Hi moms! Today’s story is a dilemma that many career moms find themselves in. I’m sure you can relate to it -either through your personal experience or the experience of someone you know. Read and feel free to share your thoughts about it.
“My career for over 10 years has been in the construction industry. In my last employment, which was September 2018, my former employer declared my position redundant due to the tough economic situation and the hard times the company was going through. Actually, me and several colleagues were retrenched. At that time, I was five months pregnant.
But I still needed a job, and considering how difficult it generally is for women in the construction industry (which is dominated by men), you can imagine what it is like job hunting while visibly pregnant. I did not succeed.
I gave birth to my second born early last year. I thought of looking for a job after three months, but due to the nature of my work, I figured it would be difficult for me to exclusively breastfeed or work flexible hours if I secured a job. The working hours in the construction industry are usually longer, plus the reporting times are not usually favorable for a mom with a small baby. So I decided to stay at home longer.
Feeling Ready Now
For the past few months, I’ve been applying for job opportunities as I feel ready to return to work. In December 2019, I got a job offer in Limuru at a construction site. I live in the Nairobi metropolitan area.
I did my calculations on the daily commute to Limuru that would be required of me. I factored in the distance and my two young children who need my attention (my eldest is 5 years).
Commuting to work would mean that I leave the house at the very latest 5.30am and I would most likely be getting back home late. The job would also require me to work till 5pm on Saturdays, taking even more of my time away from my children. Besides, the environment in a construction site wouldn’t allow me to pump breastmilk or adequately store it.
My other option was for us to relocate to a place near Limuru, but this I ruled out because it was a project for just 12 months so I didn’t think it was worth it.
A Difficult Choice?
While the job was a good offer and it would have helped me return to work after my post-partum hiatus and definitely helped with the bills, I decided to turn it down. I just can’t afford to be away that much from my children at this tender age when they need me the most. My heart would never be okay with that. And I’m okay with that decision.
I still haven’t found a job, but I’m trusting in God for one soon.”
That is this mom’s story. What do you think about her decision? Have you ever been in a similar situation where you turned down a job offer because of your children? Did you eventually get a job? Let me know about it.
Do you have a story that you want to share, or something that you’d like to raise awareness about? If so, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
You may also like to read Diana’s story: