Jobs for the Mums…

One of the perks of being made redundant, is the opportunity to broaden your horizons, to explore new career options and to re-evaluate the shape of your future. Having made the transition from career woman to mother, the timing couldn’t have been better to take time out with the kiddos whilst considering an alternative career path.

Having this time to focus on my family is my current priority, but it’s always there in the background – the burning question…what do I want to do next?

Just last month, at an impromptu breakfast trip to an all too familiar hang out, an advertisement for the job of my dreams caught my eye. It got me thinking about how maybe a short term casual position in a totally different role would be a welcome break from the day to day grind of stay-at-home-parenthood, and bring in some much needed extra pennies for Christmas.

Plus, I’m definitely a hat person, and green is my favourite colour.

Back at home I scrutinised the online application and started mentally considering childcare options.

And then, my dreams were shattered. To be an elf at our local Garden centre, you need a valid DBS certificate – something I’ve never needed before so do not possess. I even looked into getting one, but the deadline was too close. I was pretty gutted – I could have shown the elves from last year a thing or two about Christmas excitement and how to belt out a rendition of Jingle Bells.

So what are my other options? Here’s a few I’ve mulled over, in-between planning my play dates, coffee mornings and meal agenda for the week…


I’d never considered myself a writer before, but then again I’d never considered myself a blogger before. It seems the two go hand in hand, and some successful bloggers have made the transition to kick ass writers. Having sat through the pitch to publication talk at blogfest this year, I couldn’t help but wonder if I have a book in me? All I need is an idea…hmmm…


I’ve always felt that teaching is something I’d love to do. I come from a family well stocked with teachers, and the idea of following a more vocational route is so appealing, having spent the last 17 years working in the corporate world. Having a Biology degree already, there are bursary schemes available for trainee teachers. But then, teaching gets a pretty bad press. Yes the holidays fit in well with a family, but does the stress, the long hours, the bureaucratic constraints I’ve heard so much about? Maybe now’s not the right time.

Professional Blogger

Feeling somewhat of an unprofessional blogger currently, this could be a possible progression. Steps probably needed to up my game include 1) Making the blog look a bit slicker 2) Upping the content creation to more regular publishing 3) Finally cracking the monetisation thing 4) Blogging outside of naptime and after bedtime when half asleep and in my PJs in front of the TV. Hmmm.


Zoo Keeper

My dream job as a little girl, which still resides inside me somewhere. I can’t visit an animal sanctuary, conservation centre or zoo without hearing that little voice inside wondering if I could still make it happen? The sad reality is that underpaid and overworked, under-qualified and oversubscribed makes this not a very viable career option.


If what we’re talking about here is an opportunity to stretch the mind and the legs beyond the same four walls, the idea of an altruistic donation of my time is quite appealing. Of course, this requires not only some pretty robust financial stability, but the ability to also have your kids taken care of. So, maybe if they were at school or nursery, and one’s brain was rotting away it’s a viable option? Not so much if it’s costing you Β£6 an hour in childcare?


What if I could think of that perfect product, the one that would make every parents dreams come true. It could be the making of me, and change the world for the better. I’m thinking guys, I’m thinking…


Now there definitely is one gap in the market – a NICE place for Mums to hang out, where tea flows like wine and the children can play freely, free from the smell of grease. Think all the fun of soft play, with all the class of your local tea room. Boom. Goldmine. Although I’m kind of thinking I want someone else to create this place so I can frequent it, as opposed to run it.

A.N. Other

I guess what I really want is a well paid, local job which is part time and allows school collection and term time only. I want to feel mentally challenged, but without any stress. I’d love to try something new, but I don’t want to start right at the bottom. The option to work from home would be nice, but it’d also be good to get a change of scene. I’d love to be my own boss, but have the support of an organisation. Work independently, but as part of a team towards a common goal. I want it all, but not at all.

Maybe I’ll just keep thinking…and pop the kettle on…



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60 thoughts on “Jobs for the Mums…

  1. bobsys mum (@stressed_mummy_) Reply

    I went back after mat leave, and ended up having to leave, because they were making childcare impossible. Now I’m doing some freelance writing, earning more, and loving it. I don’t even think I’m a particularly good writer! Great things sometimes come when you least expect them!


