A COLUMN is an opinion piece - just stating the obvious to open up this week. That's why it's on the Opinion page.

So now I'm a columnist, while also a former journalist, although you don't have to be a journalist to be a columnist and I personally don't consider writing columns to be journalism - though perhaps others do.

Anyway, this is a long lead-in to the point of this column - self-indulgence. Although the point could be made that a column is fundamentally self-indulgent.

This week I'm writing about me - I know, I mostly write about me anyway, but this week it's more blatant.


I'm excited to say that I've accepted a new job at a new organisation, so after more than seven wonderful years with AECOM, I'm on to something fresh.

For those who read last week's column, there was a hint of where I'm going - the amazing Akina Foundation, helping develop social enterprise in New Zealand.

I could rave on about Akina, which I've admired for some time, except I already did last week. And I could rave on about social enterprise (and, don't worry, I will in future columns), but this column is about taking on a new job.

Not only am I taking on a new job, I'm increasing my hours - I will be back among the full-timers very soon after nearly six years of a combination of maternity leave and part-time work.

It's not the 40 hours that's daunting - it's fitting in everything else around it. Going to work is a breeze compared with juggling a household and getting two perfectly formed, gorgeous-yet-somewhat-challenging wee humans out of the house each day, then back into it again, fed, watered and into bed.

I've loved working part-time while getting the hang of being a mum. Am I mad to jump into fulltime work? Probably, although I am lucky enough to still, mostly, work from home in this new gig too. Imagine trying to fit in a decent commute time on top of getting kids sorted, laundry dealt to, dishes done, dinner cooked, dog walked, toys away, beds made - the monotony of household chores is not high on my daily highlights list.

My husband may even be above average on the lifting-a-finger-around-the-home-even-though-I'm-a-man stakes, but he works long hours so isn't there for a good part of the day, leaving it to me. I even have a house cleaner once a week, so what am I moaning about?

I don't understand how people keep their sanity and their houses sanitary while working fulltime - I am intimidated by it. So we will see how I cope over coming weeks and months ... years even ... as I'm thrust fully back into the mainstream workforce, the nine-to-fivers.


Nine am to 5pm, though, what a crock - that doesn't get your eight-hour work day in, unless you eat on the run.

Something has to give and my volunteering with the Greens will take a minor hit. But my commitment to sharing my views on the world continue through this weekly column, which I'm just going to have to cram in somewhere.

My weekly meal planner is going to finally get a workout - no more stumbling out of my office and peering into the pantry to work out what's for dinner with a 40-hour week. There will be more organisation required.

So wish me luck as I get back among it. And let's think of others doing it seriously tough, working more than one job and studying, managing a tight household budget, our big city cousins commuting daily, and those taking a lead at home with children or elderly parents or other responsibilities - you're a pretty impressive lot.

Nicola Young has worked in the government and private sectors in Australia and New Zealand. Educated at Wanganui Girls' College, she has a science degree and is the mother of two boys.