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to think I can make this choice? More of a WWYD, need to decide by tomorrow lunchtime.

(36 Posts)
arses Sun 25-Jul-10 18:48:34

I posted this on a subforum but limited traffic there and need to decide tonight.

It's a bit of a long story.

Right now, I am on maternity leave, due back in December. I work in the NHS in a contract comissioned by the LEA which is fixed term temporary but has been rolling in the trust for 13 years. It was always renewed easily but in the last year or two there have been more intensive negotiation about terms and the working conditions have changed somewhat this year, putting some staff working in settings they need additional training/support to cover.

With these changes, the contract has been renewed for another year - but no guarantees for next year, when there's a high risk of redeployment - but not necessarily redundancy - next July.

While the contract was being renegotiated, I applied for a post in a different trust that is pretty much identical to my own and was successful at interview. This post is permanent.

However, the hours are full-time and the only pattern of flexible working they will accept is term time only. In my current job, I can work part-time, part-time term time only etc. This flexibility is very important to me. My dh and I are not originally from this country and at home, there are limited flexible working options with most mums returning to work full-time when their babies are six months. Flexible working is a huge bonus of staying in this country and eases the homesickness!

However, I know that the NHS White Paper and imminent changes may very well result in huge cuts in my sector, and being in a fixed term contract vs a permanent one is not ideal in these tumultuous times.

Taking the permanent job wouldn't guarantee my future career but it would make unemployment in the near future less likely.

However, it would also mean five days away from my tiny boy, probably 7-7 each day with an increased commute - and I also need to start, do and complete an MSc this year.

If I take the permanent job, I wonder am I trading stress and tiredness now to avoid stress and tiredness later. Although we would find life tough on dh's salary alone we wouldn't go to the wall.. we have some savings and I could always work privately if pushed....

Or am I just swayed by the old 'precious moments' stuff I've heard into erroneously thinking a full time job will just be terrible for my son and our bond?

Tomorrow is crunch time. I have to let the new workplace (permanent position) know tomorrow if I would like to take the job....

Thoughts, please. Dh and I have been round and round it all day, writing pros and cons etc, and we are no closer to a final decision. Need some fresh perspectives from mums with more parenting experience than we have!

mnistooaddictive Sun 25-Jul-10 18:58:15

Take the part time job and worry about what will be when it happens

HouseofCrazy Sun 25-Jul-10 19:01:53

How old will your boy be when you return to work? Are you BF'ing? If so, are you willing to wean or pump in the toilets? Do you have a solution for childcare that you are comfortable with? Is Dh ok with the fact that for the short term at least, your evenings will be filled by baby and study and he will be on the back burner a little? What are your total incomings (forgetting for a second about the perm/nonperm thing) after childcare and commute? If it is larger on the pt job, perhaps do this for the work/life balance and put the difference between the two aside for savings in case of redundancy?

Hmm. It is a tricky one!

mummy2theboys Sun 25-Jul-10 19:56:27

Hi, I understand how you must be feeling. No one can advise what is best but I will give you my opinion based on my own experience. Having worked full time (took 6 months mat leave ) after DS1 was born I can only let you know that it did not work for me. I was bf son and along with other reasons I did feel strongly that I was missing out. With DS2 I returned to work after 12 weeks but went back part time and was able to fit the hours around me and my son. As a result I bf son until he was 2 and knew I had made the right decision. I would advise anyone in your position to go for the part time flexi working option. There is no reason for you to ever regret it. If you were to work full time you may have the regret of missing out on time with your child. You are a successful smart person who has just gained a job offer in a very challenging time and you have the ability to study and pass an MSc. If push ever came to shove and you were forced to find full time work you would gain this either through the private or public sector. People say either let your head or heart rule, with me it is all down to gut reaction! When I went back after DS1 my gut reaction told me I had made the wrong decision. Remember as well nothing is ever set in stone. Please let me know what you decide.

jmc112 Sun 25-Jul-10 20:03:11

I work full time and went back when ds was 6m, but I'm flexi time and generally drop him off at 8 and pick him up at 5. I'd only consider 7-7 if ds was with his dad for a significant amount of that time, and even so I think I'd be unhappy. So I'd stay with your current job.

scottishmummy Sun 25-Jul-10 20:18:09

something mande you apply and for for post.obviously you do feel need to move/change.well done getting will be .tough but with planning it is achievable,and will get easier when you get in swing of it

and no ft working wont affect parental bond.naysayers will tell you horror stories,but well they would say ignored

i would jump for security and take new job

arses Sun 25-Jul-10 20:33:19

mummy2theboys, thanks for sharing your experience. My heart does say part-time flexi.. but it's the fear of the unknown if I lose my job.

HouseofCrazy, that's a good point about saving in case of redundancy (surprisingly wasn't factoring that in!).

On the other hand, scottishmummy, I did apply for the post.. and part of me is itching for a change.. it's whether or not I can personally stretch that to a five day working week at this point in time. If it were full time and five days a week without a two hour daily commute, I think I would find that easier to consider.. but 7-7 is such a long day away from a very small boy.

scottishmummy Sun 25-Jul-10 20:35:43

did you know the time demands when applying?do you want the job or were you just fishing and seeing what out there

arses Sun 25-Jul-10 20:40:13

No, didn't realise the time demands scottishmummy - stated on my application I was looking for part-time/job share etc but I guess HR didn't compute that to mean anything other than term time only. TTO is fantastic if you have school going kids, of course, but with a baby it's not particularly sensible given that most childcare providers do not provide a TTO option..

