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.

Higgledyhouse Thu 07-Feb-13 14:22:16

Moknicker; thanks for comments, I got a strong vibe that they want me full time. I would definately take some holiday around the time he starts school though. Hubby would prob do the same so that for the first few weeks we were around. I dont anticipate any probs with my little boy starting school, he old for the year group so very ready, my concerns are purely based around him forming friendships and socialising etc.

Pilgit Thu 07-Feb-13 14:26:51

I'd say go for it but be aware that it will only work if both you and DH see all household and DC related chores as your equal responsibility. You can't continue to do what a SAHM traditionally does and work full time. You will run yourself ragged and resent your DH. I say this both through experience and by being a frequent lurker on the relationships thread! Your children will benefit from having a happy mum - yes being there is great but if you aren't happy that will show. IMO to be a good parent you have to be happy with yourself and if that means working - do it! Well done - you are obviously very talented to get such a good entry level job!

OhCobblers Thu 07-Feb-13 14:34:36

I would definitely do it!
Also as suggested previously look at mothers help or live in (or live out but that's quite rare I believe) au pair. That would def work for the hours you need someone around for the children after school.

OhCobblers Thu 07-Feb-13 14:35:51

And definitely get a cleaner I'm a sahm mother and have always had one

BananaramaLlama Thu 07-Feb-13 14:36:25

Don't know if you've already replied, but what about the nanny plan? Even if it was just for a year or 2 (because of the cost) would give your younger one the gentler start to school while letting you grab the job.

Which I totally think you should do, btw. I am mainly a SAHM, have also been running my own all biz, but would totally love someone to offere this kind of opportunity. I know I would have the same worries, though. Good luck with it!

HannahsSister40 Thu 07-Feb-13 14:40:01

can you work part time? Personally speaking, I wouldn't work more than part time hours until the kids are at the point of leaving home etc, if I didn't need to for financial reasons. I've worked on and off since having kids and for me, 3 days a week was the perfect compromise. I wouldnt be happy to have both of us out out fulltime at work, especially with under 2's, unless I was forced to by financial need.

plantsitter Thu 07-Feb-13 14:44:25

Do it do it do it do it (SAHM who is going fricking insane here). Jobs that you really want in an area you have wanted to get into that pay ok do not come along every day.

Your son will be fine in reception with you working - lots of kids do it. It will take some adjustments all round but IF YOU WANT TO TAKE IT, TAKE IT.

Do you want to?

Touchmybum Thu 07-Feb-13 14:46:20

I'd go for it! You seem to be a little frustrated by being a sahm and this is a perfect opportunity to kick start your careeer again.

I've always worked f/t, my three DC are 15, 13 and 9, and none of them has been adversely affected. My working has allowed them to experience more activities than they would have done if I had been at home.

My issue is the division of domestic labour tbh - so make sure and divide it up fairly from the get-go! I took a few days off when each of my DC started school, but tbh they didn't need me to; it was for me not them really....

Plenty of other mums work too and you can arrange playdates etc for weekends or early evenings if you want. I certainly wouldn't pass up this chance over playdates for smallies who won't even remember they've been on them in a couple of years!

flossy101 Thu 07-Feb-13 14:55:08

You sound like you really want to do this and it's sounds like a great opportunity!

Your children have had you home for 4 years and now they are in school I sounds like a perfect chance to go back to work.

Mewli Thu 07-Feb-13 14:56:41

Definitely go for it. It is really difficult to get a perfect balance between kid's needs and your needs. You will cope(stretch) and so will they. Probably even better than you!

littleblackno Thu 07-Feb-13 14:57:15

I often have up to about 8-9 kids in my house in one go to make up for the afterschool playdates my kids miss coz I'm working. It's fine until they all go really quiet!!

Go for it!!!

Higgledyhouse Thu 07-Feb-13 14:57:52

Yes I do want to. For me I do, but I don't want to undo all the years of being at home...... that sounds silly I know.

Not really worried about domestic labour split. Yes sure I will do biggest % of house hold chores, changing beds, washing, ironing, etc etc but my hubby literally built our house working evenings weekends for 5 years! I expect he will do most of the cooking, kids' reading and will do hhis best to do basic tidying. He will also do drops and collects etc and I'm happy with that.

