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AIBU to my children/family to Return to Work

(48 Posts)
Higgledyhouse Thu 07-Feb-13 13:24:58

Hello, all thoughts appreciated please but would really like to know either Yes, you would go back to work or No, you wouldn't! I'm going to give lots of details about my current 'set-up' just so that you can understand as much as possible, therefore give me as valid a response as possible!!

Here goes:

2 children, 1 child in Yr 1 and 1 child starting school in September, currently at sessional pre-school.

4 Years ago I left my full time job where I was earning 40K, so my second child has had me at home since birth. First child had 8 months mat leave with me then I went back to work full time and they went to nursery 3 days per week and grand parents 2 days per week. However as said for the last 4 years I have been at home full time.

Hubby earns alot more than me, always has. Has earned enough for the last 4 years to comfortably pay all bills, yearly holiday etc. We have absolutely no debt besides a mortage (quite large) but we also have no real savings to speak off. Basically we live well, have all we need but not loaded!!!! We live in a lovely area, have a lovely home, lots of equity but still a large mortage.

Now, whilst I feel I made the right decision to leave work 4 years ago I feel that it was the right decision for me kids not necessarily for me. I have enjoyed my time with them and feel extremely LUCKY to have been able and supported to take this time out of work as I am more than aware that many families simply do not have this choice. However, I must admit to feeling a little like I have lost my identity, my confidence and much of what gave me my self esteem. I have put on about a stone in weight, mostly though boredom I suspect and generally feel I am ready for a change and to move on from the 'mummy scene' that is my life!!

I have recently done some courses just to get my brain ticking again and have put the feelers out for a job with friends etc as I was hoping to return to work in September this year when Child 2 starts school.

Anyway things have moved quickly and I have been offerred a FULL TIME job, no flexibility regarding this. Its with a great company (global) paying me 30k. Whilst this is 10k lower than my previous salary they have promised I would be back to 40k plus within 2 years if I do well. (personally I feel a 10k drop after 4 years out of the workplace is actually quite reasonable). Its within a new field for me too but one that I am very interested in so again I feel that 30k is a fab entry-level starting salary.

My hubby is very supportive and just says do what I feel is right but I get the feeling he thinks that I should go back, mainly for me.

The pro's for me are: more money, maybe we could save, start a payment plan to get mortgage paid back, take financial and physical pressure off hubby (he works a very physical job). Regain me (cheesy I know, but true), my hubby often works saturdays, this could stop giving us our full weekends together. My hubby and I have plans to buy a second home, save for kids uni etc, if I am in a well paid job these plans are much more viable.

The cons, for me this centres around the fact that my kids will miss out of playdates after school as more than likely they will need to go to afterschool club, life will generally be more stressful, much more rigid, clock watching etc. I'm gutted that it will mean that I won't there for my child 2 throughout their reception year encouraging friends, playdates etc and making sure they are involved. I am also worried too about juggling everything as I feel like I have a million things to do now, without a full time job on top.

My husband has said that we would get a cleaner and do a weekly online shop to help reduce stresses at home.

So what would you do??

Really appreciate any thoughts, thanks for reading...........

DeepRedBetty Thu 07-Feb-13 13:27:57

I think I'd take the job and spend the next few months setting up all the childcare, 'plan b' for when childcare goes wrong etc. When would they expect you to start?

Dahlen Thu 07-Feb-13 13:28:31

Go for it. Given the circumstances you've described, it's a no-brainer IMO.

If your only concern is the DC missing out on after-school stuff (which, as a working parent is my problem too), then making friends with other parents, employing an au pair who can drive or a part-time nanny are all ways around this and ones you'll easily be able to afford with your new combined salary.

Scholes34 Thu 07-Feb-13 13:29:55

There's no right answer, OP. You'll feel guilty if you do and guilty if you don't. It's a personal choice and there are compromises to be made on both sides.

I went back to work part-time when DC3 went to school. It's a good arrangement needing no childcare, though had to use holiday clubs until recently. I enjoy being around the children now that they're in secondary school, and find that the hours I'm at home after school are crucial - for me and my DC, anyway.

teacher123 Thu 07-Feb-13 13:30:17

Take it take it take it! You can always leave if it's not what you want or it doesn't fit in with your family life. You never know when an opportunity might come up again. Sounds great!

