AIBU...to still be seriously considering going back to work FT in an actual office and getting a nanny?

(93 Posts)
IHideVegInRice Sun 05-May-13 22:47:02

For 3ish days a week (more if I can) I try to work from home, so that I can spend time with my small children and DMiL who is wonderful with them. Great. Except, it doesn't work.

I was on a conference call last week discussing a horribly tricky technical issue which needed my full attention, and I had DMiL popping in every few minutes throughout the 2 hour callto ask if I wanted tea, biscuits, coffee, milk, sugar, to look at DS' drawing, for DD to show me her new toy which I bought so have obviously seen before, if I wanted egg or tuna sandwiches, if it was ok for the kids to touch my 6foot + harp - NO! She doesn't seem to have grasped that if my office door is closed I really need some peace, even though I've explained a million times and I normally have it open and don't mind a bit of chatting and helping her out with washing up etc etc.

She means well but it's an absolute nightmare and I'm working until 3am most nights to cover off the stuff I can't get done with her flapping during the day so I'm now really tired and really stressed and working all over the bank holiday weekend and generally feeling like having a rant. DH is working more than ever also so I feel responsible for being around in the week, but we have broadly the same job so it's tough.

I'm seriously thinking about getting a nanny and going back to working in the office as it would mean a clear distinction between work and home, spending time with my family or at work without this horrible blend of the two, but it's a commute and I'd be looking at 10 hours at least in the office. I'm not sure it is the best thing for DCs though: DMiL is absolutely fantastic with the twins and a good, wise role model for them. She's energetic, takes them to the park etc and we really enjoy our lunchtime strolls together which I think is real quality time during the week. DM would be horrified and I'd never hear the end of it and I'd probably cause a massive rift in my family for being some evil career woman and not caring about family etc etc etc and I suspect DMiL will be privately angry but more than anything very hurt which I really want to avoid.

I have no idea how to handle this situation but something needs to change here because my head is going to implode. I couldn't reasonably expect DMiL to have the children full time, and when I do make an appearance at the offce DH finishes to collect them and then works in the evening. He completely understands the situation, and knows why I'm stressed and the pressures I have at work but at the same time we have this massive issue with our mothers meaning we are effectively keeping them happy but having a shite time ourselves. A friend helpfully suggested we move house...!

Laquitar Sun 19-May-13 13:38:53

How old are your children OP?
When i was nannying if mum was working from home i was doing the whole 'bye mummy, have good day,mummy is going to work now' when mum was going upstairs to the study. This makes the message to the children clear that mum now goes to work.

Are you thinking of letting your mil to visit your nanny whenever she wants? Good luck but honestly i don't think the nanny will be happy with this. Maybe make it scheduled one afternoon per week but not out of the blue all the time.

IHideVegInRice Sun 19-May-13 10:45:25

Hello all, just thought I'd pop along and say a great big thank you for your posts! The nanny situation is looking very positive indeed smile. We have been rearranging the house and I've now moved my office to the ground floor (we live in one of those tall narrow houses set into a hill <outs self>) - much, much, MUCH better so really appreciate the suggestions to move.
Such a relief to get things sorted. I'd been living like that for well over 6 months and I was absolutely worn out, but for wasn't able to confide in my RL friends because they wear a rainbow spectrum of judgey pants. I just needed a bit of egging on, so to speak, to stop pleasing other people when it didn't suit us! DMiL is still livid and appears to have disowned us...DH claims this is no bad thing wink. Main thing for us is making sure the DTs are happy and well cared for which I think they will be.

IHideVegInRice Mon 13-May-13 13:22:52

Thanks all - yes, we are in touch with an agency. And yes, their fees are eyewatering! We've got some time off this week to write about hamwidges on MN get to grips with it all. Thanks for the support; it is the right thing for my family. It might not be everyone's choice but at this moment in time it is what we need.

