Today’s guest poster is Corinne who blogs at A Journey Through Motherhood. You can also follow her on Twitter. She is a stay at home mum of three boys with a passion for environmental issues and today she is telling us about the job she used to have and what she would like to be doing next.
I was a bit late on starting down the career path, after failing to get on at university I went home, tail between my legs and decided that getting married was a good idea. Four years later, freshly divorced and with a toddler in tow I wanted to give university another go. I studied Environmental Sciences and loved every moment of my degree, even in my early 20s I was considered a mature student, I didn’t have a typical student life but the course was so interesting I really didn’t care.
When I finally finished my degree with a 2:1 I felt so proud and realised my future was in environmental education, for this I needed a teaching qualification so I returned to university to do a PGCE in science. I always knew traditional teaching wouldn’t be for me, I taught secondary science for a couple of years before following my dream of working in the environmental field.
It’s not that easy to find environmental education work and I soon realised I’d need to be fairly flexible, I happily moved to another part of the country to get a job and my first step in the ladder was working for a coal fired power station. It wasn’t exactly an environmentalists dream, however they had a well funded education programme and we had pretty much free reign to teach what we wanted.
I loved that job, I worked hard at it and I made improvements to the education programme. Unfortunately it coincided with the breakdown of my second marriage and an unplanned pregnancy, I continued to work through my pregnancy and then went on maternity leave. A little while into my leave I was informed that my post was being made redundant and I was devastated.
By this time I was in a new relationship and we had planned that I would return to work and my partner would look after the children, instead we both went job hunting and agreed whoever found a decent job first would take it. He got offered a job before me so we upped sticks again and he works full time while I stayed at home with the children. We have since had another baby who is 6 months old.
With a 12 year old who has been through a lot of upheaval, a toddler and a baby I feel like I should be at home for my boys. They need me. Also the chances of finding an environmental education job that paid enough to cover childcare are unlikely. Aside from that I really do want to be at home with my children, I don’t want to miss out on them while they are small, I missed out too much on my eldest being little.
However, there is a big part of me that wants and needs to work. I need to feel useful. I need to keep my mind busy. We’ve made plans to start up our own business running Forest School projects, I’ve made enquiries about doing further studying, and I’ve considered trying to get into photography and all because I really need something that is for me. I am proud of my children and my own part in making them the lovely boys they are but I would also like to be proud of my role in the adult world of work.
I don’t know whether to look at part time work and try and find something that fits around the children and our family. It seems like my career barely had a chance to get started and I was so good at it, I would try and be modest here but I really was awesome, every 6 year old I worked with said it so it must be true. I think for now I should make the most of being with my boys and then in a year or two look at getting a job. My partner and I are fortunate enough to be qualified to do the same type of work so our dream situation would be a job share; we would happily share our work and being at home with the children. It would be great if we could find the right job which would allow us to do this and would also mean the children wouldn’t need to go to nursery.
Lots of ideas, lots of plans, and as much as I love being with my boys, knowing that I will get back out into the world at some future point does help me to cling on to a little piece of my sanity.