“I love my job. Its part of who I am apart from being a mum”
Rosalyn Paterson, 43, from Manchester, works three days a week as a scientist researching cancer treatments. Together with her husband, Ian, the couple has four children aged 18 to 4. They have a nanny who takes their younger children to and from school on the days Rosalyn works.
Rosalyn said: “I always knew I wanted at least three children, so it was deliberate that I started having them quite young because I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford childcare for several at the same time. And I chose to go into pharmaceuticals rather than the NHS because I knew the salaries were higher.
“I’ve worked three days a week for a long time. Sometimes as a job share and sometimes just as a part time role.
“Two of my children are autistic and have various appointments they need to go to, so I’ve turned jobs down if they won’t offer flexibility.
“My current situation suits me really well. My youngest daughter just started school this term and I was able to swap a day with my job share partner, so I could be there to take her in. It means I feel less guilty about working.
“Being home two days a week means my children can have friends round for tea – because I’ll be there to cook it. I feel like I can still be a mother to them.
“I considered giving up work completely many times. But I love my job. It’s part of who I am apart from being ‘mum’. I wanted to carry on being a scientist. It mattered to me.
“And there were times when my husband’s job was less secure than it is now. I was earning good money, so it made sense for me to stay. I’m glad now because I still have a career. Some of my friends who took time out are having to start from scratch.
“We’ve had a nanny for the last two years, who takes my youngest two children to and from primary school, she does the children’s meals and washes our clothes. She’s been brilliant. It means that when I get home, I can spend quality time with the children rather than rushing straight to the kitchen to get dinner on, or putting a load of washing on.”