DeepRedBetty Thu 07-Feb-13 15:01:07

I think you've got a consensus of opinion here OP! Many congratulations on the new job, and best wishes finding the childcare/cleaners/gardeners etc that will help it all run smoothly.

flossy101 Thu 07-Feb-13 15:02:42

Why don't you try and map out the week for yourself, eg everyday what the schedule would be when your in work, when you'd do any jobs round house your shopping/kids clubs etc and see If it looks manageable.

Pandemoniaa Thu 07-Feb-13 15:07:16

Go for it. It's my experience that children rarely suffer from the consequences that we tend to project from our own guilt about not being around. Also, it's far better for everyone if you can get the satisfaction from work if the alternative is you increasingly feeling resentful about being stuck at home.

jellybeans Thu 07-Feb-13 15:16:03

I wouldn't take it. I'm in no rush to be back. The stress of juggling it around my DH's dreadful and ever changing shifts/on call nature would be awful. It is simply easier for me to be at home. However I don't get bored as am super busy with 5DC and also studying for a degree p/t. I plan to volunteer when DC5 starts school. I would say if you don't NEED the money or stimulation of paid work then don't do it, time is precious and time flies, DC are grown up before you know it you can't get the time back.

farewellfarewell Thu 07-Feb-13 15:43:21

I also think you should take it. Your children have had a great start during the "critical" early years. I did likewise and worked around their montessori times etc and managed to be at home most of the time with all four and of course this affects your job prospects. I am part time now that my ds 4 has started playschool and I am glad I took the job-it is busy of course but long term it is a good option. You will benefit financially and personally and your son will be fine once you have settled him with minder/carer. Try not to worry about playdates etc as you can still organise these during weekends if he is missing out. Of course it is lovely to be there to pick them up from school etc but on balance I think you might regret not taking it. Don't forget they have had you to themselves for this long and (imo) that is the most important stage, now you can do something that you want! If it all becomes too much maybe part time might be an option further down the road. Good luck!

StinkyWicket Thu 07-Feb-13 15:45:38

I'd do it. Without a shadow of a doubt.

Kiwiinkits Thu 07-Feb-13 16:04:25

I too would take it, OP.
A couple of observations on your post, though:
First, you are negotiating against yourself on the salary. This is a CLASSIC female behaviour in the workforce, and men never do it. You say "you are grateful to have the offer", and you "think a 10k drop in salary is pretty good, considering (or suchlike)". Well, bollocks to that! They want you, they've offered you the position because your skills match what they are looking for. So, unless pay has gone down in your industry generally, or you've had some sort of lobotomy/brain extraction since having kids, then I think you should get your 40k salary. Write it into your contract that you have a 6 month trial period and if it is successful, you get your rise to 40k.

Second, you say your DH is self employed. Great. That means that HE CALLS THE SHOTS ON HIS SATURDAYS. If weekends are important to you as a family, then he needs to draw a line in the sand on working weekends.

Last, I agree with all the posters who say get a cleaner. It sounds like you're already going to do this. You won't regret it. Get the cleaner to do ironing, too.

Best of luck with your return to the world of work.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 07-Feb-13 16:04:36

OP a couple of things I have gained from your post:

You do not need this money, your earnings will be entirely spare.

You are worried about your children experiencing less individual care in an out of home setting.

Why not use your wages to pay someone to look after your children in your home outside of school hours. That way they would have a stable point of contact, individual attention and could still have all the play dates you are worried about.?

ouryve Thu 07-Feb-13 16:07:31

It sounds like a fantastic opportunity for you.

And your kids won't be missing out on anything. I'm sure they'll enjoy mixing and socialising with other kids at after school club.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Thu 07-Feb-13 16:07:40

I'd take the job. Only read OP!

curryeater Thu 07-Feb-13 16:08:42

Like everyone else I say do it, because if it doesn't work, you are no worse off and in fact better off because you will have improved your CV and will be in a stronger position to seek something more flexible that might work better.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now