NomDeClavier Sun 12-May-13 11:28:03

Good for you taking the plunge. It obviously wasn't working and if a nanny makes sense for you then that's best all round. Your MiL will get over it.

For now get thinking on what hours you want, what kind of nanny you want, wrote a very clear job description (which makes it blatantly obvious you're not to be disturbed), work out your budget and get an ad up on places like Nannyjob and Gumtree, or if you can't face recruiting yourself get in touch with a good agency (but be prepared to pay £££).

You will feel 100x better when it's sorted.

noviceoftheday Sun 12-May-13 11:12:28

Oh dear, that sounds awful, glad you're getting it sorted. I have a full time nanny but work from home up to 2 days a week, although the last few months I have hardly worked from home. I have a lovely office all kitted out with speaker phone, printer etc but over the last year have had to move primarily to working from bedroom to avoid that nasty moment when dcs burst in on a conference call! I think it's also one of the reasons why I have worked more from the office the last few months although I will be reversing that trend as I have worked from home for 10 years but people could very easily forget in 10 minsgrin

You are absolutely doing the right thing and no need to justify it.

noviceoftheday Sun 12-May-13 11:12:28

Oh dear, that sounds awful, glad you're getting it sorted. I have a full time nanny but work from home up to 2 days a week, although the last few months I have hardly worked from home. I have a lovely office all kitted out with speaker phone, printer etc but over the last year have had to move primarily to working from bedroom to avoid that nasty moment when dcs burst in on a conference call! I think it's also one of the reasons why I have worked more from the office the last few months although I will be reversing that trend as I have worked from home for 10 years but people could very easily forget in 10 minsgrin

You are absolutely doing the right thing and no need to justify it.

motherinferior Sun 12-May-13 10:53:04

MiL clearly hasn't taken any notice of that pesky recession in which anyone with a decent career hangs desperately onto their job...

And she is also clearly of the opinion you are "getting a bit of work done" not actually working.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 12-May-13 09:31:56

You are doing the right thing, OP.

IHideVegInRice Sat 11-May-13 21:56:06

Cumfy - ha, that's one way of describing it. They go to playgroups and parks when the weather is ok and playdates etc etc etc which does get them out for a few hours at least. I also run, normally at horrible times in the morning, but it really lets off some steam. And I get to go to Sainsbos if I'm lucky, on the weekend grin.
MiL (have had to temporarily drop the D) will not have them at her house. I broached the subject many times and just gave up in the end, which is another reason I lost confidence as I felt she needed the security of me to ram wellies on them and announce it was juice time etc. At no point did we expect her to be providing full-on childcare but the situation grew over time and she was adamant DTs would not be going to anyone else but family. My own DM is out of the question for a number of reasons.

IHideVegInRice Sat 11-May-13 21:42:39

Well, we're certainly getting a shift on with hiring a nanny!
I've come up with a new structure for the current workload so I'll be bullshitting my way through demonstrating its advantages next week and hoping I won't have to do quite so much. I'm actually doing far less "doing" than I've ever done, but it's more mulling over and giving direction which needs thought and relative peace.

Final straw came when, during a conference call, the twins were ripping it out of eachother and MiL brought them to my office for "discipline"

WTAF was I meant to do - say "excuse me Mr Chairman my toddlers are at war over the misappropriation of <insert generic neon character toy's name here>"? Apparently so, despite MiL being far more terrifying than I'll ever be! (Must be related to bosom size; my grandmother was exactly the same. I remember quaking in my boots when she caught me sliding down her banisters. At a 32B - yes, really - I've got no hope!)

cumfy Sat 11-May-13 21:31:59

Can't DMIL just take DC to her house some days/afternoons ?

It does sound a tad claustrophobic. grin

GiraffesAndButterflies Sat 11-May-13 20:52:19

Glad you're getting things sorted OP smile despite MIL's protests!!

