convince me that returning to work is good for my kids(11 Posts)
I'm currently on maternity leave with DS2, 9 months old.
I'm dreading going back to work when my mat leave ends. We can pay our bills on my husband's salary but that's it - absolutely nothing left over for any extras eg school uniform, clothes, shoes, swimming lessons, let alone birthday presents, day trips, holidays etc.
I will be going back to work when my mat leave ends but I'm having major doubts about whether I'm doing the right thing. I'd love to be a SAHM and go back when my youngest starts school. I feel sick at the thought of leaving him and going back into the corporate environment. I'm being told that I'd regret not returning to work in the short term (money issues) and long term (getting back into work, pension, my kids wouldn't have the 'better lifestyle' I always thought I wanted for them and would be just as resentful of their upbringing as I am!)
Please convince me that going back to work will be good for our family/my children and that I'm not making a mistake. I'd be going back on 3 days a week. DS1 is in school, DS2 will spend1.5 days with DH and 1.5 days in nursery.
Thanks in advance.
You are not making a mistake - 3 day week is perfect, the best of both worlds. If you really hate it once you're back you can always have a rethink but I would definitely give it a go.
From what you say, you can not afford to be a sahm, so your question is moot.
It's a great example for your child - I'm on maternity leave with DD2, and my two year old has already twigged that daddy works and mummy stays at home. That will change soon, and I'd much prefer her to be raised with the message that both genders work and share the housework (that part is important too...).
You'll be home more than at work anyway, if you think about it - it sounds great! Don't underestimate the importance of your husband being in sole charge, either - I'm very jealous of you now, actually...
I do three days, I love it and think it's the ideal balance. My DD is two, she's in nursery two days and spends the third with grandparents. I didn't go back at the end of my maternity leave and had another six months off, and started a new job in January. By that time all my maternity pay had run out and I was bored!
We can afford for me not to work, but would have to be careful with spending on days out, activities etc. My part time salary makes a big difference, even after taking into account childcare and travel costs. We don't have to worry about treating ourselves to days out, new clothes etc and nursery has been amazing for DD. I definitely think it's been worth it for us.
That's perfect. I went back at 4 days a week. And now I do 3.5 at work and half a day at home (so I can do nursery pick up). I am gone enough so my brain can recharge. I earn enough for the extras as well. And they matter. My son wanted to do something over the summer and I could say yes. At the same time I am around enough so that I don't feel cut off from his life. Maybe this is me justifying things in my head as well but I also feel that DS has enormously benefitted. He has a life/social circle outside of Mummy (and even at 4 likes to keep it that way!). For a shy boy it's given him confidence in speaking up. And frankly my CM does stuff I would not have the imagination or energy to do. Yet, I also get enough time with him that, as I said, I am much more than a fleeting presence in his life.
Three days per week to get you all the extras is a fantastic deal and shows your dc that females can earn money too.
It keeps your hand in should anything happen to dh.
It will keep your pension etc
It will give you paid holidays and sick pay and maternity pay.
It s a no o brainer if it gives you substantial financial benefit on just three days a week
One and a half days each for your baby (who will soon be a toddler) with dad and at nursery is a BRILLIANT combination of care. I think that sounds super.
But if you're dreading it that much, is it possible to delay a little longer? Rather than now or when your youngest is at school, which is quite extreme.
For what it's worth, the way my life's worked out I'd be in a really shitty financial and social position if I hadn't gone back to work, even though it didn't seem essential when my kids were little.
I agree it sounds like you'd have a fantastic balance. Even leaving aside the finances and career implications for you, I think there are so many benefits for your family to the set up you'd have.
Your DC get to spend more time with their daddy and know him better.
You will be more equal parents - both of you will know what the DC need for school/what they like to eat this week/sort out doctor appts, rather than it all falling to you.
Your DC2 will get the social experience of nursery (very helpful when it comes to starting nursery school and school, IMO)
You will have some variety in your life, and may appreciate seeing the DC more as a result of your days at work, rather than longing for a break from them!
Also - your baby is 9 months but a 9 month old is very different from a 12 month old (presume you are taking a year of mat leave?). By 12 months they are usually less clingy and more sociable and will really enjoy having a variety of carers and environments - 9 months they are still babies but 12 months is almost a toddler.
Your baby will only be away from you or dh for 1.5 days a week. How nice for your dh to have that time with the baby too!
3 days a week (or 2 days plus evenings, some travel etc) are a very good balance with young children, and having to worry about every penny isn't imvhe.
Thinking about going back tow work is often much worse than actually doing it. You can drink a cup of tea while it's still hot, go to the loo by yourself, and look forward to seeing your children when you get home.
Thank you so much everyone. Every response has been very helpful. I feel so much better already.
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