Name : Debbie Purdy
Age : 45
Number of children : 2
Job Title : Finance Director
My duties include the traditional responsibilities of a Finance Director. However, as I work in a fairly small company, and as I have over 20 years corporate experience, I think that I can turn my hand to anything that’s needed.
25 hours a week. At the moment I work a full day on a Monday and Friday and 5 hours each on a Tuesday and Thursday.
Not only does it give me an “escape route” from the kids, it lets me be myself and use my brain again
Childcare arrangements :
My children are both still pre-school.
On Monday and Friday they go to nursery for the whole day and on Tuesday and Thursday they have a nanny for the 5 hours I’m at work (she has school-aged kids so it’s ideal hours for her). On Wednesday they’re all mine.
I’m also lucky in that my other half is self-employed and therefore can be flexible if needed – particularly handy when the sick bug strikes or when there’s something that I absolutely need to get done.
What I love about work :
Not only does it give me an “escape route” from the kids, it lets me be myself and use my brain again. I had 3 years off work when I had children – and that was tougher, both mentally and physically, than any job I’ve ever had.
What I find difficult is :
Having no time to myself at all during the week. I literally go from kids to work to kids, with no time in between. As they’re 2 and 3 they are fairly high maintenance when I’m with them, always wanting mummy’s attention – so I don’t even get to nip off for a nap or a browse on the internet, and they need plenty of things to occupy them. It’s pretty tiring!
I also used to be able to stay at work until all hours if something needed doing, which is great for keeping the In-tray under control. It’s difficult to do that now – in particular on the days when I have to leave on time to get home for the nanny. So, I have had to get used to just putting things down, or if things are really urgent take work home.
My working life would be easier if :
The obvious answer is if I didn’t have kids of course!
Working mums have a tough time in that as well as work they still need to “organise” the children’s lives, deal with childcare issues, sick kids, etc. I haven’t even thought about how it’s all going to change when they start school.
And life would be easier with more hours in the day!
Work/mum life balance :
I don’t even think about this issue very often – I just get on with it – and anyway what is the perfect work/mum life balance?
I chose to have kids and chose to go back to work part-time – because that’s what I think gives me the right work/life mum balance for me and the children at this point in time. And I was lucky enough to find the right job to enable me to do that – something which definitely isn’t easy!
So, in theory I have a good work/mum life balance as I work yet still have plenty of time with the kids during the week, and can see them growing up and changing every day. But that balance in itself is hard work and long hours!
How having children has changed the work I do :
Until I had children, I worked in the City in a senior position in the financial sector, with very good pay and very long hours. I gave up work totally for 3 years and have now gone back working part time in a local company.
I’ve swapped the long hours and pay for a local part-time, flexible job to give me the balance I want in my life at the moment. And having been in large corporate environments for so long, that is a total turnaround for me.
I’m not saying this option is available to or wanted by everybody – but it works for me.
I’ve always wished I was a more creative/sales/marketing type person. I’m always wondering what I could do, invent and bring to market and dream about being the next great female entrepreneur!
Anything else :
Read my March diary …..