I had mixed feelings about my son starting school. On the one hand, I missed being with him during the day and felt that he was too young (at 4) to start school full time, yet on the other hand I needed a break as well as time with his baby sister. Looking after him and his two sisters and working in the evenings was too much and I was becoming more and more worn out so I ended up leaving my job, though my tiredness was not the only motivation to leave. The atmosphere in the solicitors was becoming increasingly unpleasant as our supervisor was monitoring our work more and more closely (as our work was largely computer-based, our conveyancing work could be observed, almost minute-by-minute). I felt oppressed and distrusted. I therefore decided to have a break from ‘paid work’ and care for my family instead though deep inside I couldn’t help but wonder why I couldn’t cope when so many other women appeared to manage work and family. Of course, back then, I used to say to myself that it was working evenings that was the problem and that I would eventually look for a daytime job when my baby daughter was older. What I did not appreciate at the time was that we were no ordinary family.
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