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...to give up my career?

(50 Posts)
FluffinWithMyMuffin Wed 17-Nov-10 10:34:54

I have namechanged for this, because I am shy and because it's a bit personal.

I have a fairly decent job, with a decent salary (probably not by MN standards, but it's higher than the 'average'), prospects, a company car and an opportunity to begin working towards a second degree at the expense of my company.

I also have 2 DCs - one is a toddler and one is at primary school.

AIBU to have had enough of rushing them out of the door in the morning, rushing them in at night, missing school assemblies and struggling for childcare, and to just want to jack it all in and go and work evenings in a department store?

It will leave things tight financially, but to be honest I have had enough. I just want more family time and less stress. DH reckons IABVU,and that by putting us under pressure fiancially I will be doing much more damage to our family than by the having a rushed and stressful lifestyle. (When I say 'tight', we will still have a roof over our heads, but there will be sacrifices. The expensive cosmetics and the clothes, the holidays, the nights out etc will all have to be curtailed greatly. Everything wll be done on a budget, which fills me with dread but at the same time I relish the thought of spending more time with my DCs)

I am bracing myself for replies...

RiverOfSleep Wed 17-Nov-10 10:37:26

Do you enjoy your job?

Can you make it easier to juggle - condense your hours so you get a weekday off?

How much does your husband do and could/should he do more?

RobynLou Wed 17-Nov-10 10:37:43

but if you're working evenings in a department store you won't have more time with the DC once they're at school, you'll have a lot less than if most of your working hours were when they're at school.
I work evenings and w/ends and it's bloody hard and exhausting, a daytime job would equal a lot more time as a family

FluffinWithMyMuffin Wed 17-Nov-10 10:42:01

RiverOfSleep I do enjoy the kind of job I do, but I'm not happy with my current employers. Condensing my hours definitely isn't an option, and we tend to split the chores pretty evenly.

RobynLou my 'plan' (if you can call it that, my DH prefers to consider it an over-emotioal kneejerk reaction) is t do this until my youngest starts school in two years. Which still gives me two years of time with him (I worked PT when DC1 ws little). This way at least I#ll be able to take DC1 to school and collect him, which I never do, and then I'll be here until DH take sover in the evenings. Currently I work Monday to Friday, and DH has his days off durng my working week,so I'd actually see more of him too.

I don't think this way of life will be easy, but I'm at a loss as to how else to make things better.

Ormirian Wed 17-Nov-10 10:44:26

Agree with robyn.

Also the better the job and the more experienced you are in the role, the more clout you will have when it comes to demanding flexibility and compromises from the company.

Chil1234 Wed 17-Nov-10 10:45:11

Once both the children are at school you'll probably find the day's schedule a lot less demanding. It would be a pity to give up on work all together only to find yourself, a year or two down the track on a tight budget, twiddling your thumbs between 9 and 3, wondering what to do and feeling out in the cold job-wise. Are there less demanding jobs you could look at within your line of work? Could you transfer to working part-time? Is a change of career to something less time-consuming and full-on a possibility? And I agree with the idea that husbands should pull their weight...

I don't think it has to be 'all or nothing'. Good luck

monkeyflippers Wed 17-Nov-10 10:45:36

Hi RobynLou, sorry a bit off subject but I wondered what job you do? I'm looking for an evening and weekend job and don't have many ideas.
Thanks.

VinegarTits Wed 17-Nov-10 10:47:13

can you apply to do part time or do less hours in your current job? cant see that swapping it for a night time job will give you more time with your dc

GetOrfMoiLand Wed 17-Nov-10 10:51:17

Could you ask your company for a day off in the week? They should be able to consider proposals for flexible working.

I don't blame your husband for being apprehensive due the financial uncertainty - god knows if we are going to have a double dip recession. Perhaps he is worried about potential redundancies. If you were still working in your current job, if your DH lost his you would probably be able to keep adloat. If you were doing 15 hours a week in Tesco, not so much.

I don't know what type of work you do but it may be very difficutl to get back in at any level if you leave the industry for 2 years.

I know it is hard when you can't pick up from school etc, however in the long term I think you are far better off staying in work.

TheMoreItSnows Wed 17-Nov-10 11:00:42

I've been here and know how difficult it is, in my industry part time working just isn't an option.

To be honest I used to get so fed up with the 'right to request flexible working' - it means nothing, the right to request doesn't equal the offer on the table. I've even been congratulated on the business case I put forward and still told 'no'.

