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any fulltime working mothers out there?(37 Posts)
Would like to know if there are any other fulltime working mothers like me out there, especially in the Cambridge area because I don't know of any and I feel that maybe if I did, and I could connect with them and chat about what it's like to be a fulltime working mother, I wouldn't feel so guilty all the time about leaving my 15 month old at a childminders 5 days a week. I would prefer to not have to do this but, the area of work I'm, means that parttime isn't really something that's acceptable. I know I could break away from my specialist area and take a generic parttime job but I don't want to do this because it would most likely not pay as well as my current job and I wouldn't be as happy as I am in my current job (although I want to work parttime I do actually enjoy my everyday work) and I wouldn't want to sacrifice the training I've had to go through to get this job. There are very few jobs in my field and I do feel like I have to hang on to this one. I'll maybe appeal against the decision to not let me go parttime, but I think the only way they'd listen would be if I threatened to leave if they didn't let me go parttime and, without any job lined up to go to, I don't feel I can make this appeal. I'd just like to connect with another fulltime working mother who's maybe had to work fulltime for financial reasons (that's partly why I can't consider parttime, because we need the fulltime salary) or other. Cheers
Full-time here but fortunately unable to respond to accusations of 'lifestyle choice' - my DH is chronically ill and unable to work, so if I don't work it's not a question of not being able to afford our current house, it's a question of not being able to afford any house.
I'm not criticising anyone who is 'choosing' to work for less black-and-white financial reasons, btw, just never had to deal with the insinuations that I might be making a poor choice for my ds. You know, the same as virtually every working father since the beginning of time!
The social side is very difficult when you've got toddlers. All the social events at weekends (Wacky Warehouse and so on) are set up for older kids, and I remember feeling like the world was set up for school-age children. My ds was not one who played easily around older children either, so he wouldn't enjoy it. So that definitely gets easier, and school gives you access to a circle of working parent peers as well, provided you can either do the school run at one end of the day or the other, or meet people on the pick-up/drop-off.
Another FT mother here. I work because I have to financially and mentally. I'm not cut out for staying at home. But I recognise the guilt... Guilt is part and parcel of life but try to rationalise the feelings with the good you do in providing for your dc.
My dd is now 4,5 and I found the first 2 years the hardest (more illnesses and much more dependent on me). My dd is doing very well also and I don't think she would have been as articulate and well-rounded if I had been at home with her - honest truth! I'm now pregnant with no 2 and am not looking forward to the first year of nursery but know we will get through it.
I also recognise the loneliness. My way around it has been to invite women around to my mine for a meal once in a while. Fingers crossed that too gets better in time!
Another f/t mom for a 3 yo and 6 months pregnant. I guess it could be classified as a lifestyle choice since we could live comfortably on DH's salary only but becoming SAHM has never ever been an option. I love my job. I am proud of the effort I have put into my career, and how far I have come. There is no way I'd give that up. Go p/t? Not really possible in my field, at my level, with my salary.
I don't do guilt. No man gets accused of being a bad father for working full time but being home by seven every day and devoting every single weekend to his family. I tell myself what is good enough for dads is good enough for me. I spend three to five hours every day with my son, and every single hour on weekends.
I also agree with Snuppeline that my son would not have developed as fast if he just stayed with me. He spends half a day at an excellent nursery full of interesting programs, playing with kids his age, and the afternoon with a fantastic nanny who is completely devoted to him, and both his parents in the evenings. He'd have much worse company if I stayed home full time (I shudder to imagine him stuck with my cranky self.)
I'm currently working 80% (in Cambridge), but due to a job and career change, I'm about to go back to full time at the end of the month. DS is 22 months and currently spends 3 full days with a childminder and 2 half days at nursery (which will increase to 2 full days in a few weeks).
I don't feel guilty because he gets so much stimulation from childcare, more than I could ever provide, he is well looked after and very happy. What I feel sad about is that I don't get to spend much time with him! But on the few occasions I did spend more than one day at a time with him at home, I ended up going up the walls, if I'm honest. So I just don't think that I'm cut out to be a SAHM, but at the same time I still regret missing out.
