Flexible working. Feminism. Fun.

Flexi Mamas: Eva from Captain Bobcat

Flexi Mamas: Eva from Captain Bobcat

Welcome to Flexi Mamas, a series about barriers for working mums. This week’s Flexi Mama is Eva, who has a family of four with a three-year-old and a baby who just turned one. She lives in the suburbs of London and has always worked for hotels and other travel companies.

Before going on maternity leave with her first child, she worked for a hotel company and was responsible for the revenue of their hotels.

“It’s about pricing and contracting, lots of numbers are involved – but I loved it,” Eva said.

She wanted to go back to work after maternity leave, but didn’t want to go back to the same company she had worked for.

They illegally asked me to resign before starting maternity leave, and of course I didn’t want to work with those people again,” she said.

“In the end, after attending a couple of job interviews in between children, when my first child was around 13-14 months old, we realised that given the childcare cost, the price of commuting (we live in the 6th London zone and therefore we pay the highest rate for the travel cards), I would literally earn money just to cover those costs. It just didn’t work.

“We were looking into paying £1400-1500 a month for 5 days a week from 9-5. But of course you need to be at your workplace at 9am and you don’t leave before 5pm. (Definitely not in my previous job.) I would say at least 40% less than that would make it justifiable.”

She suggested flexible working when commuting became hard when she was heavily pregnant, but her boss refused to support her.

Even though I knew it was possible, because all I needed to do my job were WiFi and access to a few softwares, my boss declined my suggestion. So I guess his answer would have remained the same when returning after maternity leave.”

Eva struggled to find another job that worked around her childcare needs, citing long hours and the commute (both in length and price) as the biggest barriers.

“Of course, I didn’t cover it up on job interviews. I was totally honest – look, I have a very small child, I can’t travel, I can’t do overtime or logging in on the weekends. So I hardly ever got through second or third rounds of interviews.”

She would love to go back to work in the same field, but isn’t sure if it’s possible.

“I’d love to go back to the same thing, but I’m worried that I lost my skill set – I don’t know the newest softwares, trends, etc. I’m fairly open to do and learn something else, that’s why I started blogging too.”

You can find out more about Eva on her blog, Captain Bobcat, or her social media channels:

Have a story that you want to share as part of this series? Email me at katie@squirmypopple.com.

Two Tiny Hands

9 thoughts on “Flexi Mamas: Eva from Captain Bobcat”

  • There is one thing this series is highlighting Katie is that there is very few opportunities to flexible working out there. I’d love to hear from someone that has it…
    I can’t imagine having to commute in London like Eva has done with the cost of travel so high! ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬

  • Stories like this need a voice (thank you, Katie!) – Eva is clearly a very capable, professional woman who WANTS to work, and yet she is being prevented from doing so. It’s just not fair! Thank you for drawing attention to this sad state of affairs. Let’s hope employers start listening… #stayclassymama

  • Really interesting read. It’s such a shame the employer has not been more understanding. I don’t know why more bosses don’t support at home working. We can get just as much done and we’re only ever a phone call away. I hope someone recognises your worth and gives you a job with reasonable working conditions x #stayclassymama

  • I love that this series is highlighting the very large issue that is flexible working. Managers / business owners etc need to start thinking of the benefits that flexible working could offer instead of seeing it as a problem x

  • That’s rough, I live further outside of London now and the costs for the train are VERY expensive. It frustrates me reading posts like this as she should really be allowed to either do earlier hours or work from home! Luckily my work is fairly flexible, if I’m not meeting a client I can work from home on occasion. I’m thinking of asking if I could work from home one day a week once my probation period is up, which is in a week! I was also thinking of asking to do 7:30-4 so that I can get home earlier and see more of Bear ? we’ll see what happens though! Thanks for sharing with #StayClassyMama!

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