  2. beautybabyandme Reply

    Its a tricky one love! I love being a stay at home Mum and I’ve been so lucky to get some PA work from home. I’d love to be a pro blogger but when I even tried going down that path it stressed me out so much and took the joy out of blogging. I think you should be an author – you’d be brilliant xxx #bigpinklink

  3. Kat Reply

    I am going to be an author, one day, for now I’m working on the professional blogger thingie, so far it’s going okay! It’s really tough finding the balance between work, childcare and home I think! #MarvMondays

  4. Island Living 365 Reply

    Oh I am like you! I would love to be an Elf, I too wanted to be a zoo keeper but I am no good with poop so I think I would struggle with elephant poop! I don’t have it in me to be a pro blogger so I am trying to write a book at the moment. Trying being the word. I keep getting distracted by coffee runs and reading blogs. It’s exciting though, and lots of choices to mull over. Now I have also always wanted to be a tv presenter or a singing drummer. Hmmm. #MarvMondays

  5. Something About Baby Reply

    You could totally make it as a pro blogger and I reckon everyone has a book in them! I’ve written one and a half, but so far they have sat on my laptop and I’ve not done anything with them (like, finish them….) I’d love to find a job that gives me a good balance of work/home life as currently working full time isn’t for me, but I have no choice. I definitely have a lot to think about after we have baby no.2, and I do like your suggestion of the Mum cafe…a gap in the market there I think!!

    1. Something About Baby Reply

      Forgot to add #MarvMondays!

  6. Liane Reply

    So many of these jobs I’d love to do too! Right now I’m just focusing on the blogging path, although writing a book has been a dream of mine since I was 10 years old πŸ™‚ #MarvMondays

  7. Nursery Whines Reply

    There are all these laws in place to supposedly make it easier for us to be working mothers, but the truth is employers seem to avoid you like the plague if you’ve just been on maternity leave – convinced you’ll just get up the duff again as soon as they hire you presumably. Redundancy on maternity leave seemed like a gift, but I just can’t find any part time jobs going. If only I still had a job to go back and agree flexible working hours for…. But you have some great ideas here and the world is your oyster. Do it – mumpreneur, professional blogger, make it happen. #bigpinklink

  8. Jakijellz Reply

    Oh I’m sorry you missed out on being an Elf. How cool would that have been for Christmas!! Next year!!
    I like how you’ve explored every avenue here. It’s so hard to find something that fits in just perfectly. When mine starts school I will have the perfect hours (9.30-1) I’ll even have a precious two hours to myself when I finish. But until then I’m really dependent on my parents. Not ideal but the only option. Good luck with your search. #marvmondays

  9. Jo (Mother of Teenagers) Reply

    Looks like you have almost talked yourself out of all the options. We all want that perfect, part-time job that fits in with the kids and doesn’t come with all the stress of the corporate world we left behind. Retraining as a teacher is a really popular second vocation choice amongst many people I know and I also know some who have become a teacher’s assistant which involves less stress and responsibility and still fits with the school routine. Something will come along for you when the time is right. In the meantime reap the rewards of your blog. #MarvMondays

  10. Devon Mama Reply

    Can’t believe you couldn’t become an elf – could you write to santa for some assistance in the matter?! Let us know what you end up deciding! #marvmondays

  11. oddhogg Reply

    I was made redundant shortly before I found out I was pregnant with Piglet. At the moment I don’t have any plans to return to work until he is at school, and I definitely won’t be going back to the same sort of job I had before. What I will be doing is a big mystery still though! #marvmondays

  12. organisedjo Reply

    I really enjoyed this post, and it feels like you are having the same conversation that I am in my head – what to do next. Love the idea of the elf job, but not sure if I could be super bouncy all day everyday, especially after a broken nights sleep! #MarvMondays

  13. Amie Richards Reply

    This is something I’ve been thinking a lot about too. So many simple jobs I’d enjoy and others I just wouldn’t easily be able to do without a lot of start up money, and then juggling school times is a whole other story!! #MarvMondays

  14. Cherry Newby (@TheNewbyTribe) Reply

    I loved your ideas but I really loved the idea of being a zoo keeper! What a great idea – I want to be one now!! Seriously though – some fab ideas! #marvmondays

  15. min1980 Reply

    Ah, I feel your dilemma here. I like to imagine myself as some sort of uber-mother and world-renowned teacher plus pro blogger and successful author. Oh, and maybe doing a few shifts volunteering on a lifeboat for the RNLI in my spare time (although it would have to be in our local river, as I don’t live near the sea). Sadly, the reality is that I am a bit half-baked at all of those things, except obviously the heroic volunteering and battling stormy seas, as I have at least partially attempted the others. Sometimes I feel like we never quite get there at deciding what we want to do. Best of luck, and I might go for that elf job if the post is still vacant. #bigpinklink

  16. catherine Reply

    Don’t be a teacher. It’s thankless. Zoe keeper sounds pretty ace. I always fancied being a librarian – lots of sitting down and endless silence. #marvmondays

  17. pinkpearbear Reply

    It’s the age old question isn’t it?! What to do when the kids get older. If you hit on the magic formula, please let me know! Thank you so much for being a part of the #bigpinklink it’s great to have you with us!

