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to jack in self-employment 3-4 day week slotted round school hours for 2 years full-time full-on study followed by full-time work?

(19 Posts)
hatwoman Tue 21-Jun-11 11:45:35

In many ways current life style is good. As per title I'm s-e and work 3-4 days a week. dh works 2.5 days a week (2 of which are away). dds are 11 and 9. It feels like I work f-t, of course, (don't we all?) because without childcare, there's never much of a let up. part of me finds the juggling aspect incredibly stressful - when it's bad and I'm trying to work when dds are home - it's very bad. I'm snappy and horrible and I want to run away to an office - which means I can't be disturbed - and have someone else deal with, well, everything: taxi-ing, clothes shopping, washing, packed lunches, birthday present buying etc etc. But when it's good I feel lucky to be able to go running and dog walking, and never work at weekends.

however the work is erratic and unreliable. I miss the company and structure of a "normal" office environment - I miss the ability to separate home and work. I miss working in a team and, tbh, I miss having a boss!

I have a university place to retrain. it will take me 2 years and is famously very full on. working p-t after qualifying wouldn't be an option for a number of years (probably not until dds are in their late teens). I can't put it off though - age-wise it's a bit now or never.

am I mad? so many people seem to think p-t s-e without the need to pay for childcare is ideal - I wonder if I'm being spoilt for wanting something else - not counting my chickens etc. is f-t really so bad?

motherinferior Tue 21-Jun-11 11:50:49

Go for it

IndigoBell Tue 21-Jun-11 12:06:49

Go for it. If you enjoy your job then it's nice to work F/T...

You'll sort out childcare. And your kids will have a happier Mum........

mollymole Tue 21-Jun-11 12:09:41

it is's what you want go for it ! and good luck

charliejosh Tue 21-Jun-11 12:10:53

I have just left s-e to work full time for a big corporation again. Loving every second of it!

P0rtBlacksandResident Tue 21-Jun-11 12:11:16

I work self employed 9-3 (later in evening for admin etc.) from home and because of the nature of my work i can't do it any other way...but i do dream of a 9-5 job where i can compartmentalise my life - so i know completely where you are coming from.

I would say go for it....after all, nothing is permanent and if you find it undoable after 6 months - what have you lost?

Pendeen Tue 21-Jun-11 12:11:28

Curious as to what you do now, what is the retraining course and what are you hoping to do after completion?

Will a job be there for you after you have finished the course? Is it in a gropt industry?

Pendeen Tue 21-Jun-11 12:11:53


hatwoman Tue 21-Jun-11 12:17:15

oh you are all nice!

just writing my post has made me realise that it doesn't really matter that other people think p-t s-e is ideal and I should count my chickens etc. if it doesn;t suit me it doesn;t suit me.

but I will miss the running, early evening walks over the moors, and dropping in mid dog-walk at my friend's stables for a cup of tea. confused

dh is supportive but quietly ambivalent. I know he'd like us to spend more time together. and he's worried about his early evening cycling/climbing/caving boys stuff. but, tbh, in what, 3-4 years dds aren't going to give a stuff where we are and he can cycle/climb/cave even if I'm still at the office...

MI - how are things? hope you are well

WowOoo Tue 21-Jun-11 12:17:21

Self employment and working from home is hard too, I find.
I have two jobs so at least I can go out of the house and meet real people and leave all the rest to my dh and childminder.

It's the compartmentalising thing that gets to me. To know where things are when they should be. Dh also uses the office so it's bloody hard.

Go for it if you are sure that this will make a big improvement. It's a big commitment, but if there's demand for your kind of work I would certainly do it. And will be jealous of you! Good luck with deciding - it's the first step.

Bramshott Tue 21-Jun-11 12:18:35

Go for it! I have been s-e for 8 years now, and am increasingly coming round to the view that although on paper it looks perfect, it is incredibly isolating, and I'm starting to long for having colleagues again (not to mention working in a office where no-one can come and whinge at me!).

P0rtBlacksandResident Tue 21-Jun-11 12:21:25

Yes to Isolating.... definitely.

That and constantly turning down requests to go and help out at the school - because i'm clearly a SAHM...<grrr> Hiding from the neighbours popping round for a cuppa etc.

hatwoman Tue 21-Jun-11 12:21:36

pendeen - that's a whole other thread grin. it's not a growth industry (certainly not the bit I'm interested in). and nothing is guaranteed. I think, if I'm prepared to be flexible though I'd be unlucky not to get anything. but it might take a lot of knocking on a lot of doors...

motherinferior Tue 21-Jun-11 12:22:09

I'm OK if rather like you, thinking 'ah, what next'...!

prettyfly1 Tue 21-Jun-11 12:22:35

I have just decided to go back to working at the office after 3.5 years for exactly this reason - go for it.

MMQC Tue 21-Jun-11 12:41:51

I've been working on my own from home for 13 years (managed just two months in an office job) and I have to say that there is absolutely nothing on earth which would persuade my to give up the freedom and flexibility (not to mention the money) and go back to a 'proper' job.

But that's me. And, as you say, it doesn't matter what I think, it's about you!

Saffra Tue 21-Jun-11 14:49:22

I think that only you can decide - as you say, it doesn't really matter what others think. And, no, you're definitely NOT mad to consider structured study followed by full time paid employment. Whatever you choose, I'm sure there will be 'cons' as well as 'pros'. Much of it depends on your personality and your own family circumstances.

I have my own business and love it. However, I do sometimes think back (wistfully) to how I compartmentalised my life, and how easy it all was in lots of ways. And, there was a regular salary paid into my bank account each month without me even thinking about it. How convenient!

But, personally, I would find it hard to have to answer to someone else again. Also, I would hugely miss the creativity of what I do. I mostly enjoy doing the 'everything' that comes with having your own business, the planning, the excecuting, the seeing the results.... But, being so involved can be exhausting - esp when you have to balance it with family life too.

Obv depends on what you are studying, but if you have that feeling of 'it's now or never', I would definitely go for it. A couple of years study is not long in the grand scheme of things. After that, I'm sure there will be options again.

Fennel Wed 22-Jun-11 09:11:26

For me your current lifestyle sounds rather nice. I work partly freelance/contract from home and 2-3 days a week in a workplace, so I do get a good mixture, but if I had to choose 5 full days in an office/out of the home, or total freelance from home I'd go for the latter, you get very used to the freedom.

But are there ways of making your current situation work a bit better. Maybe getting a bit of childcare (it won't be for long, with children that age), getting a bit more structure to your week in terms of maybe some more social interaction (lunches with colleagues, maybe?).

And if you did the full time course, who would then do the taxi-ing, shopping etc? Would your DH have to do more of it then (in which case maybe he could do more now), or would you be getting an au pair or similar?

venusandmars Wed 22-Jun-11 10:37:12

If what you are doing now doesn't make you happy / fulfil you, then go for it..

My experience though is that being self employed and flexible was more important when my dc were in their teens. At that age they didn't want childminders / after school care, and their needs for me to be around at times were much more unpredicatable than with small children. It felt like a real luxury to be around for a cup of tea and a chat when they came home from school.

Although I'm self employed, last year I had a 6 month contract which required that I was full time based at one location. I thought I'd enjoy it, but I hated it. I was irritated by the constant irrelevant chatter around me; I didn't find it an effective use of my time at work; and when I came home all the chores (and socialising) still had to be done (no opportunity to put the washing out mid-day, or long lunches with my 'business' friends grin).

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