to want to accept amazing job opportunity without being judged for "deserting"; my three children.

(558 Posts)
Shreddiez Wed 30-Apr-14 09:32:19

I have three children aged 8, 5 and 1. I have always worked a 3 or 4 day week since having them. DH works full time and travels quite a bit. We have no family help but we do have a live-in nanny.

I have been offered an amazing job. An opportunity like this will never come-up again: fascinating work, good money, chance to make a real difference.

The new job would mean a lot of travel and when home I'd hardly see the kids Mon-Thurs, by hardly I mean maybe 20 mins in the morn. But I'd usually be home all day Fridays and I would get nine whole weeks leave a year that I could take over school holidays.

I intend to accept the job but am shocked by people's reactions. A friend referred to me deserting my kids, my MiL (who NEVER helps with the kids) keeps making veiled references to how sad it all is, even the nanny keeps joking how the one year old will think she is the mother.

Is it normal to suffer such passive aggression for wanting to work? Is it so bad to be out of the house 4 days out of 7 if you know you can be fully present and involved for the other three days? Doesn't nine weeks leave actual mean I will see the kids as much as someone who works three days if averaged over a year? And why do I have to justify this? Why can't people celebrate my efforts to do well at work and at motherhood? I feel so judged and its making me second guess myself and my choices.

FrankelandFilly Wed 30-Apr-14 09:53:21

Take the opportunity with both hands. As others have said, no one judges the father in similar circumstances. My DH is about to be deployed to Afghanistan for 6 months, we have a 7 week old DD that he will not see until December, no one says he is a bad father.

caruthers Wed 30-Apr-14 09:54:00

If it works for you then go for it.

Personally I can't see the point in having children and leaving them with help for extended periods of time but that's just me.

Horses for courses and all that.

Kewcumber Wed 30-Apr-14 09:54:05

Tis true though Giles Bookie tubules really don't arise every day.

BecauseIsaidS0 Wed 30-Apr-14 09:54:13

Take the job and get a better nanny.

CbeebiesIsAboutToPop Wed 30-Apr-14 09:54:22

So you will be home Friday, both dh and you sat & sun then dh Monday (when he's not working away? More than some kids get!

Katy1368 Wed 30-Apr-14 09:54:41

I worked full time from when DD was 17 months and had a full time live in nanny and believe me she never thought anyone else was her mum but me. Such nonsense to even say that and so bloody sexist makes me really annoyed. She has a family I.e. including your DH and her siblings, a family is more then just you. Really if it suits you and yours go for it.

WilsonFrickett Wed 30-Apr-14 09:55:31

(14 x 7 days leave) + (38 x 2 (remaining weekends)) + (38 Fridays) = 212

Now it is highly probably my arithmetic is off, but essentially one or both of you will be home for 212 days a year...

Someone working FT with four weeks hols, by contrast:

(4 x 7 days leave) + (48 x 2 (remaining weekends)) = 124...

You might want to point that out to your MIL grin

justtoomessy Wed 30-Apr-14 09:55:32

Congratulations and well done on getting such a fab job. Your children will be fine and ignore others its probably jealousy.

I think having 2 happy parents showing a strong work ethic is good. Your kids will have you or your husband at home for 10 weeks of the year which is a heck of a lot more than most people who work.

Plus if it does't work you can always change jobs. As long as your children know you love them and are them for them despite being at work/away then that is all that counts.

OnlyLovers Wed 30-Apr-14 09:57:57

The job sounds amazing. The reactions from family and 'friends' hmm are pure double standards and sexism.

Screw em.

Oh, and sack the nanny and get one who doesn't make rude, inaccurate and sexist comments.

3boys3dogshelp Wed 30-Apr-14 09:58:59

Honestly? I would hate to do a job like that, however fantastic. I grew up with 2 paents who were very career focussed. Dad worked full time and was away overnight most weeks. Mum worked 4 long (12 hour) shifts a week as a nurse. We had better holidays than most of my friends but I felt pretty low down their list of priorities and still have low self esteem now. We didn't have a nanny so maybe that makes things easier for your family.
Before having children I studied 7 years for my career and worked ridiculous hours to progress. we have children 5, 4 and 1 now. I do work but very part time in order that I can parent my children myself.
Sorry if its not what you want to hear. Ultimately my opinion is irrelevant to you and your family but you did ask and I have experienced the other side of the equation.
Agree with pp who suggested asking oh to step up at home more to make it easier for you to do more.

Nanny0gg Wed 30-Apr-14 09:59:59

Is part of the issue that your husband is away a lot too? So your nanny will be in sole charge (is the travel for you both in UK or abroad?), and how sure are you that your nanny will stay long term?

It may not be envy, it may be badly expressed concern. Although you're right, no-one would question your husband's decision in the same circumstances.

CbeebiesIsAboutToPop Wed 30-Apr-14 10:00:57

Wilson said what I was trying, but with maths!!
Bu you also need to add on dh's half days at home so say he's there 20 days so that's 10 more full days a parent is with them so that's 222 days a year!

