found a job that works for you and Dexter. The hardest part about finding a job is one that meets all your needs.

    I’m lucky, my job is part time, term time but I can finish early, work from home and in return they get extra from me like working today because I don’t want to leave things until I’m next in the office.

    As long as you do the work and it’s a good quality, the clients are happy and so is the boss then you are onto a winner! x

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