AIBU to feel totally different about my job now I have a baby?

(70 Posts)
Redpolkadots Thu 27-Jun-13 22:24:47

I used to love my job but am now facing the prospect of returning to work after my maternity leave.

I was in work this week for a day to catch up, even though I'm not due back to September (I'm a teacher)

I just felt sick being there and knowing my baby was at home with someone else.

I am going back full time as we need the money and I just feel so flat and low that I have to do this. I had made the decision to go back 4 days but dh thinks I should go back full time. We have £600 left each month after all bills are paid but he feels this wont really go very far, when we divide it in 2.

I can't really explain it but I feel really teary tonight and am probably rambling

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 28-Jun-13 13:30:13

Perhaps the compromise is that you go back 4 days a week for now and reassess the situation at the end of the next school year. It's not a forever situation, it's a sensible solution so that you can spend some time with your DC.

Personally I think YANBU at all. Absolutely fair enough if both parents have to work f/t to pay the mortgage and bills, but that's not the scenario in your case.

Your DH is, I assume, not a teacher as he works shifts, so how does he know that you will be doing a f/t role in 4 days a week ?

noblegiraffe Fri 28-Jun-13 13:27:37

DH gets one day home alone with his child but he's saying you can't because otherwise you only have £600 a money to spend on non-essentials while also saving up for expensive holidays?

Tell him his priority should be his child now, not whatever tat he spends his pocket money on.

Redpolkadots Fri 28-Jun-13 13:22:54

I agree dh is being slightly U about the demands of ft teaching.

He sees me working until 10/11 often doing planning and paperwork in addition to working all day Sunday.

Redpolkadots Fri 28-Jun-13 13:21:29

Yes, I've checked an online pay calculator and 3 days isn't an option. Full time is worth about £1850, 4 days about £1600 and 3 days £1100, so it's too big a drop.

I've only got 3 days a week childcare to pay for as dm is helping and dh will do one day (he works shifts)

trackies Fri 28-Jun-13 13:13:51

Go back 4 days a week. I really do think your baby will benefit from seeing you an extra day and if the workload is better for you then do 4 days. You can always increase back to 5 later on. Re holidays. We used to spend lots on v nice hols pre kids but we can't afford to now, so we just do one much cheaper self catering hol in uk per year. I think your dh is being unrealistic about the demands of teaching full time whilst having a child to care for.

BackforGood Fri 28-Jun-13 13:08:19

Have you actually checked the figures though Red ? With the personal tax allowance now being at such a high level, you'd be surprised how much of your FT salary still makes it's way to you if you work 0.6 of a week, plus of course you are paying 2 days less every week for your childcare.

lynniep Fri 28-Jun-13 13:00:05

I think your DH is BU. And selfish. (and possibly jealous) Not towards you necessarily on the selfish front - but to your child. You can manage perfectly well on your 'surplus' and your child gets 3 out of 7 days with a parent. I insisted I return to work part-time after DS1 and have done so ever since, and quite honestly, my days 'off' with DS2 are a whole lot harder than the days I go to work! But so very important to my children.

The days I work, DS2 (and DS1 - 6) are in some form of childcare for 10 hours a day (8-6). This is not only expensive, but its really tiring for young children. My full day off is a Wednesday, and this gives them a change to rest and recharge. On Wednesdays, tea is earlier, bath and bed are earlier, and they get to lounge around on a morning rather than being rushed off to childcare.
I get to do a school drop-off and pickup for DS1 who still gets really excited being picked up by mummy with the rest of the kids. I get a chance to speak to his teacher if necessary. Drop off paperwork at the school office (theres always something) Locate any lost items in lost property. And so on.

They are only little for a very short time. Money is not everything. Work for me now is purely to pay the bills. I get little joy from it. My 'career' went down the pan but I don't care about that. When they are a bit older and more independant I will worry whether I'm in the right job, but for now its all about the kids.

amessagetoyouYoni Fri 28-Jun-13 12:45:35

Yes, its pretty normal, I'd say.

For some people, it passes and you get back in to the swing pof things,. For oithers, it is the catalyst either for a career change or a lifestyle change to accomodate p/t work or becoming a SAHM.

I completely career changed after my second child was born. I re-trained for a career that, although less well paid, is less stressful and (blissfully!) term-time only, but retains some good propsects for the long-term, if and when i decide I am ready for the full-on pace of management / full time.

Dont make a knee jerk decision. Think this trhough, talk to your partner, do the worlings out and when you return to work, give it at least a term to see how you fare.

Good luck.

Redpolkadots Fri 28-Jun-13 12:41:25

I definitely cannot afford to go back 3 days, so that's no an option!

Redpolkadots Fri 28-Jun-13 12:40:41

It's good to know that 4 days has worked for some people.

My school would let me do 4 days for as long as I wanted as I have previously enquired about it.

Redpolkadots Fri 28-Jun-13 12:39:25

I going to read the new replies again but to those who ask, yes the £600 is what's left over after bills between us.