Zhx3 Wed 30-Apr-14 10:01:58

Congratulations! It sounds like a great opportunity and 1 day from home with 9 weeks' leave a year sounds like quite a lot of time to be spending with the children.

I am currently changing career, but I have worked in a very full-time job for the past 18 months. I did not travel a lot, but my nanny was in charge of the children for 11 hours a day. There is NO confusion at all about who is mum! If the nanny's jokes bother you, I would have a quiet word and let her know.

I think it is normal to suffer some passive agression for wanting to work, especially if you choose to work (I choose). Probably a combination of sexism, some envy and needing to justify one's own choices. And it's rarely aimed at men. I remember one mum mentioning to me at the school gate how she "just couldn't let a stranger into her house to look after her children". It was a few years ago, but it stung at the time.

I hope that you can make a clear decision without your mind being clouded by the judgements. What was your first reaction? How does your DH feel about it - is he supportive? Will he also pull his weight?

LadyRabbit Wed 30-Apr-14 10:02:52

TAKE THE JOB.
Never feel guilty for having a brain, ability, the wherewithal to use it to feed your family and the opportunity to exist as a whole person with work they love doing. Men take this for granted. You think men get the guilt the way we do when it comes to working a lot and balancing that with domestic life? They do not. It's only as more and more of us (women) ignore what other people bleat (from envy, missed opportunities, frustration and wanting others to be frustrated like them too) that we will create a society where parenting is equally divided and it isn't the mothers who automatically pick up the childcare slack.
Loving your job and wanting to work doesn't make you less of a mother - it makes you a normal human being.

I think this might be hard for your youngest. 20 minutes a day is naff all and 4 days is a long stretch for a young infant. They are hardly in a position to balance these everyday hours against long holidays later.

I wouldn't take these hours if it were optional and I can see why people might raise an eyebrow.

I would be as concerned if the genders were reversed and your dh had decided to up his hours.

But you nanny and mil have a cheek. This is your decision and their pa comments seem like power play.

SnotandBothered Wed 30-Apr-14 10:04:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bragmatic Wed 30-Apr-14 10:05:30

It sounds like a brilliant opportunity. Congratulations on the job!

Personally, I'd be prepared with some one liners when busybodies give you their unasked for opinion.

OnlyLovers Wed 30-Apr-14 10:05:48

Never feel guilty for having a brain, ability, the wherewithal to use it to feed your family and the opportunity to exist as a whole person with work they love doing. Men take this for granted.

Such a good point and so well expressed. Thank you, LadyRabbit.

lapetitesiren Wed 30-Apr-14 10:06:23

Children get attached to their nannies even when they only work short hours- if they didn' t you would wonder if she wasn't very nice. Older people are still victims of the post war propoganda that tried to get women out of jobs and free the jobs for the men by guilt tripping them about their childrens needs- but the evidence is that when childcare is good quality yhe children are fine. Enjoy your opportunities- your children will adore their interesting mother who is happy and not frustrated because she sacrificed herself over a guilt trip

Shreddiez Wed 30-Apr-14 10:07:30

This thread is making me feel a lot better. I'm tempted to carry around the arthimatic on a piece of paper and whip it out every time people say this kids will hardly see us. That will flummox those who think I should turn down the bookie tubules!

TheTertiumSquid Wed 30-Apr-14 10:07:30

Congratulations on the Job offer OP. Grasp it with both hands and run. As an ambitious, well educated, working mother of two (age 4 and 1), I just wanted to encourage you to go for it.
I am 34 and I know I have at least 34 more years of work ahead of me. I'm damned if I am going to let my opportunities go to waste and end up doing something boring or unfulfilling for the next 30 years. My children are loved and secure, I see them 4 days a week and they absolutely love their nurseries. There are ways of balancing things and yours sounds fine.
Hope you enjoy it.

pommedeterre Wed 30-Apr-14 10:08:50

Betty - Yes awesome jobs come along just when you want them, when it is like totally convenient. Life works like that in cloud cuckoo land !

Nanny an arse, friends an arse.

Take the job.

TimeForAnotherNameChange Wed 30-Apr-14 10:09:38

1. They're not real friends.
2. Ditch the nanny, that's not a comment a professional nanny should ever be making even in jest, and it sets red flags off about her for me.

pommedeterre Wed 30-Apr-14 10:09:41

LadyRabbit - you are a goddess.

ikeaismylocal Wed 30-Apr-14 10:09:56

The holiday time off does sound fantastic, I would feel happy doing such a demanding job myself with long holidays if I had children who could understand the concept of "we'll have weeks/months holiday together in the summer" but a one year old can't understand that. I would actually think it would be harder for a one year old to have such a dramatic change, I'd expect that the child would miss their nanny whilst on holiday with the parents and then miss the parents when at home with the nanny.

I don't think yabu to not want friends commenting on your decision but if this was happening to a small child I cared about very much I would feel it was my place to say something as I would be worried about the child's emotional wellbeing.

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