April 02, 2011
I have been thinking, as I tend to do sometimes, just to prove that my brain is still functioning. What the fuck will I do when 'me, myself and I' are no longer needed to look after mini me, i.e my kid? I apologize for my rambling and for my langauge but frankly I have nothing else to write about and I'm scared about the future.
I am at home in Moscow, on a Saturday night sat at my computer with nothing better to do and worrying about the future. Sad isn't it, please don't cry. Twenty years ago, I would have been out drinking and hunting for my next sexual conquest. In those days, I was young, handsome and single. Now I am older yet still fairly handsome but not single. I am chained, child bound and in Moscow rather than in London.
What does one do when one is no longer needed to look after the kids or kid? This is a question that many people including me, choose to ignore. We bury this question under the bed, in the garden and put it to the back our minds like a promise to the wife to fix the shelf in the living room. If you are a full time parent, male or female stuck at home, your employment life as a SAHD or SAHM (stay at home dad/stay at home mum) is limited, as eventually they will be at school. Being a stay at home parent has a limited life span and the clock is ticking faster than you realize. I have not been employed for a few years. I have collected dust like an old vase on the shelf, I am like an old car that has not been used for years. My battery is flat and I need a good wash. Unless you are a doctor, surgeon, scientist, dentist, engineer, architect, designer etc, your saleability and 'resale' value after life on the shelf, is limited, to zero. Your net worth to an employer registers in small coins rather than in hard paper cash. What does a SAHD or SAHM do after life at home and child care?
Maybe it's time to learn a new skill? learn to juggle, dance, sing or take an exam in applied mechanics or mathematics? Who fucking knows? Employers don't like CV gaps, gaps are a no no, CV gaps are the grand canyon of gaping crevices. Interviewers raise their eyebrows if you have a few months gap in your employment history, they look at your CV while their faces have an expression as if you have just farted the worst fart in their office. How will they react to a few years away from work and if you are a man?. They will look at your CV while a cold wind and tumble weed will blow through the office, as you sit in your swivel chair looking up at them hoping for a job. They will assume you are a gay man who adapted a child.
Being away from an office environment, you forget employment life and office games. You forget how cut throat and hard life is in the world of paid employment. You forget office and adult life and become childlike in your perception of people and the world, you revert back in your adult development, to a world that is fluffy and soft. Your world has revolved around another human being that you have cared for from when you first watched them flop out onto the table in a bag of slime, you fed and watered them for about two to three years, you have not known any other function. Your world has been isolated and special. All you have known have been child issues, worries and child jargon and things like nappy rash, vomit, shit, the best nappies to use, good and bad baby food, nursery rhymes and day to day child care.
You have forgotten about spread sheets, how to use a photocopier, coffee machine, performance targets, payslips, Windows Office, taking the daily train and how to cope with jerks in the office that you can't stand. You forget what its like to sit opposite a guy who talks really loudly on the phone or who picks his nose, you forget about being false and keeping cool when all around you is annoying the shit out of you that you just want to burst. You forget the numbing routine of Monday to Friday life.
Trying to get a job again after such a long break would be hard for a woman and even harder for man. People don't do kids and childcare. Employers want continuity, gaps and children don't really compute for many employers. When they ask you at an interview: 'so Martin what have you been doing since........?' an uncomfortable silence falls over the meeting as you desperately splutter: 'I have been looking after my daughter' and they say to you, trying to to look genuinely interested: 'oh really and how did you find that?' you just want to leave and go home as you watch your CV and job chances burn in flames. In your mind, you raise your finger at them and slam the door on the job.
Perhaps it's easier for a woman who is at home raising her kids. If she is married to a rich man who is in a good job, the chance or need for her to return to work is unlikely and unnecessary. The chances and need for a man to return to work are higher and far more difficult. This is an experience and mountain I yet have to climb dear reader. I am looking forward to it as one would look forward to a total body wax or colonic irrigation performed by a nervous blind man who had just escaped from a secure mental asylum!!
Note: It's hard for women as well but in many countries employers legally have to hold their position for them when they return to work. This is not the case for men since men don't have babies. Men have no rights except 'paternity leave' in some developed countries however, paternity leave is unmanly and soft. I doubt many men use it? Besides I think it's unpaid so its as much help as a chocolate tea cup.
© All Rights Reserved.
Labels: Employment after kids