Higgledyhouse Thu 07-Feb-13 13:32:57

Thanks for reply. Yes I know, in my last job it was always me who never went to work if children were sick etc but that was public sector. This being private sector its just not going to be as forgiving! Hubby is self employed so no work = no money. Have family close by but wouldn't really want to rely on them. Thinking about starting after Easter.

Permanentlyexhausted Thu 07-Feb-13 13:33:10

What teacher said.

ThatCrazyCephalopod Thu 07-Feb-13 13:36:36

Your children will grow and it will seem really unimportant what they got up to at that age.

Speaking as someone who has been out of work for far too long I would say go for it. It seems daunting at first, but it will soon become your new normal and you will gain so much for yourself from it.

Now my oldest is 9 I can honestly see no difference between him and the children of my friends who worked. The only difference I see is that I am frustrated and they have careers.

purpleroses Thu 07-Feb-13 13:38:25

Is there any possibility of flexibility after you start? Just one day a week finishing in time for a school pick up can help a lot - you could do play dates on that day, and then let other people reciprocate whenever they liked (letting your DCs miss after school club as necessary)

Or would your DH be able to do one school pick up a week? (and if so, would he talk to other parents and facilitate play dates?) Otherwise, if playdates are important to you and your DCs, using a childminder, nanny or teenager/babysitter type arrangement for at least a couple of days a week might give you the flexibility you want.

(I work 4 days a week, which I very much like doing - despite the clockwatching and problems that come when asked to do anything outside normal hours - but would be quite reluctant to go 5 days a week as I feel, like you, that it's nice to have a bit of contact with the school and other parents)

Your DH's suggestion of online shopping and cleaner is a good one, but you might also want to discuss with him whether he's up for helping more with other household chores and jobs you've been doing (laundry, taking kids to GP, dentist, communicating with school, buying clothes/shoes, etc) so you're not trying to do everything.

Higgledyhouse Thu 07-Feb-13 13:38:47

Thank you all, yes my head is screaming to take it, I really want to but just wonder if I am being selfish. I am trying to focus on the 'bigger picture' but feel for my little fella who is used to his sister having school friends over fairly regulary but he won't be as lucky. I'm not sure if he'll really be that bothered or if my guilt is making more of it!!

LemonBreeland Thu 07-Feb-13 13:40:29

I think you should take it as you really want it. As you are pretty financially secure you do have the money to make life easier on yourself with a cleaner etc.

voituredepompier Thu 07-Feb-13 13:40:49

Well done on the job offer!

At some point if you want to regain the part of your identity that comes for you from having a job you will have to bite the bullet.

Can you organise play dates at weekends? That is what I end up doing. Or take the odd day's leave to reciprocate on play dates that your kids go on? Invite 5 of them at once!

Is there no chance you could negotiate to start and finish early one day or just cut your hours slightly finish early one day per week? Could your husband do this and be the child-ferrier?

Definitely get a cleaner (who irons too), in fact outsource as much as you can so that you spend as much of your non working time as you can with LOs.

EuroShagmore Thu 07-Feb-13 13:42:09

Take it! An after school club=more time with school friends anyway. Not quite a play date, but more fun than sitting at home watching cbeebies.

hermioneweasley Thu 07-Feb-13 13:42:11

I would definitely go back, and see if you can get a "mothers' help" (ghastly phrase) who will do stuff around the house as well as pick up kids and take to play dates.

Higgledyhouse Thu 07-Feb-13 13:47:59

Hubby will do school pick ups when he can, probably may even be 1-2 times per week but I doubt these could be pre-arranged, more ad-hoc depending on where he is working etc.

Re flexibility of my job, definately not initially. Perhaps in a couple of years I could work at home etc. They did say 9-5pm too which would mean breakfast club too but this post has been written on the assumption that they agree 10-6pm so at least I can be around in the mornings (here's hoping).

I am feeling frustrated too and feel this could be my opportunity to save myself. Sorry that sounds drastic but given the recession etc I have been very lucky to have been offerred a job and given a chance to re-start my career.

CajaDeLaMemoria Thu 07-Feb-13 13:52:30

Go for it.

