Mummy AW’s UK Residence card came without any hitches which has been a massive weight off our shoulders. It means that (even though we would lose cash to childcare), we are able to take some of the financial burden off me. The time to find a job in the firey pits of a London kitchen has arrived. Eeek.
Twin mummies, you’ll feel our pain. The childcare system in this country is really stupid. You get 15 hours from the government if you work. It isn’t much.
Apart from being too little time, the other issues are related to the arrangement of said 15 hours; you can go for state nursery and they will arrange the hours strictly over 5 days, morning or afternoon. **You get to work for three hours a day, people! ** The way around this is to use a private nursery, who will be flexible, meaning the hours can be blocked and you can work for two full days. We searched for a long time to find a nursery which would both block the free 15 hours so Mummy AW could work full days, and which would not compel us to continue attending in the holidays (when those hours become payable).
We have been waiting for this residence card to put Mummy AW back into the professiosphere, but we didn’t expect to be lucky enough to find a job that didn’t land is with more childcare bills. As a teacher you I am a middle earner which basically means you have no disposable income, but you have ‘enough’… As we have twins, extra full days cost us £90. If mummy AW got a new Mon-Fri job we would be paying £270 a week in childcare… So our financial situation would not be alleviated. In fact it could even be worse. But that would be a temporary thing and we had sort of faced up to that being how it is.
One of the things I enjoy is pimping people’s CVs and personal statements so I updated mummy AW’s with 20 months of mat leave on the top right in small letters under some mouthwatering food pics and her personal details and we started thinking of places near home we might be able to drop it off. As mummy AW has such fine taste in food, and lots of style too, sadly many places didn’t cut the mustard and she only left her CV in two restaurants.
One called. The one across the road from the girls’ nursery.
She was excited and went in for a chat. Then she was even more excited- they needed someone Saturday-Tuesday; exactly the days no childcare is needed!!
(There is a story here somewhere, bear with me..!)
The interview went well and next came the trial. She went in and the young chef guy made shocked noises about her training as a lawyer rather than a chef, said a women’s lot in professional kitchen was tough and seemed approving of what she did. Then came breakfast trial when she worked with the older lady chef. The boss called her in for a debrief the next day and sat her down.
She told Mummy AW that she was terribly disappointed as the boy had told her AW ‘couldn’t even poach an egg’, wasn’t ‘ready for a professional kitchen’ and that he thought her 10 years’ experience was fabricated.
OMG, right?! This woman, my wife, lives to cook. She has literally poached 50eggs in a sitting working at fancy-pants brunch in Bangkok, and she cooked all alone in packed out beach restaurant while her drunk partner swigged the profits and flirted with customers. She’s taught cooking, she’s cooked for thousands in special events, while being a stay-at-home-mother has elevated and managed our food needs, planning and buying, lovingly cooking and telling me to get out of the kitchen.
CANNOT POACH AN EGG.
She was stunned. Speechless.And furious because for whatever reason it was done out of spite. She didn’t sleep that night.
The saga is not over though. Right now she is back there. She is cooking one of my all-time favourite dishes of hers. I ate it last night for dinner as a dummy run (tough life, hey?!). If they don’t want her I will eat my hat. Or just shout a lot.
How did she end up back there? We were all disappointed – the hours and location had been so perfect, and they had also promised creative license. In my head I was running through a few conversations I’d like to have with this boss and the young guy who’d messed so flippantly with a family of four. His comments about women in the kitchen became less observations and more an indicator of his own opinion. Ugh. Why didn’t the boss check the references? Why would someone who can’t poach an egg go for a job like this?! Even if the boss realised, would AW want to work with this toady young boy?
Well… the boss said called the following morning. She said that the report from the young guy made no sense and that she had spoken to the other chef whose opinion was very different. She apologised, and said the young guy should be ignored. Could she come and cook her own dish..? Mummy AW’s first reaction was to be uncertain, but in the end, given that there was ink to be another deal with such perfect hours she decided to accept. Hope that worm isn’t doing anything mean.
So that’s where we are!
And I have failed totally at this day with the girls. We refused to eat breakfast and we refused to get dressed so the museum is not happening. And we haven’t done the shopping either. I’m effing furious and the girls are whiney and whiney accordingly. I have got to get used to this, these are (very likely) my weekends now. But I’m going to go mad if we have to stay home every day all day because they refuse to take off their skimpy princess dresses. Gawd.