all in a days work

the hot topic this week is all about mothers, working and what that all costs. weirdly on tuesday i pulled a piece of paper from my pocket to find OUCH. the very next day i received a call from LBC radio to chat to nick ferrari about childcare costs in the uk capital and what impact this is having on london families. two days later i get tagged in a meme, a mothers working meme to be precise. tagged by the daily mum and started by pret a mummy (bargain mummy) and spooky.


  1. Please post the rules
  2. Answer the questions in as much or as little detail as suits you
  3. Leave a comment on so we can keep track of the meme
  4. Tag 3 people and link to them on your blog
  5. Let them know you tagged them
  6. Tweet loudly about taking part (well ok, that isn’t a rule, but how about if we start a hashtag – #amothersworkmeme


  1. Did you work before becoming a mum?
  2. What is your current situation?
  3. Freestyle – got your own point you’d like to get across on this issue? Here’s your chance…

And, most importantly…. you’re tagged!!




1. did you work before becoming a mum?

i’ve always worked, and often have had multiple jobs. i get bored you see, so need distractions. also i had always tended to have expensive taste too, so i would work hard to get what i wanted and do what i wanted.

2. what is your current situation?

both my husband and i work full-time and our son ronnie is at nursery full-time. ronnie hadn’t been planned and therefore we weren’t quite prepared for what was about to happen to us. what we had been prepared for was a bigger mortgage and a whacking big extension on the house and me starting a brand new job. one of those job opportunities that do not come along too often. i was however walking straight into the best working opportunity for a mother to be. i didn’t realise that at the time though. now however, i do appreciate some of the support that i have had and still get. support that many other mothers or mothers to be, don’t get. there is room for improvement but in comparison they are good.

I have been exceptionally lucky. the owner of the business set up the company 19 years ago and within the first 10 years she had 4 children. the director that i report into has 2 children, the head has 3 children and i was about to have 1.

i returned to work just 16 weeks after ronnie was born. mainly due to circumstance of the mortgage we had taken out to ironically make our house and family home.

i reduced my working hours by 1 hour monday to thursday and 1/2 an hour on a friday, so that i could gt back to the nursery in time before the fines kicked in. aye carumba £££££’s

3. Freestyle

as i said i am fairly lucky with my circumstance, my employers are pretty good, they are all parents and have an understanding. what hasn’t been a great experience though, are some of my colleagues attitudes. i can’t count the amount of times i’ve had snide comments made about working part-time. PART-TIME. i officially work 4 1/2 hours less than you, and my salary was kindly pro-rated for that too, and flexi time wasn’t really on the table at the time. however my guilty conscious and eagerness not to give anyone the excuse or opportunity to point the finger at the working mother, means i put in more than quadruple that at least in the evenings and weekends. however like others have said i’m pretty confident that with long lunches, cigarette breaks, chatting in the kitchen etc… i probably do work full time in comparison to a good percentage of the rest of the team.

if i ever have to dash off because ronnie was poorly, work was pretty fine about it. i had remote access installed at home, and also had skype, so i could pick things up with minimal disturbance. but i still had the comments of “not been around much have you?” “why work if you;ve got a baby?” from those around me.

i kind of understand that colleagues think perhaps they’re getting the short straw, because they see me pop off at 4.30 each evening, but they never take any  time to fully understand what i do and how i do it, and what i have had to change to be able to focus my day. they also don’t seem to acknowledge, that my salary was pro-rated to account for these 4 1/2 hours but i still make these hours up without being paid for them. bonkers i know but i’m not giving anyone the excuse to say “oh well she didn’t get it done because she leaves early you know”

however since we have moved offices, flexi time has been introduced with a core attendance time. unfortunately, i can’t currently take advantage of this at present, but what has been quite interesting is how excited everyone else has been about the fact they too could leave at 4.30 and now suddenly i don’t appear to be considered part-time?