I've found a happy medium by going self employed, it is a compromise - the work is less interesting, and the companies I work for are less 'well perceived', but allows me to choose how I work.

My feeling is that future employers (when I go back full time) will look favourably on my determination to make it work.

Might this be something you could consider?

Loopymumsy Wed 17-Nov-10 11:04:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PurpleKate Wed 17-Nov-10 11:23:02

I completely get how you feel, I felt the same 4 years ago. My DH was very unsupportive as well.

I managed to drop a day at work, and that really took the pressure off me. Friday was the one day I didn't have to do anything in a rush and I immediately felt less stressed.

This gave me time to think and I then decided to look for another job with much less responsibility. I did take a pay cut and I did have to go back to full time hours. But on balance I was much less stressed and much happier. DH was pleased because he didn't have to shoulder all of the financial burdan.

I couldn't have just left my job, it wouldn't have been fair on DH, even though we could have (just about) afforded it.

Ooopsadaisy Wed 17-Nov-10 11:32:36

I threw my career up in the air a couple of years ago and now earn a third of what I did then for nearly as many hours.

I do not regret it at all.

I was very unhappy and stressed.

My other half was wonderful and told me to just leave from the very beginning of the stress but I kept going and tried to make it work but it didn't.

Things do work out - I am very happy in what I do now and don't care a monkeys about the money. Other half has had an unexpected promotion so take the money strain off anyway.

You are only here once and owe it to yourself to be happy.

whatdoiknowanyway Wed 17-Nov-10 11:58:41

How much pressure will you be putting yourself under?
"expensive cosmetics and the clothes, the holidays, the nights out etc" all cost lots but don't really add to well being - or so we found.
I had to juggle lots as we had 2 jobs which both involved lots of travelling, no family nearby and 2 small children. Plus DH has chronic health condition which massively complicates life sometimes.
I tried part time then went self employed and now run my own business employing others. I work from home so have been here for the children all their school lives.
I earn nowhere near what I would have been earning if I had stayed in corporate life.
But I have always had challenging, interesting, work to do, I have had some income and most importantly we have all enjoyed our family life. I also had chance to get involved in local activities (school, sports clubs, etc) which widened our circle of friends and brought social activities suited to our budget.

If stopping work will impact on your ability to feed, clothe and educate your children, that is one issue. If it just means fewer fancy clothes, holidays, cosmetics - not so important. You'd be surprised how many benefits there are to downsizing and how little you miss the 'frills'.

RobynLou Wed 17-Nov-10 13:15:34

I think you should go to your employer and tell them that you are seriously considering leaving and doing a completely different job because your current hours are having such a negative impact on your family life, but if there was any way they could make your hours work better for your family you would like to stay, I know a number of women whose employers haven't been able to offer flexible working to but who are suddenly able to once given the choice of allowing flexibility or loosing a valued member of staff.

Working evenings really is tough, I have to be at work at 5.30pm that means leaving the house with DD at 4.30pm, taking her with me and work allow me to have her there for half an hour until DH can get to pick her up at 6pm, they then get home and have a rushed dinner and bedtime - her bedtime's never been before 8 because it's just not possible. I then work till midnight, get in at 1am and then have to be up with DD at 7am at the very latest - when DH leaves for work.
DH works odd days and has days off in the week, so we do get time together, but it's rare that we get a full day clear of work or preschool as a family. Also, you need to think of the long term implications for your pension etc.

DC2 is due in Jan and in sept DD will be at school, I 'm dreading trying to carry on this routine - only an hour between school pickup and leaving for work etc.

monkeyflippers I work in theatre, the evening/weekend work I do is Duty Managing the Front of House Department - in charge of all the ushers/getting the shows started on time/running the bars/cashing up etc. I also work as a set/costume/puppet designer on a freelance basis.
Theatres are great places to pick up flexible pt work, and its a fun atmosphere to work in.

Towatessa Wed 17-Nov-10 13:22:30

At the end of the day your children are only going to grow up once, which you can miss if you are too focused on working. What are your children going to be happier remembering - getting nice holidays/clothes or spending time with you doing fun stuff?Horrible decision to make!

redskyatnight Wed 17-Nov-10 13:23:13

I felt like this a year or so ago (my oldest had just started school and I was never the one to take him and I was tired with all the juggling (younger child was at nursery).

But I stuck it out and am now glad I did. Youngest has now started school and I feel that I can give more to my career now. If I'd left my job 2 years ago there is no way I would be able to get another one now.