When I talk about splitting, I mean splitting the left over only between us, I can't see any other fair way to do it. confused

MagratGarlik Fri 28-Jun-13 11:50:18

I'm going to go against the grain here, I'm afraid. The £600 per month after bills doesn't sound like loads to me, especially if this is between you, rather than the amount you have each. That's only £138 per week to spend on non-essentials which is quite easily spent.

When I went back after ds1, I went for 3 days a week for the first 6 months, raising to full time after that. Is this an option for you? It at least gives you the possibility to try out working part-time whilst protecting your full-time position. Otherwise you can end up going part-time and finding it difficult to get the hours back if you find you are struggling financially.

It worked well for us, allowing me to be part-time for a specified amount of time, but keeping my full-time position open for me to return to. Part-time can be hard too. I spent a lot of time working till the early hours just to get through stuff whilst working part-time.

Cherriesarelovely Fri 28-Jun-13 11:47:30

I have had a holiday every year of Dds life.....many were a few days in a caravan about 10 miles from whete we live! Now we have a little bit more money we sometimes go abroad. Not showing off just saying I love to get away but holidays can be pretty cheap and also enjoyable. Sorry that might be stating the obvious!

Cherriesarelovely Fri 28-Jun-13 11:42:46

Like another poster I was a single parent when I had dd. Am not now. So the decision to go back to work was really a necessity at the time. I'm very glad I did but part time work is the best balance for me. I would far rather be a bit worse off money wise. Is there any way your dh could work 4 days and you could do the same or is this a mad suggestion? Just seems a bit sad to both work full time when you really can afford not to just because your dh resents you having a day at home. Surely the nursery costs would be quite alot for full time?

frissonpink Fri 28-Jun-13 11:35:52

I feel for you.

Also got an 8 month old here, and I'm a teacher too. Going back in September to do supply.

However, unlike you, we will still be £50 a month short of meeting basic bills when I go back to work, and will have to do some private tuition on top. We have zero option of me not working, as we are £700 short ish without me working at all.

Seriously. £600 a month surplus??? You need to reassess your priorities.

You also need to count your blessings. You are in a very lucky position imo.

ps. Haven't had a holiday for 4 years and really can't see us having one any time soon.

Would it be too harsh of me to say, you need to get a grip?

HooverFairy Fri 28-Jun-13 11:34:26

Red, in your last post you said you sounded like a doormat - YOU DON'T, despite how some posters may have come across, you sound upset and like you're trying to please everyone.

I was/am in your exact position, I'm a teacher due to return to work on Monday and I am dreading it. I'm crying at the thought of leaving my 7 month old because, despite family looking after him, I don't feel happy with my decision at all. I'm working full time until the summer but then I'm going to 4 days in September. My DH does not agree that I should reduce my hours but I cannot see how I can work the hours I was working pre-baby and still function as a mum, it just isn't possible. My DH is worried about the money aspect because he's had to take a drop in hours/pay for other reasons and thinks I should be the breadwinner because my salary prospect to are better. I hate that I did this but I organised it behind his back, I'm not suggesting that you should be dishonest, but have a word with your head teacher about reducing your hours. Ask about the salary and then talk to your DH once you know that a) it's a possibility and b) you have an exact salary to budget. You could also make a list of the spending you could cut back on.

My DH does his share, he's also battling an long term illness so his 'share' is very little but I appreciate that he tries hard for us. My school have been fantastic about my situation and have allowed me 4 days on this basis. Had this not been my situation I don't think I would have been allowed it, but most schools are happy to have part time staff. My contract states that i can return to full time in the future (i have a feeling this will be dictated by school though but its good to know i have the option without having to apply formally for a full time position) so consider this, speak to your HT about maybe doing 4 days on a temporary basis until you are more comfortable, this way you can trial the finances. My DH was worried about finances but one day per week won't make a monumental difference in terms of money, but it will for you.

Follow the procedure with school by writing a letter to request a 'flexible working arrangement' and consult your union re. What your salary would be, if you can't ask your head teacher. I hated the thought if going back but I feel slightly better knowing that I'll soon have one day with my baby. Good luck, I've been assured but the other mums I work with that the thought is far worse than the reality. And you actually get to drink a cup of tea whilst its hot! Even if it does only happen once a week smile.

hamdangle Fri 28-Jun-13 11:31:50

He's right about the four days! I'm a teacher and I'm currently off on maternity leave to go back in September. If I went back four days I wouldn't appreciate that day off with DS because I would end up doing marking!

That's why I'm going back three days and I'm actually really looking forward to it! I love my job and I'm lucky enough to be able to have parents who will do one day each and one day in a nursery which I think he'll really enjoy. I know it will be a big drop in wages but life's too short to be miserable and feel guilty every day. It's just money!

Oh, and we just took advantage of my being on mat leave and took an early holiday in term time. We took the ferry and drive to the Vendee in France to stay a week with keycamp for less than £500. It wasn't the Caribbean, no, but I wouldn't take a baby anywhere hotter anyway And the important thing was spending time with my family!