maternity pay now that is a sore subject. i have worked ever since it has been legal for me to do so. i have paid tax with all my jobs. now get this. i left a job on the friday and started a new one on the monday. but because i wasn’t employed by the same employer continuously for at least 26 weeks into the 15th week before the week your baby is due (the qualifying week) *takes a breath* i got nothing. N O T H I N G. so all those years i pay money to the government out of my earnings and the time when actually the £102 a week allowance  could have actually helped us out, they say “errrrr sorry but you haven’t been in continuous employment!” WHAT? for two whole days, two whole weekend days. arses. however the real twist comes when actually i found out by totally by error, that i could trot off to the job centre and apply for the maternity allowance which was £20 more than the maternity pay instead!. why? why do this? why make this so blooming convoluted and difficult for everyone and why keep it so quite?

i need to stop now i could go on!


  1. February 25, 2012 / 06:47

    Thanks for taking part in the A Mother’s Work meme. I think what comes out in both your post and The Daily Mum’s post is that there are a lot of employees who could well to take a leaf out of working mother’s books and streamline their working practices. Which would in turn benefit employers.

    It sounds like your employer is taking steps in the right direction with flexi-time, hopefully many other employers will soon realise the benefits of flexible working for both them and their employees, whether the employees are mothers or not.

    As for the maternity benefit / allowance thing – the mind boggles!

  2. k.
    February 25, 2012 / 08:01

    you are really lucky to work for a company like that! *jealous*
    especially when you’re a first-time mother, supportive bosses and peers is the sort of structure necessary for going back to work mums. you still need it when you have more children of course, but i think a first child can be such a rude awakening. at least for me, it was!
    my childcare costs was ridiculous too. can you imagine paying for TWO babies at nursery? that’s why I left it for a bit before having child 2 – it’s a 5-year difference between child 1 and 2.

    • February 25, 2012 / 09:33

      the daily mum

      what has worked for a friend of mine is to get a nanny when she had the second child as it then becomes more affordable than nursery and then she had a third and what she had been paying stayed the same!

      • k.
        February 25, 2012 / 13:03

        Nannies still cost quite a lot, don’t they? About £24,000 pa?
        Chances are I’ll probably end up working late a lot if I know the nanny’s already at home with kids!

        • February 25, 2012 / 13:13


          she paid around 18k so for two kids that’s quite good considering full time nursery for ronnie is a smidge off 17k a year!!!

          • k.
            February 25, 2012 / 13:15

            That is cheap for 2 kids! Especially if one’s a baby and the other’s a toddler.

            • February 25, 2012 / 14:53

              K. Quite good value really in the scheme of things. However the nanny doesn’t live with them so she must be back for 6.30 so kind of works like a nursery in the comfort of your own home!

  3. February 25, 2012 / 09:15

    Great post! I’ve heard that before about the maternity allowance, no-one tells you about it do they? I wonder if the next step for this meme is to start sharing information and job opportunies and companies that ARE forward thinking enough to “allow” us to be great mums and great employees.

    • February 25, 2012 / 09:35


      sneaky about the maternity allowance it’s there for everyone to apply from but it’s all rather shhhhhhhh don’t let them know.
      great idea about extended the meme, time to get your thinking cap on!

  4. February 25, 2012 / 09:22

    Great post, thanks. You’ve just reminded me of a whole load of other issues I have! I don’t think the blogosphere has enough space…

  5. February 27, 2012 / 17:24

    I also leave at 4.30 and get the part time comments! What they don’t see is that I am in at 8am and when I get home my laptop goes on and I continue from home, like you said I dread the thought of someone thinking I didn’t get it done because I leave early! Luckily my bosses get it and fully appreciate what I do, they pay for my study so they must see somethng in me!

    • February 27, 2012 / 19:56

      the working parent

      the 4.30 comments rile me so much, people see what they want to see that’s the big problem. i’m guessing your childcare is as astronomical as mine too?

  6. February 27, 2012 / 22:08

    Why the information isn’t given easily. And all the do this by week no. x and then this by week y or you don’t qualify. Ludicrous!

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