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From Stay at home parent to Stay at home project maker.            

Lowri Kirkham , 9 February 2022

Winter of Wellbeing logo with heart

My name is Lowri and I am one of the Freelance Project makers working on the Winter of Wellbeing project. My main role is as part of a small team putting together activity packs for families and young people with the goal of improving wellbeing. But before this project, I had been a stay at home parent for over a decade. 

The last time I was formally employed, it was 2011. A year where it was still acceptable to say ‘talk to the hand’, 3D movies still seemed like a good idea and Flossing was just a dental practice, not a dance. So when I heard about a position that involved working with young people in the heritage sector, which are both my areas of interest, where I could work from home around my family, I couldn't believe my luck! However, after so long away from work, even with a few relevant qualifications and experiences I have, I struggled to know if I had anything of value to offer.  

Thankfully, I did not need to worry too much. My experiences as a parent have been surprisingly essential to the work I have been doing. Even my daughter has become involved in testing and photographing some of the activities which will now be shared with thousands of children around the country. That got me thinking about how valuable our skills as parents can be in the workplace. For example: 

  • If you can construct a play kitchen with no instructions and 2 missing screws at 11.30pm on Christmas eve… you can problem solve. 

  • If you can negotiate a screaming toddler out of a soft play area… you can hold your own in any meeting. 

  • If you have managed to get everyone out of the door on time, with a packed lunch, reading book read, spellings learnt and cupcakes for the charity bake sale (that you will pretend you baked yourself but actually bought on the way to school and bunged in a Tupperware box) and still arrive at school on time…You can project manage. 

I know now, through working on this project, that I do have value outside of the home. The Winter of Wellbeing project has not only given me the opportunity to make a difference in young people's lives, it has given me invaluable work experience, built m

photograph of computer keyboard, glasses, cup and coloured paper

y confidence up and allowed me to contribute financially to my family. And because of the short term nature of the contract, I have managed to dip my toe into the employment pool without the massive worries about childcare in the summer holidays, which is often a barrier for parents returning to work.  

All in all, I have had a ball so far on the project, I have met so many interesting and inspiring people. I have learnt so much in such a short space of time and will come away from it more confident to apply for future jobs I might previously have discarded because I thought I wasn't good enough. Feeling valued outside of the home has added so much to my wellbeing and I am so thankful for that. 

Comments (1)

Jennifer Hughes Smith
11 February 2022, 16:25
As an interested but very elderly retired teacher I was fascinated by your experiences and praise your perseverance in contributing to the Winter of Wellbeing scheme. Just to read your Blog --- these are all new terms to an 87 year old ! --- gave much pleasure and dare I say it brought gentle amusement. I've been completely housebound and on my own through the months of COVID so to read of your efforts to help and to contribute to the scheme is really praise worthy. You have great strength and ingenuity which I'm so pleased has added to your confidence and may lead to more openings for the future.
I'm so glad I followed up an article in The Countryman magazine from November 2021 about St Fagans National Museum of History, found the website given and discovered facts about the wealth of preserved buildings, courses and resources available there. I do hope that many will take up opportunities to visit.
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