Advanced search

to think about jacking in my job after only a month?

(29 Posts)
bellawilliams Thu 29-Sep-11 13:45:33

I've gone back to work 5 days a week (OK so 2 days are just 10-2 so that I can do the pick/up and drop off but the other 3 are 9-5. Having not worked properly fulltime for 9 years (part time and a couple of maternity leaves plus sporadic freelancing over the last 4 years) I knew there would be transition issues but I feel hopelessly out of my depth in the job, and then cannot cope in the evenings with the kids. DP is working very hard so of course the childcare arrangements fall to me, and often he isn't home to do bed/bath/reading/hw etc. I feel like such a failure for even considering leaving the job but I really think I may have bitten off more than I can chew....
The money of course would be badly missed but i've not been bringing in much over the last few years anyway.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 29-Sep-11 13:52:12

I don't know about 'U' or not but strikes me that it's the balance that's wrong principally. You're both 'working very hard' but only one of you seems to be doing all the domestic stuff as well. If the job is genuinely beyond your capabilities, it would be unfair to your employer to carry on. But if you think you'll be able to adapt into it if you had more help at home, it may pay to give it more time.

aldiwhore Thu 29-Sep-11 13:52:13

I would give it some more time... it takes longer than a month to settle into a new routine and new life.

Do you feel out of your depth because of confidence or because the work is simply beyond your ability? Sounds like you're having a confidence crisis and aren't into a 'groove' yet.

YANBU to feel absolutely stressed to hell, but I would say, give it a while longer.

Speak to your superior, don't tell them you're rubbish and can't do the job, but ASK how you are doing as you're feeling a bit lacking in confidence and would appreciate feed back.

Its a massive change, one I'll (hopefully) be facing next year... give yourself a break, you are probably doing very well with your new routines and timescales... give yourself time, not too much though, but I think a month is too soon.

Pancakeflipper Thu 29-Sep-11 13:52:16

Have you spoken to your employers? They might reduce your hours if they know you are struggling. Mine did when I said I couldn't return to work because it was proving to be a logistical nightmare. Alot of employers would rather have an experienced person whom they know than start looking for a replacement.

With the extra money you are earning currently could you cover the cost of a cleaner so you don't have that stress? Even just once a fortnight means you get a break every fortnight from cleaning the bathroom.

And what support have you got? Have you got any family or good mates who would collect the kids one day a week? Then you aren't dashing around on the school run but at home making a happy family tea and you feel more chilled for the rest of the evening.

It is early days - I would give it 3 months before you make a decision.

lesley33 Thu 29-Sep-11 14:02:55

It is too early days to make a decision to leave. If I was you I would:

1. Talk to your line manager and say that you want some feedback on how you are doing. If there are any criticisms of your work say you want some help to improve your work in that area e.g. more guidance.

2. If there are areas of your work where you don't know what you are doing, consider whether you can ask any colleagues to advise you.

3. Tell your DH that you can't manage everything. Tell him he has to come home 2 nights a week at least to help with the kids.

4. As you have more money, consider paying for help - maybe just temporarily till things settle down e.g. cleaner or even a mothers help or nanny to help you in the evenings.

5. Try and be organised so everything is as easy as it possibly can be in the evening e.g. frozen meals, or very easy to make meals, have DC clothes washed and ironed at weekend to make it easier, etc.

6. Remember that when everyone starts a new job they will feel panicky, like they don't know what they are doing, unconfident and tired. Add in to that mix dealing with your family, its no wonder you are struggling so much. But it is too soon to know whether this is too much for you to take on, or just perfectly understandable settling in stress.

AKMD Thu 29-Sep-11 14:05:09

Give yourself more time. Nine years is a long time and one month not very much to adjust to a completely new way of life.

Tackle the issues one at a time:

Feeling out of depth in your job: If your workplace hasn't offered appropriate on-the-job training, ask for it. Depending on the job, spend 30 minutes in the evening prioritising your tasks for the next day and working out what you need to be able to do them so that you are prepared and not flustered. Ask colleagues for help if you are stuck or ask your line manager to go through something again if you aren't sure how to do it. If your knowledge isn't up to scratch, timetable your day so that you spend a certain amount of time on research. If it's one where you are responding to emails as well as getting on with other tasks, timetable your day so that you spend a certain amount of time looking at and responding to emails, then a certain amount getting on with the task in hand e.g. get in, check emails and respond for 30 minutes, turn Outlook (or whatever) off for 45 minutes while you do X. Repeat.

Kids in the evenings: what is it that you can't cope with? How old are they? Having a faily council with your DH there could be hellpful in explaining to your children that things have changed and from now on they need to do xyz to get themselves prepared for the next day (laying out school uniform, sitting down to do homework from 5-5.30, having their bag packed). Again, timetabling is your friend. If everyone knows what they are expected to do and when they are to do it, there are fewer arguments and things take less time.

Childcare arrangements: are these stable? i.e. you haven't got the neighbour's cat looking after the children one afternoon, then your bezzie mate doing it the next day etc. If not, look into a childminder who does drop-offs and pickups at your children's school, the school breakfast and after-school club and reciprocal arrangements with other parents who need childcare when you work short days.

DH not home: Work out with him the day or days when he will certainly be home by x o'clock to hear Timmy read, bathe Emily and put both to bed. Make sure it is an arrangement he can stick to so that you are never unsure of what you have to do each evening.

