I'm thinking of standing for county council next May. Politically and personally, I know I could do a great job, and I'm sick of so many decisions being made by retirement age men so feel strongly that I need to put my 40yo, mum of 3 head above the parapet. I'm standing in a division where my party would have a reasonable chance of winning it so I wouldn't be a paper candidate and therefore need to be certain I can do the job logistically.
I have a 2yo (would have about 15 months of CC term before he started school) and two primary-aged children. I work freelance - some very busy full time periods of the year, some with no work at all rather than having regular weeks. I am the primary carer. My DH is very supportive (of me doing this, plus he pulls his weight at home and with kids) but is out 12 hours a day and can't change his working pattern over the next 2-3 year timeframe for various reasons so I need to be able to fit CC around family/working life as it stands now rather than being able to change those factors to fit around CC.
I've been led to believe that I'll likely have to be at CC offices (an hour away) twice a week and then the number of extra committee responsibilities I take on are up to me (so could up these once all 3 kids are at school). These meetings are daytime which could fit around school run and pre-school/CM and there is financial help with childcare so that should be fine and mainly problematic around fitting in with my work. It's the local casework that seems a bit open-ended in terms of time taken and time of day doing it. The current CC doesn't have a family and the previous one had grown kids. Small kids, primary carer and politics doesn't seem a common mix but I'd like to see if I can make it work.
What I'm trying to get from this post really is a flavour of what being a councillor and having a young family is like. What have been your experiences? Did you enjoy it? Would you do it again? Did you feel like your family suffered? Did you feel like you were able to do a good job? Was the workload consistent throughout the year or is it flexible/can you make it be flexible?