Bouncing back from expat-no-return

You might remember that a few months ago, I was attending job interviews. I’d reached a point of expat-no-return, in which, to be brutally honest, playdates were beginning to bore me senseless and the freelance work I’d been doing for a couple of years had hit a dry patch.

Is this it, I thought? Have I really sacrificed my former career in glossy magazines to spend my days wiping bums, noses and tears, making boiled eggs with soldiers and listening to my boys talk about their willies non-stop.

In a grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side moment, I decided I needed a full-time job. With colleagues, interesting projects and (remember this) a salary. My next lightbulb moment came during one of my interviews, while sitting in what can only be described as the office’s broom cupboard.

“The hours are 9-6, and we work six days a week. Saturday to Thursday,” the Turkish interviewer with a dark floppy fringe told me, looking at me intently as my eyes darted to the floor in search of a trapdoor.

Kids, shhh! (I need earplugs, don't I?)

Kids, shhh! (I need earplugs, don’t I?)

“And it’s all office based.” Which surprised me somewhat as to get to the broom cupboard, we’d practically had to climb over at least a dozen workers crammed into a space no bigger than my kitchen.

Armed with the knowledge that publishing sweat shops packed to the rafters and operating on a six-day week do exist, I gave up the job search.

And decided to go it alone with my own little venture (big plug here).

It was fairly quiet to begin with, but then, just like buses, three jobs came along at once. And, all of a sudden, my little dipping-of-the-toe in the shallow end of the mumpreneur pool turned into a thrashing, front-crawl Channel swim, against the tide.

But, complaining I’m not. The mix of office work, work from home and playdates is suiting me nicely, despite being totally run off my feet at the moment.

The only thing is, during my days working at home, I’ve noticed that the boys have moved on from talking about their willies. And have, instead, started photographing their bum cheeks and front bits with my iPad.

Lord, help me.

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About Circles in the Sand

Sun worshiper, journalist, mother, pilot's wife and distracted housewife living in the land of glitz and sand
This entry was posted in Children, Dubai, Expat, Family, Freelancing, Media, Parenting, Work and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Bouncing back from expat-no-return

  1. I’m sure you’ll get a lot of business! Got to hand it to you for managing to keep a journalistic career going in the Middle East with two small boys. As for the iPad, we haven’t had that yet but we have a lot of video footage of toilets….

  2. mrsdubai says:

    Wishing you every success with it 🙂

  3. Pingback: Today’s top four signs you should turn down that job offer | Write on the World

  4. MsCaroline says:

    Haaaaaaaa – so glad iPads and the like didn’t show up until #1 and #2 were past that stage! I worked from home as a copy editor for a number of years when the boys were small and it was the ideal combination of mental challenge but minimal stress (eg, commuting, etc.) The occasional dress-up-go-to-a-meeting day gave me some much-needed adult interaction as well. And I’m fascinated to hear about the 6-day workweek. The Saudi opportunity I mentioned a few months ago has been tabled for the time being, but may very possibly end up being the next move in a year or two – we’ve both been wondering if a 6-day workweek is common for expats in the Middle East or just for locals. (Guess we have our answer now – and not so sure MrL would be keen to give up his weekends!)Congratulations on the new enterprise and best of luck!

    • Thanks MsC! For expats, a 5-day week is the norm – I can’t imagine it would be any different in Saudi. Lots of people here do work 6 days (mainly housemaids, construction workers, shop staff), but Western staff do 5 (albeit sometimes long) days. Saudi did just change their weekend – to Friday and Saturday, in line with the norm in the Middle East (before it was Thurs and Fri in Saudi) x

  5. Pingback: Premiers pas comme expat… | dubisthai

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