Thursday, 5 January 2012

Finding a vocation

I have the utmost admiration for anyone who manages to combine bringing up a family with bringing in an income doing something they enjoy - without missing out on the joy of their children.

Of course it all depends on your circumstances. Now I think, broadly speaking there are 4 types of people bringing up children. Now I would just like to say in advance that none of this is intended as a criticism of any one group and how they choose (if they have a choice) to do it, purely an observation of how life is in Britain today.

1) The "sponger" Single parent, predominantly female, lives almost exclusively on state benefits, very likely never lived with father of child, and makes no effort to find work whatsoever.

2) The "hard-working" single parent, may have been married or in relationship when having kids, which has broken down, has had to adjust to lifestyle as single parent, does utmost to work wherever possible, and finds life hard but .

3) The "traditional" family where one parent works full time and the other has full time child care and household responsibility.

4) The "career" family where both parents work full time, high earners, children well provided for but in care full time from a young age.

I'm not going to comment on category 1), and I don't agree with category 4). No matter if you earn millions, what substitute is that for time spent with your children, particularly while they are young? Some will argue "I'm providing for my children's future". I simply don't agree.

I have the utmost admiration for people in cateogry 2), a couple of people spring to mind, you know who you are. But it's category 3) I want to focus on, as that's the one I am in.

I still believe that the traditional model is the best one - but there are so many more opportunities now for us "housewives". Anyone who thinks that we have the easy option is having a laugh. We work just as hard as other halves and unless you count child benefit and a few tax credits, we do it largely unpaid.

That alone though is not enough - despite our hard work we feel we ought to have a vocation, and the opportunities have never been greater. I'm not talking about a job, I'm talking about doing something for yourself, find something you are good at and do it alongside your housewife life. Now me personally, I have been very lucky to be able to combine the DJ'ing with childcare though it is incredibly tiring at times.

I think most people have it in themselves to become self-employed - it;s just taking that jump. Mine was kind of forced upon me, but the same applies to plenty of single people too. If you hate your job, or can't find one - create your own!

I have nothing but admiration for others that do it. Here's a few that spring to mind. A very close friend who has turned a love of cake-making into a successful business while bringing up three primary age children. Another friend with no fewer than five children who is an Anne Summers rep. And another friend who has become an Avon Lady. Each finding their own way in the world - the rewards of bringing up children full time and the feeling of having a vocation and bringing home some bacon too. I highly recommend it.

So to anyone, parent or otherwise, think about your lives, think about what you're good at, and go out there and do it. Why line other people's pockets with your blood, sweat and tears?

When I started DJ'ing I used to go off and do jobs for other people using their equipment, get 50 quid for my trouble and give the rest to them, while they were sat on their arses doing nothing. Now I can get 5x that on a Saturday night and it's all my own.

Believe in yourself, and never look back.

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