Missing out on my family.

(7 Posts)
Tessielu Thu 16-May-13 23:18:54

Hi

I am a new member here and have not been part of an online community for a good few years. I am currently facing some difficult decisions and remembering the excellent advice and perspectives available last time I was involved with a similar site I have decided to join here, so hello everyone!

A very difficult decision has prompted me to seek some valuable advice and opinions. Thanks to my non stop work schedule I do not have many friends outside of work that I feel I want to open up to so I really am really hoping for some honest opinions that may help me make a difficult decision.

I am a secondary school teacher with two children age 8 and 6 plus a fantastic husband. I have only been teaching for around 3 1/2 years and it is something I do love and enjoy very much. However, it has taken over my life and during term time I work until on average 10pm ( I can be lucky and stop at 9pm but it can be much later too). I also work for another 6+ hours at weekends and to be honest I am still not even scratching the surface when it comes to marking! I am so exhausted when the holidays arrive that over Easter I was so rundown and sick that I enjoyed few days with my family. When I am not working, I am thinking about work, I totally neglect my family for my school and students.

I stayed at home until my youngest turned 4 and life was bliss, how I adored those baby years. I was a typical 1950's housewife (apart form completing a degree) and loved every moment. It has to come to a point where I feel enough is enough and I want to be the mother I once was and I am considering leaving my job. I love working with children so am thinking of applying for a supporting role which would pay less than half the salary I receive now but the work load would be far less. I would be able to leave work and care for my family, not work all night long then fall into bed.

However, I have progressed a great deal in my work and have been carrying out a managerial role so working part time in a supporting role will be a massive step down on the career ladder. Yet the prospect of being a good mum to my beautiful children fill me with joy. Although I love teaching, I don't enjoy the endless hours of additional work at home. I also neglect my husband, he works all day and then deals with the kids and many of the chores so I can 'work'.

My heart says, 'go for the low paid job and be a good mum and wife and have a real life'. My head says, 'Don't leave a job you are excelling in, getting well paid for and have wanted to do for a long time'. I suppose part of me is worried about what people might think if I left but the other part says it is only my family that matters.

I need to be handing my notice in very soon if I decide to leave, before I will be able to secure another job, otherwise I will be in breach of contract. Sorry for such a long drawn out message but I am so in need of some advice.

Thanks for reading xxx

Metalgoddess Fri 17-May-13 14:44:06

I gave your post quite a bit of thought as I have myself considered doing a lower stress job in a similar field to mine for half the pay but managed to get my post reduced to 15 hrs per week over 2 days so have decided to stay at my level for the time being. Would part time working be possible for you? I am quite lucky in that we are not expected to do extra hours/ working fom home etc so I literally do just my contracted hours. If going part time means you are basically working full time for a part time wage then I wouldn't do it!

The key thing to me is that you say your heart says get a lower paid job in order for you to be there more for yr family. If this is the case and you can financially afford it then I would say always follow your heart, life's too short for you not to be happy. Xx

Tessielu Fri 17-May-13 18:06:27

Thanks so much for your reply. I don't think that part time would be an option and the work load is so heavy that even half of the classes would eat into my evenings and weekends.

I am so very close to taking the lower paid, leave at the door job. I can always go back to teaching (which I do love) at a later date. We can cope without the extra money, money is not the reason I went into teaching, it just makes me feel sad because I have worked so hard to get where I am and to build up a department from almost scratch.

I am glad that you have managed to find that work/life balance, I shall keep thinking over the weekend as not to make any hasty decisions but I think at heart my mind is made up, I simply can't go on like this. I'm surprised I haven't had a nervous break down!

Thanks again for taking the time to reply to my post, I do really appreciate it. xx

notnagging Sat 18-May-13 05:45:13

I was in the same position as you a few years ago. I wouldn't quit. Every job has its stresses & teaching has excellent holidays & pay in comparison. Go part time. I do 3 1/2 (0.7) days a week which gave me a day off to myself & the chance to do the school run a couple of days a week. It is invaluable to have that time for yourself & to be able to touch base with your children's school/ other mums. I am going back to work after having my youngest & I am actually looking forward to it because I'm part time grin
Btw your employees can't refuse if its for child care reasons but they will make lots of excuses so be prepared to fight. Ask now in time for September.

notnagging Sat 18-May-13 05:48:12

Some people would disagree but I did my marking/planning etc on my day off. As it gave me some time back in the evenings.

Tessielu Sun 19-May-13 11:46:59

Thanks for your reply notnagging. I have decided to go for a supporting role which is will be around half the salary but half the hours too. No weekend work or evening work! When my kids are grown I can go back but in the meantime I plan to gain some experience in primary schools.

LadyLech Sun 19-May-13 17:17:18

I know you're thinking of the support role, but I'm another one who say part time teaching all the way. It really is the best way of teaching and actually having a life. I teach part time, and plan on continuing to do so even when my children have grown. Many of my colleagues do the same - even though they have grown families. They use their "off days" for marking / prep and this means that you actually get to enjoy evenings and weekends.

Tbh, unless you want to become a head yourself, having management points is a bit of a mug's game. They never really compensate you for the hours you actually do, and so it is worthwhile only if you're using it to climb the career ladder (but that will ultimately take you out of the classroom - is that something that you want?) when we started trying for a family, the management role was the first thing I dropped!

Tbh, teaching will never get easier - I've been doing it 15 years now, but part time work is the best way to make it manageable if you can cope with the money!

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