IHideVegInRice Sat 11-May-13 20:41:07

Crikey. How very dare I? grin

It's ok for DH to have done the same degree at the same university, work for the same firm in the beginning, follow broadly the same career path and arrive at equivalent jobs many years later alongside a marriage and children, though, right?

MsVestibule Sat 11-May-13 20:01:24

MiL said DH had let his entire family down by marrying me, yeah, you career woman cow! Putting your job before your family, tut.

You seem a tiny bit defensive about why you chose to carry on working despite being a mother - it's really not necessary! Surely you've been on MN long enough to realise that WOHM = child neglecter and SAHM = pissfarting leech grin?

IHideVegInRice Sat 11-May-13 19:21:35

Spot on! I got to the stage where I was permanently stressed and definitely felt out of control!
MiL is still angry and has told virtually the whole family - not that they care or see the problem wink. She has taken it as the ultimate rejection and that was obviously not our intention, but inevitable due to her character. We did try to soften the blow but she's effectively in a strop.
Struggling to decide on my favourite comment from our oh-so civlised discussion...probably the one where MiL said DH had let his entire family down by marrying me grin

motherinferior Sat 11-May-13 17:32:59

Just disentangle the whole thing: work, kids, childcare, MIL. You need to focus on your work, either in your home office or the main office, and get your life back under control!

ImperialBlether Sat 11-May-13 15:43:05

Why can't you get a cleaner to come in for a couple of hours a day - this would be company for your MIL and would mean she wouldn't have to do as much tidying up.

Then, couldn't you go to work in your MIL's house? It's empty, isn't it? You could give her something for the heating you'd use. She's houseproud, but it's not likely you're going to mess it up, is it? Does she have a spare bedroom you could convert into an office?

She seems to love looking after the children and it would be a shame not to let her do this.

Potteresque97 Sat 11-May-13 15:04:28

Good for you. The dust will settle on the mil situation, maybe a peace offering gift at some point when everyone has forgotten the argument? Your right, I'd say that to her, the burden of all that childcare must've been stressful.

blueshoes Fri 10-May-13 21:31:37

Well done OP and your dh's attitude is a great support for you.

Given the choice of location, I would prefer to work in an office than from home and given the choice of childcare, would choose paid childcare over unpaid family any time. It is the least stressful and most efficient option.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 10-May-13 21:02:04

Hooray, sounds like excellent progress!

IHideVegInRice Fri 10-May-13 19:16:10

In hindsight we should have done it from the start - I don't know anyone else who relies on family care for up to 70 hour working weeks! That said, it's not just the childcare that needs tweaking: I really have taken on too much stuff at work, which I can't delegate to a member of my team so have had some informal discussions about shunting some of the less specilaised stuff sideways. After ML I'd gone back and fallen into the role of new recruit so was trying to impress but it wasn't really necessary so I'm also dropping the non-essential crap as well for a month of two and need to learn to say no more!

5318008 Fri 10-May-13 16:46:18

yes, well done; difficult convo for you all

motherinferior Fri 10-May-13 16:36:21

Good call. Sorry it went tits-up but no way can you go on as things are and I agree it would be madness to chuck in your career.

IHideVegInRice Fri 10-May-13 16:34:10

For a very brief period we were entirely without childcare but luckily my lovely DSis (SAHM) is going to tide us over

IHideVegInRice Fri 10-May-13 16:29:20

I would describe the telling of MiL as an absolute fucking disaster. DH and I decided it was best to just say it rather than pretending all was ok and deceiving her so we did that last night and we made it more about the DCs than my job but she saw straight through that one and it all got quite personal and ridiculous. Think my big fat Greek wedding. On steroids. But not Greek. grin
We are getting a nanny though. DH feels really strongly, bless him, that I shouldn't have to give up my career because we have children. I know there will be a whole raft of opinions on this but the point remains - I worked like an absolute dog to get to my position and I'm not throwing that away because my DMiL thinks I'm out of my mind to get a nanny.

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