Why do you 'split' what's left anyway? You are a family and you should have equal say in decisions. Why aren't you 'disapproving' of his attitude towards money? Or the fact that he's happy to see you miserable and run ragged all year for a couple of weeks sun once a year. It's not like you even get to have a real relaxing type holiday until they're at least ten anyway so he's kissed goodbye to that idea when you gave birth anyway!

jellybeans Fri 28-Jun-13 11:01:45

I went back f/t after DD1 and hated it, never got used to it. Loved the work but hated leaving DD1. She didn't settle either. She was great when with grandparents but hated f/t nursery, it was such a long day. So when i was pg with DD2 I quit and have been SAHM since. It means everything to me. Luckily DH got another job which paid much more and also made it impossible for me to work around him so I have no plans to go back until DC older. Even then it will have to fit in.

'"He's adamant that £600 is cutting it fine and why should we sacrifice our security and quality of life for me to have a day at home."'
I think staying home has been devalued so much that people see it as a jolly. Also it seems taboo to say a baby needs its mother but for me I think they do (if the mother is willing and available, of course SAHDs do just as good a job too). Anyway as SAH is devalued many men expect their wives to go back to work rather than accept a cut in lifestyle. I would see if you can do 2.5 or 3 days as that may be a nice balance but I think you would resent DH if you go to 4/5. You only get this time once and time flies.

noblegiraffe Fri 28-Jun-13 10:35:40

Is the £600 with you working full time or 4 days? If it's 4 days and the holiday fund is on top of that then that is loads of money. What is he thinking of spending it on? Don't forget if you go back full time to factor in extra childcare costs, and extra travel costs.

And he is wrong about you ending up doing all the work, you will not be doing a full day of teaching. And if you make sure that you are also not responsible for planning and marking that day, that is actually a decent reduction in workload.

Triumphoveradversity Fri 28-Jun-13 10:04:48

I wanted to go back to work but went back three days which was perfect. I think your DH just does not have a clue about work life balance.

We still went abroad with baby in tow and did long haul as well.
A serious discussion over a number of days is needed. I actually wouldn't say under any circumstances I'm happy with a week in a caravan because I bet he isn't.

I would sell it that you will still be able to fly off to Italy for a nice holiday. I think the big point in your negotiation is to point out that you working four days will actually not mean big changes to the nice things you enjoy in life like the holidays. I know it would be nice for him to just understand but he obviously doesn't. There will be less money but not enormous life altering caravan holiday, beans on toast every day changes.

With a baby and very small dc going self catering is much easier. Location still great though.

Also assuming that you go out a bit less as well? Which in turn means less need for posh frocks etc. We used to go out to dinner every week till we had dc, so it self regulated to a point.

parttimer79 Fri 28-Jun-13 09:53:22

Could you work out what the finances will be like if you go back 3/4/5 days? We did this and after looking at nursery fees and the costs of my commute, tax threshold etc I am going back 3 days not the original 4 that I planned as moneywise it made such a small difference to our finances. It is a different situation as I am a researcher so am not as fixed in my working patterns.

I had also planned only to take 9 months maternity leave but after looking round nurseries we decided I should consider taking 12 months.

Baby is not due for another 5 weeks but I already feel differently about work, I have always loved what I do, it is not just a job but so much who I am. Even so this has been overridden by my need to balance career and time with our baby.

I'm pretty sure DP doesn't feel it in the same way, he is FT and even more than I am is very defined by what he does but he is understanding of my feelings and driven by the happiness of al the family rather than short term financial gain.

McNewPants2013 Fri 28-Jun-13 00:39:22

You will never get the time back with your child and I would say drop that day.

What are you child care plans, if its nursery you will be saving approx £150-£200 per month by dropping a day.

FeelingHorse Thu 27-Jun-13 23:58:10

YANBU

I am in exactly the same position. I return back to teaching for the last week of summer term, and then for 4 days a week from September.

Like you, I can't afford not to go back to work.

I think that I will still enjoy my job (once I'm over the initial guilt) but will no longer spend every waking minute thinking about pupils/marking/grades etc. I will be returning with a new perspective and will be leaving by 4.30pm instead of 6pm!

MagicHouse Thu 27-Jun-13 23:53:12

Being the only adult at the house makes you completely responsible, but also makes you completely in charge and that can make it SO much easier!

Completely agree! Also - find out what tax credits you are entitled to feeglefion, I wouldn't be able to work without these.

chipmonkey Thu 27-Jun-13 23:51:54

Redpolkadots, I get it! Before I had ds1, I was all about my Career and my Right to Have A Career etc and them I had him and sat in the hospital bed crying my eyes out because I was going to have to go back to work. I remember a lovely nurse trying to comfort me.
ds1 is now 16 year old and I stll work. I went from 5 days a week to 4 and as I work Saturdays, dh looks after them that day, and I get to look after them two weekdays.
I like the idea that when the kids are grown up I will still have a career, which I wouldn't have done if I had given up altogether.
Re holidays, I actually think it can be nice to bring the children away somewhere different, mine love it so maybe see how you feel about that once dd is older and able to express an opinion.

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