“I decided to go part-time so I could devote myself to my daughter”,
Interview with Aimée Guilbert, 31 years old, part-time custodian at the University Bed and Breakfast, Montreal
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO WORK PART-TIME?
I decided to go part-time so I could devote myself to my daughter. I worked full time for over a year, but now I want to look after my daughter at home. My husband and I take turns looking after her. We prefer this to daycare since there are always too many children and not enough employees to take care of them. Before my daughter goes to school I want her to know a bit about what freedom is. This is why I work part-time, so I can look after my daughter myself.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES TO YOU OF WORKING PART-TIME? WHAT ARE YOUR OBJECTIVES?
After experiencing full time work, I am really happy to work less. It was hard with a child, but now I have found a balance. I have much more energy to devote to my family. I try to arrange outings with my husband and daughter and we are discovering new things. I can really spend more time with them. But in addition to my job and family obligations, I have also started a small publishing house for children’s books, Moon Monkey Books. The little free time I have left is set aside.
WHAT OBSTACLES AND PRESSURES DO YOU HAVE TO FACE IN YOUR DAILY LIFE?
Sometimes a feel a bit isolated. I don’t have the time to make new friends or see what’s happening. My social life has really changed. I don’t want the same things any more. I have really built discipline around my priorities, since you always want to do more.
WHAT DOES YOUR EMPLOYER DO TO HELP YOU BALANCE YOUR WORKING LIFE AND YOUR STUDIES?
May employers are wonderful. I can bring my daughter to work, she doesn’t bother them, on the contrary they adore her. It’s great for me. They support us a lot and want our projects to succeed. They are aware that work is difficult, so when the work is done well, everything works out very well.
I can easily talk about use of time, we’re always hearing about it. Since I have been working there I have occasionally had to deal with unexpected events and my bosses have always understood, they have always helped me. On Mother’s Day, for example, they needed me but didn’t call me. They didn’t want to disturb me.
WOULD YOU RECOMMEND PART-TIME WORK TO OTHER MOTHERS?
If you have children but you also want to have a working life, part time work is an option to consider. You will have more free time. And of course if you decide to work, it’s because you need more money. The financial supplement which comes with a job can really help but it’s important to know how to manage your time. Working is not torture for me, it can be enjoyable.