I’ve got primary aged children, I work part-time and my partner works fulltime for the NHS.
In January I applied for a new job (office based, non-covid, NHS role), more hours, more money, closer to home, absolutely ideal and the next step for me. I’ve been in my current role probably longer than I should have been due to having babies and the flexibility it offered.
The recruitment was delayed due to covid and I was interviewed remotely in June and I got the job! Absolutely delighted, this was a huge opportunity for me, but….
No childcare was open at this time whatsoever, I was working from home whilst home-schooling children, grandparents too vulnerable to help, my partner never home as working shifts in busy NHS department. I had no indication of when schools would reopen and if wraparound childcare would be available. I explained the situation to the employer (NHS ‘family friendly’ employer remember), asked if there would be scope to reduce the hours due to covid situation and lack of available childcare – no sorry it’s a full time role and they withdrew the job offer on the spot! Gutted.
I feel lucky to still have a good part-time positon elsewhere as some people are in much worse situations at the moment but it’s a brilliant career opportunity that’s passed me by, ultimately because I’m a woman and there was no childcare available, during a pandemic.
Attempting to home-school children, whilst working from home, alone most of the time as my partner was working in a hospital was one of the most stressful situations I have encountered. I felt like a failure as a parent and an employee. Constantly on edge, anxious, losing my temper with the children. No contract or support from school, family shielding, I felt completely alone, isolated and close to breaking point a lot of the time. We’re not a family that would usually need support, but I needed it then. I am so scared of the prospect of another lockdown over winter.