Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Mr. Spouse is not working at the moment. For different reasons, he hasn't been working since August last year. He is sort of looking for a job at the moment, but he's likely to be going back to university in October* and there isn't much temporary around at the moment - particularly not that would allow him to take random days off for adoption courses etc. So he may do some volunteering instead, which is what he was doing in the US; we are actually OK for money for the moment, though I don't feel like we are. He also has some Open University courses to finish before the full-time study starts.

Right now, though, he's feeling a bit sorry for himself - his arm is not back to normal, and he's not able to do any of the DIY stuff we need to get done, but he's also not really done much of the lighter stuff around the house, partly because tidying up also involves lifting. And I'm feeling pretty sorry for myself too - I've had a virus the past few days (I am worried it is the pleuritic thing I had last year, unfortunately), have loads of marking to do and a grant deadline.

But in general he has been enjoying working less (I say less because he's been very committed to his volunteer work and has spent quite a bit of time at it) and I have only slightly felt that I'm benefiting from having a stay-at-home husband (he does, to be fair, do a reasonable amount of cleaning, but he is not one for elaborate or particularly imaginative cooking). And I know it's because I'm jealous. I would really quite like to be at home, at least part-time, preferably with kid(s). I am worried we won't be able to afford this.

This is a slightly irrational fear - we can definitely afford for me to take a good chunk of adoption leave, and if it's appropriate for me to go part-time after that, but money is an issue, he has a good pension from his old job that he can take early. I think it's partly triggered by various discussions that are ongoing on a website I frequent which main centre round how much, or little, women make after paying for nursery fees. In fact, I suspect that even if the answer was "nothing" for me, I'd still work. I enjoy my job, and if I stopped until a child was school age, that would really be it for my career. I do also slightly worry that what a colleague with older children says is true - that working part time also means curtains. In either case I don't want that. Work is not just about money for me. But life is not just about work, either.

*I say back, but in fact he never went when he was 18 so it will be to university, but to retrain in a subject he really enjoys and which is pretty marketable, but in which he has no formal qualifications.

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