  18. mrsmummyharris86 Reply

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who dreams of alternative careers. I applied to be a teacher and only after paying an application fee did they tell me I wasn’t qualified enough (also after speaking to the course leader face to face)
    I’d love to work with animals but then I’d cry if I had to let them go or if they were ill!
    #marvmondays #bigpinklink

  19. Kirsten Toyne Reply

    I love your last paragraph. I do that sometimes too. there is no perfect solution. I find the advertising and self promotion of working for myself tough and long, at times, to work in an organisation but of course with out a boss! Great post. I hope you find something. You are right though it is good to take stock and reassess every so often. #coolmumclub

  20. Mummy Muckups (Anna) Reply

    Teaching is a noble profession. It is a gift…and can be worked around your own kids. I cannot wait to get back!! Good luck with the whole process. #coolmumclub

  21. beautybabyandme Reply

    Stopping by again from #coolmumclub

  22. Back With A Bump Reply

    Back again for for #coolmumclub. I just want to do a pro at making snowflakes like in elf

  23. alisonlonghurst Reply

    What an exciting position to be in, with all these options and more ahead of you! The world is your oyster and something will jump out at you while that kettle is boiling πŸ™‚ Alison x #coolmumclub

  24. Wendy Reply

    Aww I would love to be an elf and I always wanted to work in a zoo too. I have no idea what I’m going to do career wise once my kids are in school , I think I want it all like you do!! I hope you find your dream job one day xx #coolmumclub

  25. mummymiller Reply

    Who knew you needed a DBS to be an elf! I hope you find something that’s right for you #coolmumclub

  26. theidentitythieves Reply

    I’ve been going through this very conundrum myself of late! Going back to teaching in Jan, part time. No idea how it’ll pan out but giving it a good shot. Then, if it doesn’t work out, I’ll be looking for a flexible, well paid, challenging, stressless role locally too πŸ˜‰ #coolmumclub

  27. Samsam - Simply A Mama Reply

    I think all of us stay at home mums start to wonder the same thing… what’s next? but seems like you have nice list there, best of luck finding your dream job #coolmumclub

  28. Nicola wiggins Reply

    Love this post! You have literally read my mind. I am going through redundancy right now and thinking the exact same things, including the same potential jobs. If you find a solution let me know lol! Failing that, let’s go into business together! #coolmumclub x

  29. Chilli Regina Reply

    Plenty of jobs on your list!:) my fav is perhaps a place for mums to hang out! You can even name it after your Linky – Cool mum (tea)club:)) I would def be up for opening it with you, if I lived in UK that is:)

  30. anywaytostayathome Reply

    Gutted you can’t be an elf, I would have joined you, we would have been elfier than elf and rocked it! It’s a tricky old thing isn’t it. I’ve opted for a completely non stimulating job, but it is local and super flexible. I do in, do my job, come home. Is it my dream? Oh hell no, But will it do for now? Yep. #coolmumclub

  31. Janine Reply

    Ha ha. Love it πŸ™‚

    I’ve been out of work 3 years now and knowing I have to go back in the next year or so fills with me dread because I have absolutely no idea what I want to do. I know that I don’t want to go back to doing what I was doing before. I’ve always wanted to write a book too, I’ve even started writing one but then I read it back and convince myself it’s crap. Not great if the confidence isn’t there to keep going, plus I just don’t get enough peace and quiet to concentrate these days and trying to write a book is all consuming. I would literally spend hours and hours writing. Maybe once the kids are older I may actually get round to finishing it, or maybe I’ll just start a whole new story. We’ll see. It’s certainly something to think about.

    (Unhinged mummy stopping by from #coolmumclub). Thanks for hosting.

  32. Angela Watling Reply

    I’ve often mulled over what alternative career I would choose and a bit like you I’m never sure. I would absolutely have loved to be a Zoo Keeper (I did Keeper for a Day at Whipsnade 3 years ago and it was A-MAZ-ING!) but you’re right it’s not really viable.I completely relate about the dilemma between work for yourself vs. having a bigger company to fall back on. Hope you figure it out soon! So sad you couldn’t be an elf πŸ™ #CoolMumClub

  33. RachelSwirl Reply

    I would love to be a professional blogger but other than what I already do Im not sure how to ‘make it’.

