Sixteen years ago this July I went on maternity leave. In the end I opted not to return as it would make breastfeeding more difficult, and the eldest was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome that year and needed extra support. Since then we have managed on any disability related benefits and my husband’s wage. But now recently it felt like I should go back to work.
Difficulty Getting a Job with No Experience
So I ended up applying for quite a few jobs really. You may recall I was thinking about it ages ago! Starting with ones I really would like to do and eventually I applied to Cineworld for their VIP section. They told me that I didn’t have the desired skills. But at least they replied.
Trouble is I have a first degree but only worked in a school, a supermarket and a fast food chain – and then I have been a carer and blogging for just over a decade. Actually I even started volunteering to help get back into the swing of things, and have something else I could put down.
Why I Wanted to Go Back to Work
My husband does the school runs and I really just need to be available for when he can’t be. So that means if there’s an appointments in the day, school strikes, or if he has a meeting. Therefore I am free to do what I like but also need to be just available.
The Financial Side
Now I appreciate that not many people have this luxury but it really wasn’t a nice feeling. Having to pay for all my dental care, prescriptions (including my HRT) and opticians’ appointments out of my measly carers’ allowance I just felt I wasn’t really contributing. Plus with rising energy costs and living month to month on my credit card isn’t ideal.
Plus the fact that I spend money on massages, my gym membership and cold water swimming – I felt like a bit of a sponge. It made me feel like I should be doing stuff all the time to make up for it – cleaning, cooking and the like. But I hate that stuff so felt like I should always be doing it but without always doing it!
In a nutshell I felt like I would be able to allow myself time to relax if I worked – because it would be like I deserved it. Plus I would be contributing financially – making presents I bought for my other half feel like they were properly from me.
The Mind Side
A lot of this I imagine is due to the perimenopause. Feelings of anxiety about what would happen if I no longer had my husband. My life slipping away and what is my purpose now my children are starting to all leave home.
But also the brain fog had started to reappear again and I just felt that I needed to do something more to keep my mind active again.
Oh plus people have been really taking the mic with asking me to work for them. At least with paid employment you are guaranteed a wage and everyone gets it rather than taking it personally when people treat you like rubbish.
Back to Work At McDonalds
Then one night I just applied to go back to work at McDonalds on my phone. It was really easy and I even skipped the section about references. Within 2 days I had an interview and got the job. Lots has changed and it’s been really overwhelming. Getting used to not having a break when I want, being on my feet all day – told different things all the time – and generally just not having the freedoms that I am used to.
How’s It Going
Well it is hard to say at the moment. There have been many times when I have felt like quitting already but feel that that will just make me feel worse. Hopefully as I get used to things it will get easier. Also I am only part time so that should make things easier.
Adapting to the changes and getting my head around who is who. Luckily there’s some really nice people who work there. One of the changes is also that a lot more is online – which makes a lot of things much easier.
Also I am really lucky to have such a supportive family. Our fifteen year old son has taken over a lot of the cooking side of things for us – which helps enormously.
My first pay was disappointing. Still not seen a Pay Slip but I can only assume it is due to emergency tax – fingers crossed.
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