Returning to work - what to do?(33 Posts)
I will go back to work as a teacher in Sept when DS is a year old. I don't know what to do as work have rejected my application for what I wanted. So my choices are:
1. Return at 4 days a week and keep my middle management position
2 return at 3 days a week just as a teacher
3. Dont go back at all
4. Do 1 but hope to fall pregnant again soon so it would only be for a year
All childcare would be a childminder (if I can find one). My parents want him a day per week but I don't trust them
I know bo one can tell me what to do but want insights would be appreciated.
What did you request that they rejected? That presumably gives some hints about which of the other options might be preferable.
Have you worked out the financial situation for each scenario?
I am sure you could come up with some argument around continuity of care for childminder over parents - but can you risk them being unavailable in emergencies, if the childminder were off sick? Whatever your reasons for not trusting them, (and I wouldn't have trusted my mother in that situation,) think about the possible repercussions and any possible consequences - would it come to going NC? I think you need to think about these things before deciding and be sure where your are drawing your lines and which consequences you would or wouldn't be prepared to live with.
What situation would you want to be in when DS (and any potential siblings) are school-age? What about secondary school-age? How would each of the options make that more or less likely to be possible?
Obviously you won't know the answer to all these things, and things don't always turn out as expected anyway, but thinking about these things might help you feel clearer about some of it.
Thanks so much for your reply.
I requested 3 days a week as HoD.
It wouldn't come to NC (I hope!!!) My dad drinks in the day, mum leaves pills on the floor. They are getting on and I just cant see them being able to cope with a one year old.
I hate the idea of him in childcare 4 days a week.
I have done middle management on 3 days and it's very hard to observe/ mentor other members of staff on such a tight timetable.
I would do 4 days and get pregnant again quickly, then perhaps apply for 3 days as normal teacher after child 2.
Just to add, I ended up doing 3 days as a classroom teacher and I feel like my career has suffered as a result. My youngest goes to school next year but I still don't feel like I want him to be in school 8-6 every day of the week, so my hours aren't going to increase much.
HOWEVER, I don't feel that my kids missed out on good care in the preschool years because I have been around enough. So I regret the work situation, but I don't regret the parenting situation. Keeping your foot in the door work wise is very worthwhile and you will be very employable in 10 years time if you want to increase your hours then. If you quit completely it will be harder to get back in. It's also not always easy to find professional part time work that uses your brain (and gives you school holidays off!)
I ended up doing three days as classroom teacher and thought it was a great balance. But I wasn't then, and never will be, HoD.
In fact, I reduced my days to two eventually, and have my own business the rest of the time - perhaps there will be other opportunities that you may be able to explore in the fullness of time if you did choose that option.
I would go for the four days. Two reasons:
1) I think it’s a good option - part time plus management is hard to get, not every school allows part time HODs even four days
2) it gives you maximum flex to see how you feel / how quickly you have another baby etc. You can always give up HOD later but you couldn’t get it back if you give it up now and change your mind
Also your child won’t be in childcare four days averaged over the year as presumably it will be less / none in the hols. Maybe one day a week you could leave school at 3:30, pick your child up early & make the time up in the evening etc
Going back to work after your first baby is one of the hardest bits of parenting and I feel for you But honestly the four days is a good deal for your child taking into account time in childcare, your income over your career, marriage equality, being a role model etc etc. Good luck
I went back full time when DD was 16 weeks old. It’s just too much with the planning etc and I am much happier now I have dropped down to three day (position became available after six months). I have always just been a teacher but my friends in middle management seem to have so much extra to do, but then management time, and seem really stressed! 3 days as a teacher is perfect for me personally.
I’d do 3.
Based on my own experience - I did 4 days in an slt position after dd. It was ok-ish with 1 baby though a tricky balance and I got pg again v quickly (20 month gap). The 4 days was impossible with 2 dc and even 3 days slt didn’t really work. (The childcare aspect was completely fine though & dd thrived.)
I changed jobs to 3 day just teacher and it made the world of difference. Gave me so much more time with my dc, made me a happier person therefore better mum etc.
Dc2 has just started school and I made the mistake of going back to 4 days. I underestimated the extra prep another day in the classroom brings. Thankfully back to 3 days again now and I don’t have to ignore my dc in favour of school work (too much).
If you can make it work financially do less, not more.
I went back full time to an SLT position after DD1... lasted 6 months! After DD2, I went back 4 days as a HOD and loved it! Went back full time in September and hate it so much that have made the decision to leave teaching all together at Easter!
If you got pregnant quickly you could be going back for much less than a year.
I’m doing option 4 myself. But DD in nursery 2 days and with grandparents other 2. But that means maternity pay will be lower next baby as I’ll be PT.
I wish that was the case. I'd feel ok with that but I cant bear the idea I'd 4 days a week childcare
I would do 1. I really enjoy 4 days a week, It's a good balance. My DH also does 4 days - if yours could too, that would mean you weren't doing childcare 4 days
If you do 1, think about having Wednesday off. It would mean that your baby would only be in childcare for two consecutive days, and is a great way for you to work too - a day off is always close!
The baby will be fine! It is worse in the thinking than in actuality when you go back to work after your first. Once you are in the routine you will find that your dc has settled well and enjoys the routine and you are better off than anyone who has to return full time. Plus if you. Intend to have a second ASAP then the mat pay will be much better on 4 days as hod.
Any chance that your child's father could reduce his hours too? I don't see that you have included it in your options, but it is worth considering
I hadn't thought of wednesdays off, that's a good idea.
Unfortunately DH is a barrister - having a stable, agreed continuous day off would be nigh impossible and if it could be done would really bugger up his career.
I love my Wednesdays! I never reach the point of exhaustion at work, and it doesn't feel like I have days away from my children. Definitely works better for me than doing 4 days in a row.
I asked for the salary for each option. Its 14k difference
So stressed about it!
I am not a teacher but I went back 4 days in a higher level position rather than stepping down, with the expectation of getting pregnant quickly. I really really hope this does not happen to you, but it then took me 4 years and several rounds of IVF. I guess all I am saying is nothing is guaranteed. Juggling the role, a child and all of that was super stressful.
If you can step up again in a few years then I would take the lower level position. It’s hard working with a small child so I vote for making everything as stressfree as possible!
I do 5 days as a HOD. No flex at all around here . I try to see childcare as a evened out thing. Yes, it’s 5 days at a brilliant nursery that DD adores, but it’s also huge amounts of time off in chunks. I console myself with it’s akin to me having a 3.5 day a week normal job.
A nursery/childcare that you really like will really help with the situation whichever option you chose.
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