I am just wondering how hard it is really? I am going to be a single parent, too so I expect it will be difficult but in all honesty need the extra money (for nursery fees!) plus I do love my HOD role.
anyone else got a demanding role at school with a young family?
I actually dropped lots of responsibility as they were restructering whilst I was on mat leave (wish I hadn't - whole other thread!). However lots of those I work with have kept their responsibilities and are fine. Many of them were allowed to do 4 days a week instead of 5 (cheaper for the school that way). I still have responsibility but only for a small dept. Having discussed this a lot at work we find that we just prioritise our work better, decide what is really important, stay organised and make sure I do important things by deadlines. It is tough, but it can be done.
Do you have any other help nearby and would you be able to put your child9(ren?) in nursery during holiday time at all? We went down the childminder route as we found many did term time only which saves us lots of money, but I do have parents nearby who will take DD for the odd day in the holidays for me to do some work. Others I know use nurseries and then also use them in the holidays to do work then.
I wish I had kept my full responsibilities in all honesty looking back, but at the time DD was 5 weeks old and I was all over the place when making that decisoin!
Thanks Yes, I'm looking at nursery at the moment: since I don't have any family nearby who could help I don't think I could risk a childminder as if they were to be unwell I would be really stuck. I could therefore get work done in the holidays. always a help!
I'm SMT in a very large primary school and have a 2yo.
I would say that making it work depends on a) having childcare you can rely on that you are TOTALLY happy with (otherwise the guilt will kill you) and b) having an understanding, suportive school.
For example, my DH and I are at roughly the same 'level' (although he is secondary. At my school, as long as the work is done, it doesn't matter what time you walk out of the door. We are expected to be gone at 5.30 and positively encouraged out at 6pm. At my husband's school he feels like he has to ask permission to leave before 6 and the expectation is more like 7 or 8. If I worked at his school.. well, I couldn't work at his school!!! There are a million little things like this that swing it between hard but do-able or completely impossible.
One thing that will happen when your child starts nursery is that they will be ill ALL the time for a lot of their first year. After that they're much less ill, but at the start DD used to have to stay off literally every ten days. If you don't have family back-up I would make back-up plans for when your child is ill, this will happen more than it will to your childcare.
For the same reason it's a good idea to start nursery induction well in advance of your first day back to allow for them to do two days, get a bug, be ill for the rest of the week, start again...
But like Mrs says if you want to carry on try not to let how you might feel when your baby is 5 weeks old mean you jack it in - it can feel unimaginable while you're on mat.leave but it DOES get easier.
In response to Weiss's point, I carried on bfing for dc's first 6mo at nursery. They both had very little time off. I like to think the extra immunity from the bm helped. Mind you, dd's second winter at nursery? I think she was ill from Oct to may!
Unfortunately I can't just quit - will be the sole earner! Childcare is a worry of course, I really hope that I can breast feed - will add 'immunity to nursery bugs' to counteract horror stories of nipples turning black!
Hopefully I will be able to have at least ten months off on maternity leave which will help!
I went back to work when they were 12mo and just fed them first thing in the morning and at bed time. Worked fine for DD. Ds likes his milk more and occasionally sneaks in a day time of a mid night feed too when I'm around. If not he does fine on a cup!