Eeek... Back to work FT after 9 yrs as SAHM

(4 Posts)
Thebeachismyhappyplace Sat 04-Jan-14 09:41:22

Not sure if this is the right place, but posting here as need perspective of those of you with older DCs. After 9 years on an unscheduled career break DS1 now 11, DS2 is 7 and we are not managing so well financially, so I joined a temp agency last Feb and got a FT placement... What a bloody shock that was, for all of us.

No doubt family time suffered, youngest struggled with tiredness and homework, hormones hit eldest like a train and summer was a shocker as I've never worked the hols before... DS both got poor school reports and I can't help but think if I had not been at work I would have picked up on stuff before the reports came. On the other hand I loved my job, really enjoyed the challenge and was a bit sad when the contract ended.

After a few months at home again I have now been offered a FT job, the pay is ok even after v high after school care costs and I think I should go for it as we really cannot afford for me to not work anymore. But DS are v upset, especially eldest, who seems so much happier since I have been at home again. But... I have tried to explain to him that however much he would prefer me to only work PT this is not in fact his decision. I also think I should make this change while he is still at primary school.

But I am wondering how I move forward. If I take the job... how do I do it better this time? I found feeding and homework hell when we all came through the door together at 6...not to mention hideous getting us all up and out for 7.45. Am feeling huge guilt at prospect of putting them both back in such long school days again and I really struggled with the lack of 'quiet' time at home when I worked FT.

DS1 full of hormones and this just feels like a particularly huge battle (seem to be lots of these for us) and some long-term difficulties DS2 has been having at school are coming to a head and I feel I should be 'around' more than I should be trying to restart my career... Am I overthinking and in need of a grip or is such guilt normal?

If you've got this far, thanks for reading... I hope some of you can come back with some wise words!

katedan Sat 04-Jan-14 21:21:19

Hi Thebeachismyhappyplace
I feel your pain, I am not sure what is worse working FT all your children's lives or going back FT when they are bigger and know the difference. I am working FT for the first time in 10 years and it is hard. My kids are same age as yours and I have also noticed school work suffering etc but you are being a really great role model to your children
and it does them no ham to learn to be more independent and that mum is not at their beck and call. Take the new contract and try to make them have small responsibilities each such as loading the dishwasher, tidying rooms etc so you have less to do.

Good luck and well done on getting back into the workplace.

pennefab Sat 04-Jan-14 23:44:03

I'm also in same position with starting ft job after 10+ yrs as SaHM. Difficult adjustment for me (feel letting too many things drop) and DC. Noticed some negative behavior changes. DC have commented about the fact I'm not as focused on them anymore and they want more (positive) attention from me.

We've talked as family over break and have come up with some approaches that will help me and all of us with the transitions:
DH will take DC to school 2x per week (I'm not nice when trying to get out on time and DC lagging ... Takes me an hour to get to work best case when I have to take DC to school). DC thrilled about extra daddy time. I'm thrilled not to have the stress 2x/wk. and DC have said it will help b/c I won't be stressing and short with them/on their case about getting out at specific time. DH also stepping in with Homework checking. Again to salvage my sanity and relationship with DC. I will do pick up from school and limit time doing work at home. I will also try to schedule special time with DC.

It's all a juggle, isn't it? I'm happy to be back at work. Feeling more stress than I have in ages. But determined to make it work.

Notmyidea Sun 05-Jan-14 13:14:33

I know how you feel! I went back after eight years and the deteriorating behaviour and loosing control at home sound very familiar. On the plus side I feel less taken for granted. I think a good, communicative relationship WIth the school makes a big difference. Write a letter in response to the report asking for a meeting. ( over the phone in your lunch real?!) agree that teacher will email youif homework missed or if there is a behaviour incident. Let as know you're doing it.

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