  34. veryhealthycaterpillar Reply

    This is a great read and feels like I am listening to myself. After a bit of a mental breakdown and being off work since August I am considering a change in career. Or just a break from the real world would be great. Its so hard being a mum and career woman at the same time. We need to look after ourselves and our mental health and I wish I had realised sooner what a downward spiral I was on.
    When you find that perfect job let us know so we can all sign up. #coolmumclub x

  35. Nicole Reply

    You’re a fab writer so something along those lines is absolutely do-able. Freelancing, professional blogging, yes… even that book. It’s something you can do from home, and around the kids’ schedules. (These are my long-term plans too!!!). Good luck with whatever you choose to do… meanwhile, enjoy this time with the kiddos!

  36. Jakijellz Reply

    Popping back from #coolmumclub x

  37. motherhoodtherealdeal Reply

    Zookeeper would be ace….or maybe we should join forces with a business #coolmumclub venture?! xxx

  38. No Manual to Mummy Reply

    It can be such a difficult choice. I myself have been at the crossroads. Being a SAHM to a 22 month old and 21 weeks pregnant with baby #2 I needed a plan in place. Low and behold, I enrolled on a course and currently volunteering around my hub2be’s hours and childcare situation – on route to becoming an Early Years Teacher! Good luck on your journey, holding out for your zoo dream! #coolmumclub

  39. Lucy At Home Reply

    Oh it would be fab to be a zoo keeper! It’s always been in my plan to become a teacher one day. I know I’m good at it but a whole host of circumstances prevented me from completing my training. However, since then, both my brother & my cousin have qualified as teachers and they both hate it! I have to admit it’s putting me off going back!

    Have you considered volunteering at a local Baby/Toddler group? I do that. It means you can take your kids with you – they get to meet some other children, and you have something to focus on (there’s accounts to organise, rotas to write, crafts to plan, resources to research and buy, etc). #CoolMumClub

  40. tinmccarthy Reply

    I have been a full time teach, part time teacher, stay at home mom and now a blogger. They all are challenging in their own respects that is for sure.


  41. Rachel Peachey Reply

    Some of those sound like great jobs…but so much to consider! And wouldn’t it be nice if it could all just sort of fall together? Love the idea of the restaurant. #coolmumclub

  42. Jo (Mother of Teenagers) Reply

    Still liking this on the second time of reading. Are you any closer to a decision yet? #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      Nah, and that’s kinda how I like it for now! I’m a total believer in fate πŸ™‚ it’ll all
      come good in the end!

  43. madmotherintheattic Reply

    It’s good to know I’m not alone! I’m not sure how the next few years will pan out but somehow I’ll make some money doing something that fits in with the kids. Ideally as a Mumpreneur but I’m not sure I’m an ‘ideas’ person. I’m sure you’ll find the right thing. It’s just a matter of time!

  44. madmotherintheattic Reply

    forgot to add #coolmumclub

  45. Sally Oddy Reply

    I think you should be a zoo keeping author elf…there you are…problem solved!! xx #coolmumclub

  46. thetaleofmummyhood Reply

    Having been the wife of a Teacher I have to say that profession would be out of the running for me. Zoo keeper though? Now you’re talking! I would absolutely love that!


  47. Reply

    It’s difficult, isn’t it? I had no choice but to go back after maternity for financial support. My current job allows me flexible working hours and is pretty well paid, as i’d already started to climb the ladder before. Unfortunately i’m sick of it, but can’t change as we need that higher pay for the time being… *sigh* #coolmumclub

  48. Rhyming with Wine Reply

    I hear you! I work just two days a week and ended up getting involved as a volunteer with my local children’s centre a couple of years ago and for two years I’ve been running messy play events and all kinds of shenanigans. It was great fun and gave me the challenge and the feel good factor that I wanted, but with more and more cuts there was less and less childcare offered for my own kids while I was organising events for the masses. Once the creche facilities were pulled so was my help unfortunately as I cannot run a messy play event for 40 children while one of mine is eating paint and the other one is trying to hit someone with rainbow spaghetti. Hope you find your dream job lovely and if you go with the tea room idea I’ll be at the front of the queue! xx Thanks for hosting #coolmumclub

  49. Lucy Grace Reply

    I’m in a similar position and it’s both exciting and scary at the same time. I’m used to being a self employed hair and makeup artist and ran my own mobile business for years then motherhood happened and I neither have the time nor the energy (or childcare options) to maintain the workload I once managed. Now I am expecting baby no2 and more clients have disappeared so I am working the odd day on loyal regulars and then being a SAHM. I panicked at first and felt like a failure too, but I know that things always work out and that there are lots of exciting opportunities out there if I want to seek them out and I am also enjoying having more time to blog and possibly even see where that may lead.