Also, don't underestimate how hard working evenings is. I have several friends that do this and although they value the extra time with their pre-schoolers they are constantly knackered and have limited time with their school age children.

miniwedge Wed 17-Nov-10 13:25:42

I was in your position, I dropped the equivalent of a half day a week by working shorter hours Monday and friday each week. It was only a small cut in pay but it made a massive difference to my home life.

My bosses had previously refused part time requests but this worked really well as it didn't have an impact on productivity

I used to start at 9.30 on a Monday and Friday and finish at 3.30pm. I agreed to have a blackberry so that if an urgent email came in I could deal with it remotely.

sleepingsowell Wed 17-Nov-10 13:43:58

If it's a case of giving up luxuries rather than being in severe poverty then good grief I would pick time with my kids over that any time.
I think if you can get your employer to allow you flexible/part time and thereby keeping your career and getting more time with your children then that would be ideal perhaps - but if that's simply not going to happen then you are at a point in life I guess where it comes down to very fundamential decisions on your life and your kids; career paths are seen as highly important and valued in this society we live in and there is a real pressure not to break away from that for the realms of home and kids. We are as women under pressure to juggle rather than choose. For some that works, for others it doesn't at all.
Valuing happiness for it's own sake is also a brave choice; status is gained through employment and that's hard to break away from too.
I guess what I'm saying is that you are I think in a place where soul searching is needed. I think you need to examine what makes YOU tick and what makes you HAPPY. And whatever that is it is ok to go for it (as long as it's not illegal haha)
Good luck

PamelaFlitton Wed 17-Nov-10 13:49:47

YANBU but don't then whinge when you can't get a decent job in the future.

wubblybubbly Wed 17-Nov-10 14:04:21

YANBU at all, if that is what you want to do. I was made redunant when I was 5 months pregnant and that helped me to make the decision to stay at home. I don't regret it all.

Yes, we've made sacrifices financially but it's only stuff.

sunfunandmum Wed 17-Nov-10 14:14:13

Well, if it's any help, I'm another one who took the self employed route so I could control my hours but still do the professional job I love and am trained to do. Like Themoreitsnows the downside is less interesting work. I have also found I am earning a bit less for the hours I put in than if I was working full time for an employer but I guess I should just get a bit sharper as a businesswoman to sort that one out!

I don't know if that is an option in your industry but I thought I would add my experience to the thread. Also another thing is teaching - can you teach your subject part time as a visiting tutor for a while either at a University or college? The hours that you teach are generally family friendly and you can do the preparation when it suits.

But whatever choice you make, it works out in the end doesn't it - and if it doesn't, then it's not the end. Bit self-helpy tritey tripe but it kind of makes sense to me!

sunfunandmum Wed 17-Nov-10 14:15:54

Well, if it's any help, I'm another one who took the self employed route so I could control my hours but still do the professional job I love and am trained to do. Like Themoreitsnows the downside is less interesting work. I have also found I am earning a bit less for the hours I put in than if I was working full time for an employer but I guess I should just get a bit sharper as a businesswoman to sort that one out!

I don't know if that is an option in your industry but I thought I would add my experience to the thread. Also another thing is teaching - can you teach your subject part time as a visiting tutor for a while either at a University or college? The hours that you teach are generally family friendly and you can do the preparation when it suits.

But whatever choice you make, it works out in the end doesn't it - and if it doesn't, then it's not the end. Bit self-helpy tritey tripe sounding but it kind of makes sense to me!

sunfunandmum Wed 17-Nov-10 14:17:03

oops, sorry

jellybeans Wed 17-Nov-10 14:22:29

YANBU I did the same after DD2. Fed up of the fulltime nursery, early morning chaos, the feeling that I was missing out etc. DD never really settled either, many mornings i left her screaming and felt terrible. I gave up a good job with excellent prospects but never regretted it (so far anyway!). I am a SAHM now and we actually save money as we share one car and spend very little on clothes etc. The kids do activities such as swimming, Cubs etc which is a big expense but we can just about do that and a UK holiday each year. (I have 5 DC now).

It saddens me sometimes when a mum wants to stay home but cannot as her DH is unwilling to cut back. It should be about what is best for the child and if you are happier and there is less stress then it is likely to be better.

So YANBU at all, go for it, life is too short. I soon realised that I was kind of brainwashed into wanting a bigger house, better car etc etc and that we didn't need those things. (Of course it would be different if we needed both wages to eat). I did love my job but not doing it as the same time, full time, as parenting a little one. I now study instead and volunteer as well as being busy with DC5 all day. Good luck

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