I think you can't win this one. But if you have a job that you like and enjoy, that makes up for it! That is something I have come to realise in the last year - I really have not been enjoying my current job, so much that in spite of all the benefits (flexible hours, part-time work, good salary, lots of holidays, great benefits etc) I have decided to leave and do something I enjoy. It's not been an easy decision, but I don't regret it. Working in a job that you don't enjoy is soul-destroying.
Do you enjoy your current job enough that this could compensate for not going pt? What reasons did your employer give for not letting you? Maybe they would be open for a compromise, i.e. something like not working every other Friday instead of not every Friday? That could also be financially more viable for you. Or work half days? There are many ways to arrange part-time working, but you need to be proactive and get your employer to see the advantages.
I am one too and I love my job. LOVE it. Plus, my dad left my mum when she'd been a SAHM for ten years and had no pension or savings; seeing that happen means I will never stop working.
I don't feel guilt. I do shift my hours around so that I pick DS up early every day, and DH works 4 days pw, so he does 28 hours a week, which I like. But really, no guilt. He adores his childminder. I don't see how it is a bad thing; he is cuddled and kissed and played with and chatted to all day long, but by three main caregivers rather than one or two.
I had to return at three months, for financial reasons. I cried and cried. I can assure you, it does get easier! My DS is a similar age to yours and tbh, even if I didn't work full-time I would keep him in nursery, at least part-time, as he is as happy there as he is at home.
Off with dd3 as she has chicken pox. She cried because she couldn't go to the cm and is staging a buggy sit in, demanding that I take her to the houses of the other mindees. I have no guilt!
I do think if women could ditch the guilt (which I don't remember particularly feeling although it's always hard prizing a breastfeeding baby off your breast or a toddler clinging to your legs but they do that clinging even if you're at home all day with them and you simply want 2 minutes on the loo without then hanging on) they would find things easier.
In a survey of men and women choosing nurseries for 1 year olds in Scandinavia those men who had been stay at home fathers with the babies were worried about leaving the child and those who had not been were just worried about the quality of the food etc - in other words whatever your gender if you are with someone even an OAP you look after or the carer of one you tend to be more attached whatever your gender.
I don't think if you roll forward 20 years you can with my older children whose mother always worked full time there really is a single difference between them and those of their friends who had a mother at home except those whose mothers worked tend to be able to ensure they graduate debt free or help them buy a property and can have a conversation with work things in common (I just came off the phone to one daughter) - in other words things can be better if you worked full time longer term in all kinds of areas and I see nothing worse. i don't see an absence of love or children going off the rails or anything like that and all these issues are equally ones every father should be asked not just women.
Completely agree with Xenia. And lifestyle choice? Hate that. I work FT because I am a single parent so have no choice. But would do anyway because I believe in it, love it, don't want all the risk that goes with being financially dependent. Lifestyle choice my arse. Where I go on holiday is a lifestyle choice, not the fact that I work which is actually just a (happy) fact of life for me.
I work FT and hate it!! Not the job or working but being away from the dcs. So much guilt and they would be happier if I was at home especially my youngest who's 6, I would be happier too. But for financial reasons I would not think about giving up my job. I'm lucky to have a relatively secure and we'll paid job when so many people are out of work and trying to make ends meet so I keep telling myself it's better for the dcs that we are financially secure than for me to be at home when they get back from school.
Work Full time mother of 15 yr old twins. Rarely regretted it. Great to not row about money with DH and to know I'm financially independent. My kids are great about it. DD assumes she will work, DS says his choice would be to marry a SAHM not, as he is at pains to explain, because he believes women should stay at home, but because he can see how much simpler life for him would be in that scenario.
I agree about pt work being potentially worst of both worlds. Also you need a DH who doesn't "help you " with the kids and home but takes his bloody fair share without feeling like he is a saint for doing it.
Don't do guilt. Commit to your choice whatever it is or you'll be perpetually dissatisfied
I'll be going back FT in a couple of months, based in central Cambridge.
I don't need to work and ideally 3-4 days would be good but not an option at my level. I enjoy my job and whilst I know I'll feel guilty and miss DD terribly, I'm thinking long term. It would set me back years career wise to step down or take a break.
I'm lucky in that I live 10-15 mins from work and both my/DPs work are flexible so hope it all works out.
Great to hear from so many super-mums successfully getting on in their careers, either for financial reasons, independence, job enjoyment or just a bit of sanity!
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