I went back to work in April after just doing bits and pieces for 5 years whilst having my children to a company I worked for before. I have to do 2 days in London (2 hour commute each way) and one day working at home, however I end up doing more which is pretty common. We are on the second nanny since April (first injured herself and had to leave second going off travelling). The work is well paid and bits of it ok but lots of very basic mind numbing and frustrating stuff which wasn't how the job was sold to me. I am on a lower level than before and it's clear that I won;t progress unless I go to at least 4 days, most likely full time (no other female managers on anything other than full time standard contracts) so promotion not an option.
My husband runs his own business and works very long hours, no family support locally, in fact the opposite, my dad is ill and my mum isn't coping so needs me to help really.
Whilst not essential the money is of course really useful but we could do without it, also travel and nanny costs take a big chunk. My contract is up for renewal and a big part of me wants to leave and find something more flexible that I can work around the kids - I am looking into training to become a yoga teacher which I love and have practiced for 10 years myself, also getting a third nanny for my young children feels all wrong (they are 3 and 6) and I get so tired with trying to fit evreything in I end up being really grumpy with them! But the other part of me thinks I should stay, it isn't too bad, it's money and job security which in this day and age shouldn;t be sniffed at .... All advice welcome please!
If money is not essential (not just now, but also in the future - think uni, etc.), and your career is not important to you, then leave and do something else.
The problem with working part-time, i.e. not the full week, is that it is very difficult to move up in that career path. As a woman myself, I would not necessarily want someone heading a team or be in some sort of senior position, when he/she is not working a full week.
Of course, if you are REALLY senior, anything goes. The women I know who had fab careers (i.e. they're quoted in serious newspapers, and are "big guys" in good firms, etc.) and manage to work part-time, have done so at the cost of having worked like hell in their earlier years, e.g. going on maternity leave for weeks rather than months. kids had nannies, etc. But now, they made it into the echelons of their respective firms, they can be part-timers... because somehow, being that far up, it's quite insular, and a lot of work they do can be done anywhere as long as you have a smartphone. Also, loads of their male equivalents travel and socialise/network a lot (hence, loads of empty offices), so their absence is hardly noticed.
I have though about this myself having returned to work part time this past summer only to find out we're expecting another baby in May . Although the money isn't essential to us now I feel it will be hard for me to return to a similar job if I take several years off and I think we will want the money from two salaries when the kids are older. It is a bit of a struggle working part time and feeling my career is a bit stuck. I'm planning to go back to work again after dd2 is born and I've taken maternity leave but I agree with you that some days it hardly seems worth it after I've paid the nanny and exhausted myself working and then come home to a load of housework and mommy duties. Sorry, I don't really have any brilliant insights - just wanted to commiserate.