“Knowing that work is on your side puts you at ease.”
A lot of people told me having children makes work harder: days get longer and it feels like you always have something on your mind.
But I disagree.
Not because there isn’t truth in what I was told (I didn’t know there was a 5am before we had children) but having them makes you want the days to last that little bit longer. And all the extra stuff you now have in your head just adds clarity to what, admittedly, was a bit of a jumble anyway.
Knowing that work is on your side helps you feel even more at ease.
I am the deputy chair of the DE&S Carers and Parents Network.
As part of the wider DE&S Diversity and Inclusion Network, we promote and represent the needs of carers and parents across the organisation. We also offer a great forum to interact and support each other.
We have set up regular coffee mornings to enable carers and parents to network, and we are planning to offer informal peer support, something we foster as a network.
One of the main initiatives planned for this year is to make the most of DE&S’ membership to the Employers for Carers which has been funded by the network to offer support to those with caring responsibilities.
DE&S benefits for parents
We offer an impressive package for carers and parents, and, with our input, it’s something that will only get better. Here are just some of the benefits:
- Subsidised on-site nursery at Abbey Wood
- Childcare vouchers
- Shared parental leave
- Paid special leave for public duties, e.g. magistrate or school governor
- Emergency dependents’ special paid leave
- Carer’s passport through the ‘For you by you’ (The Charity for Civil Servants)
This is all in addition to the other benefits we all enjoy, including generous annual leave allowance, public holidays, and flexi-time, which is a great way to manage your time around your family.
I started this piece stating that I had reached a parent-like Zen with my time. Of course, I know there are challenges along the way. But knowing I have an employer that understands this, and takes steps to make it better, does give me peace of mind that allows me to get on with the job I do here (and the big job I have at home).