I also applied as the application was due the day before I found out if my fixed term contract would even be extended for this year, so as security in case my current contract ended..

but no, I guess I wasn't desperate for the job.. maybe am not desperate for the job as it is..

scottishmummy Sun 25-Jul-10 20:45:34

have you had a candid discussion try negotiate some work at home on paperwork etc.when son asleep but you still see him.remote access means can do reports etc at home .is it solely the - isssue can you negotiate with new employer

it is slightly poor form to apply for post you dont really want.esp if you work in small pool

maxpower Sun 25-Jul-10 20:48:51

What are your possible new employers reasons for not considering any other flexible working that TTO? IMO TTO is harder to manage than say 4 days a week or reduced daily hours.

mummy2theboys Sun 25-Jul-10 20:52:35

Redundancy is scary, there is no getting away from that. However have a look at your mortgage if applicable and see if you have redundancy cover. If you don't might be an idea to take it. I have it and it is relatively inexpensive. This will take this worry away as your mortgage will be paid for up to one year ( I think from memory). Remember you have been offered a job, which means you are highly marketable and employers want you on their team. I am sure you will always find this to be the case. Another thought, are you able to do overtime in present job? This will boost income and as House of Crazy suggested put this aside.

starkadder Sun 25-Jul-10 20:57:39

I think, if you're unsure about being away from your baby, keep the flexible one. Worst that happens is you're made redundant later on. For a qualified, intelligent person, there WILL be another job (even if it is tough to find it and you have to rely on savings a bit). However, there will never be another babyhood of your little boy - so missing that and feeling gutted about it later is more of a risk, IMO.

Nothing against parents who work full time, by the way - just if there is a chance you will find it very tough, and you have the option not to - don't throw that option away.

arses Sun 25-Jul-10 20:59:48

I didn't say I didn't want it, scottishmummy, I said I applied for it because my post was at risk and I had no way of knowing if I would be desperately in need of this job or not before the deadline for application. I phoned the potential employers several times the week prior to applying to clarify re: potential flexible working arrangements but was unable to get in touch with either manager who was responsible. I would have been much more keen if a three day week had been available (which has never been a problem for people in my own trust) so I applied in good faith. I applied for two posts at the same time and was interviewed for both at once, and to be honest, I wanted the other post more (but was better qualified for the one I got...). They were aware of this from the application process so I feel they are responsible for their decision to shortlist and interview me on the basis of the information given re: flexible working.. the new potential manager was very, very nice when I explained I might not take it and said that if I chose not to take the post, that I should walk away from the interview feeling proud of my performance in it... so no hard feelings there.

Maxpower, new employers reasons are that they would find it hard to recruit to the post part-time, which is fair enough I feel. As I said, it hasn't been such an issue in our trust but this may relate to location, I'm not sure.

scottishmummy Sun 25-Jul-10 21:22:28

if they could tweak hours would you accept it. try negotiate if that what you want to do

StormyWeather Sun 25-Jul-10 21:31:16

I think you'd regret being away from your tiny baby for twelve hours a day. You applied for a job on the understanding you would have flexi/part time hours - you've been offered it on a very full time basis. I'd stick with the job you have, and spend time with your baby.

maxpower Sun 25-Jul-10 21:34:50

arses I don't understand their reasoning, especially if they haven't tried? If they've only just interviewed, do they have a second choice candidate who might accept the job on a part time basis as a job share with you?

How can it be more difficult to have someone in post on a regular 3 days every week than to ahve someone there 5 days a week but only for 40 weeks of the year (plus your annual leave)

arses Sun 25-Jul-10 21:46:26

Sorry maxpower, I should have said it's a contract in a school, so that's why I guess. It's obviously a different set up to my current post. In my current department, four therapists cover sessions in five schools so if I do my flexi time it will mean no change to what the school had previously (e.g there has never been a full time therapist there). I was there for a certain number of sessions and I would go back for the same number of sessions. I had other parts to my post that made up a full time post. I am guessing that in their set up, they have more sessions in less schools and employ less people overall, so it would entail having two people doing a job instead of one e.g. they don't foresee that they would have a job share candidate.
I can see the reasoning... if the post is based in one school it is easier to have one member of staff providing services.

I have told them that I would consider a .5 or .6 post if a job share candidate was available - I suppose if they don't have one but have a second-choice full time candidate they will go with this, or if they really want me they may offer something different when I turn down the post?

scottishmummy Sun 25-Jul-10 21:54:06

so what have you decided?

arses Sun 25-Jul-10 21:57:32

I think I will talk to the new post people tomorrow and see if there is any flexibility to be negotiated.. if yes, then well and good.. if not, I will probably stick with my current post. I think 7-7 five days a week with an MSc on top is probably too much..

BertieBasset Sun 25-Jul-10 21:57:32

I'd stick with flexi working and fingers crossed on redundancy. If you are trying to do an Msc as well I think you'll be run into the ground, and feeling guilty that even when at home you won't be able to soley concentrate on baby

scottishmummy Sun 25-Jul-10 22:01:07

i work ft,did a postgrad with baby in nursery,is achieveable.bloody hard but can be done

scottishmummy Sun 25-Jul-10 22:02:50

hope it works out how you want

arses Sun 25-Jul-10 22:09:42

scottishmummy, I'm sure it is achievable, but too much for me, the more I think about it. I was originally supposed to do the MSc while off this year and it would have worked with the design I had in mind, I think, but the funding for the intervention I was supposed to study fell through at the eleventh hour. In hindsight, I chose the topic/design based less on my own true interests than on something I thought would be achievable with a small baby, but think now I might choose something a bit more ambitious that will be more rewarding in terms of my future career (whether I end up in the private or public sector). If I do choose to do this, and choose to do it to a level I will be satisfied with, I think it will require more time than I could feasibly give it working ft with a two hour daily commute.

scottishmummy Sun 25-Jul-10 22:11:14

chose what works for you

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