You've got everything sorted, so it sounds like it'll be fine. If it's not, give your notice and leave. But if you don't take the chance you'll always wonder if you should have done.

BobbiFleckmann Thu 07-Feb-13 13:56:13

negotiate that £10k increase into your package in increments - £2.5k at 6 months etc etc otherwise you'll never see it.

Higgledyhouse Thu 07-Feb-13 13:59:14

voituredepompier; weekend playdates, yes I have thought about this - 5 at once made me laugh!!

Nah, def no early finishes i'm afraid. I have a handful of mum friends who i know will be supportive and invite my son over after school etc which is lovely so he won't miss out completely. I will also spend the next 2 months having the whole class, nursery friends over to try and over-compensate :-)

Am I right to look to the future and think of the kids' needs for uni etc or should my priority be the here and now? I have had a mixed viewpoint from my friends.

wineandroses Thu 07-Feb-13 14:04:25

Definitely go for it - sounds ideal.

Re playdates and school gate relationships etc - don't worry so much, they can still be done. DH and I have always worked full-time and DD goes to afterschool activities, sometime to friends' houses etc. We reciprocate by inviting friends at weekends (parents love that - gives them half a day off to do other stuff), during holidays etc.

In my job, I have reached the stage where they are comfortable if I work from home sometimes, which is great because then I can do the odd early pick-up from school. I also try to make sure that DD has access to non-school friends, so she goes to Brownies and dance classes. Keeps us all busy ferrying her around, but it works. It doesn't take long for an employer to trust you, so that you can eventually work at home the odd day.

I also found (via net mums blush) a local childminder who was willing to do ad-hoc days and school pick-ups for the odd emergency, plus we use her during school holidays, along with a mix of activity clubs. DD loves the variety.

It's all do-able, so don't panic. You'll love it once you're into the swing of it.

Higgledyhouse Thu 07-Feb-13 14:04:26

BobbiFleckmann; I feel really gratful to be offerred the job tbh. Kind of though a friend so special treatment somewhat. I imagine there are many super duper graduates that would grab the opportunity so I can't be too demanding!

I don't think they meant I would get a payrise as such, more that I would be promoted taking on more responsibility in a different role. I know what you mean though, be careful on empty promises. Thank you

Moknicker Thu 07-Feb-13 14:05:00

Congratulations on getting the job. That in itself must help your self esteem and confidence.

I am grappling with the same issue but my DCs are a lot smaller than yours. My thread is on the going back to work section. I think if mine were the age yours are at, I would definitely take the job and get my career restarted. Who knows, after a while you may be able to work in some flexibility.

In the beginning no doubt it will be tough and most of your earnings will go on simply outsourcing things like a cleaner, drys, childcare etc. You are lucky in that you do have a choice as your DH earns enough - if things become unbearable you can always leave.

Everyone has their own view of what level of childcare is good for them and their kids. My personal view is that up until 2, the child needs one on one care and somewhere between 2-3 that changes and they benefit more from group care.

When do you have to start - is there any flexibility on start date i.e. can you start in October after your child has settled into school? If so, then do try and negotiate that - I think it will make a big difference?

Good luck OP.

BobbiFleckmann Thu 07-Feb-13 14:06:24

they're hiring you because you're good. If they wanted a 20 year old graduate, they'd have one - remember you're good at what you do and your ability to negotiate your terms is your opportunity to showcase your skills for them! good luck.

wineandroses Thu 07-Feb-13 14:09:48

Meant to say - definitely a big yes to the cleaner. And outsource the ironing. And get a gardener.... all costs money but if you can afford it with your joint salaries it means your free time is really focused on the family. We have a cleaner (once a week) and a gardener (once a month for a couple of hours, basically does weeding). Keeps everything ticking over. Like to send out the ironing too, but it's a bit expensive around here.

Moknicker Thu 07-Feb-13 14:12:09

OP - just read that they want you to start at Easter. Could you ask them for some flexibility until sept - oct till your child starts school?

Higgledyhouse Thu 07-Feb-13 14:16:41

I realise I could leave if I wanted to, but want to avoid this if possible as don't want my friend who has reccommeded me to look silly, hence trying to thrash it all out now and hopefully make the right decision.

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