    A Christmas elf position does sound like it would have been amazing though! Imagine the outfit?! Never mind, maybe still dress as one for Xmas? I hope you feel more certain of your work direction soon. Just trust that all works out in the end πŸ™‚ #coolmumclub

  50. absolutely prabulous Reply

    Ha ha you rotter you totally had me wondering what the job advert was. PISSED myself when I got the elf bit. Oh my days. Seriously though this is why I love your blog. You constantly come up with ‘I wish I’d thought of that’ topic ideas (and you’re always so self-deprecating about your blog) and write so damned effortlessly, even if it is half asleep in pj’s. Frankly I don’t feel your game needs upping. I spend an inordinate amount of time on my blog but am I more productive or creative than you or the next person? No. Not one bit.
    PS Loving the idea of you as a zookeeper!
    PPS The mums’ cafe thing? That’s what I wanted to set up before the Malta move came up
    PPPS #coolmumcub

  51. New Mummy Blog Reply

    It’s a difficult one isn’t it! I think problogger is a ridiculous amount of work, surely a 60 hour week to write enough posts and juggle emails. Zoo keeper definitely sounds fun. In saying that, elf would be hilarious, you could’ve just taken the girls with you to be elves or reindeer or something πŸ˜€


  52. Alana - Burnished Chaos Reply

    Ha ha, I have similar thought processes all the time. I have until my youngest starts school (sept 2018) then it’s back to work, I just have no idea what that work will be! I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was about 6 and have completed a two and a half first drafts of novels but I’m so hyper critical I never get past that stage and haven’t written any fiction in a couple of years now so guess being an Author is out the window! I’m sure we’ll figure it out in the end x

  53. Cydney (@CydneyHelsdown) Reply

    Really can relate to this post. I’m still trying to figure out what i want to do, it’s a bit overwhelming at times because i have so many passions and interests. The good thing about being a blogger is it’s such a great platform for anything we want to pursue as it acts a bit like a portfolio of our talent. I hope you find something you love and get paid well for, i’ll be over here hustling for the same thing!

  54. Sunita Reply

    Oh you’d make an amazing elf!!! Funny as I know we had a little career chat at #Blogfest16. You should def explore the author thing as your writing id fab! Or maybe local journalist? I’d love to be someone’s wardrobe organiser or an arts teacher (where the kids listened to me of course!) Oh and I’d love to make music compilations all day long. Cheesy ones too. Lovely post, keep coming up with your ideas as you never know where things might take you hon…. xx #coolmumclub

  55. rockandrosesmama Reply

    I went back to my retail management position after maternity leave and am not liking it very much… Im hoping that either I can become a professional blogger or be a freelance writer or something…??? Im with you… options are endless… feel like Ive left college again and I need to find a new career path!! Good luck to you in whatever you decide! <3 (Oh and I consider you quite a professional blogger already so you're getting there!!)

  56. Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) Reply

    That well paid job that fits in with school and term time is definitely the holy grail of jobs for mums isn’t it? I started off this year being quite happy working from home doing payroll for hubby’s company and within a month had enrolled on an HR course and am now doing HR within the company as well! Definitely not something I could have imagined myself doing but I’m enjoying learning new things – and getting to mostly work from home is definitely a bonus! Good luck with deciding what you want to do job-wise and hope you manage to find it! πŸ™‚ #coolmumclub

  57. Mum in Brum Reply

    I think taking a break from your career (or leaving entirely) when you leave to look after the kids definitely makes you reassess your work life and what you actually want from it. I know that my priorities have completely changed over the last 12 months. I like the balance I have now with working three days a week, but I’m no longer bothered about having a ‘career’. I think we would all love to be pro bloggers, but I just don’t think I have that level of dedication as much as I love blogging! You should definitely write a book one day though, you have such a way with words xx #coolmumclub

  58. crummymummy1 Reply

    What a shame – I bet you’d have made a brilliant elf! #coolmumclub

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