It might look from the above that you are starting a military academy but feeling more organised and certain of what you are doing can help all of you feel more in control. Make sure you have some time for yourself so that you can unwind or go out with friends too. No one expects a new employee to be perfect at what they do in a month and no one minds repeating or demonstrating something so that you can get it right.

Good luck!

porcamiseria Thu 29-Sep-11 14:13:02

give it time, I know its hard when both work. you need to get into the groove of

getting used to being a working Mum
getting used to the job

Its hard, some evening my bones ache! took me a good few months to get back into after DS1, and you have been off for 9 years!!!!

are you kids at school or Nursery? do you have help, ie a cleaner? throw some money that way, really if you have extra money , use it!!!!

agree with those that say give it 3 month , bet you will be in a groove by then

and its not just money for now, its money for savings, your future, kids uni etc......think of it that way

ShoutyHamster Thu 29-Sep-11 14:20:56

'DP is working very hard so of course the childcare arrangements fall to me'

- well no, you are BOTH working very hard, so unless the childcare arrangments are shared proportionally, the person with the unfair burden is going to burn out, leave their job and the whole family will suffer financially. As threatens to happen.

Often, the difference between coping with a busy life and feeling totally overwhelmed is quite small. A designated few hours off, a knowledge that on X days your life is easier because your DP is responsible for bed/bath etc. isn't a luxury, it's a NECESSITY. I'm laying bets that your hard-working DP gets it. You have an EQUAL need to that - as you are now finding out.

milkmilklemonade Thu 29-Sep-11 14:47:21

I was being bullied at work and it was taking up all my energy and couldn't think about anything else. a month ago we had an horrific car crash at 120kph and apart from minor cuts and bruises were fine. I immediately quit. Life is too short to allow it to rule your life and make it affect your home and family life.

raspberryroop Thu 29-Sep-11 15:06:37

milkmilklemonade - being paid goes a long way in helping ''home and family life' swing along for a lot of us.

Sorry though that you were bullied.

SpanishPaella Thu 29-Sep-11 15:13:09

i would hated to have worked full time when kids were small, i find it difficult sometimes now and its all adults at home (and dogs). I found the best balance was working just a couple of hours a day.

bellawilliams Thu 29-Sep-11 17:38:38

My children are 5 6 and 8. The other issues that i haven't mentioned is that we are having building work done. There are builders here 6 days a week so we are all living in one room downstairs and the upstairs is just full of boxes. Somehow we have coped without a TV for the last month! Dust absolutely everywhere. We probably have another 2 months of it. We wanted to move out but couldn't afford to It's impossible to keep clean but impractical and pointless to hire someone to try to do that. So that is an additional burden.

The childcare is a local nanny I have known for a few years and is great - that is one thing I don't have to worry about. She is also very flexible if I have to work early/late, and the kids love her. When I get home and pick them up they seem to lose all of their good behaviour.

The job is only a 6 month contract. I know it sounds ridiculous not to stick it out but I am completely overwhelmed (it's a fairly senior support role in a professional services firm) and scared to ask for too much help because they will not be interested in developing me too much as I am off at the end of Feb. There are presentations coming up that I am absolutely cacking myself about. I guess I just need some coping strategies and feel-good techniques that will see me through and make me look like I know what I'm doing. I have been signed off work for the last 2 days because I have developed acute sinusitis - probably because of the building dust. It is good to rest but just means I am driving myself mad thinking about going back into the office (maybe tomorrow or Monday). Really not feeling good about everything. DP away on business so no-one to talk it over with.

Thanks for the responses. Makes a big difference.

whattodoo Thu 29-Sep-11 17:49:54

Wow, what a lot you have on your plate at the mo! Pretty bad timing for this job to come up just when things are upside down at home.

Firstly, your employers must have been impressed by you to have offered your the role in the first place. So you can't be too awful!

Some of the ideas mentioned by previous posters are very good, break it down into bite sized chunks. Take your time to get to know each aspect of the role.

Your employers have invested time and money into employing you, they would be stupid to see you go just for the sake of spending some time with you to build your confidence. They must know you've been out of formal work for a while and it will naturally take time for you to find your groove again. Do they offer a mentoring scheme? Are there any colleagues (or past work colleagues) you can use as a sounding board while preparing your presentations?

I think that you have to be honest with your DH and spell it out to him that you can't carry the whole burden, he has to make some adjustments to his life to make the family run smoothly.

It will be worth it in the end. Just try to get through a week at a time - you never know this contract may turn into something more long term.

In a couple of months, you can employ a cleaner to give the house a top-to-toe going over and then a weekly/fortnightly clean.

I don't envy you with all you've got going on at the moment. But if you want to be back in the workplace, now is as good a time as any to start - if you can get through this you can get through anything!

cricketballs Thu 29-Sep-11 19:06:14

i'm sorry but what do you think the majority of working parents feel? Of course it is hard work (and to those who are 'blasting op's dh' read the fact he is still at work for bedtime etc) but you create a routine (which sometimes goes out of the window wink) and you get through it.

I work full time as a teacher, have 2 dc one of which has sen and a dh who often works away so i am often carrying the whole burden.

I will not suggest that sometimes it is hard going, but this is the reality of life; if I want to live comfortably in the house we live, be able to afford the life we live then we both have to work, therefore the routine is created out of necessity

cheeseandmarmitesandwich Thu 29-Sep-11 20:04:01

Just wanted to say I sympathise- just gone back to work 3 days after 2 years as a SAHM and I have found it really tough, so going back full time after 9 years must be incredibly tough and overwhelming!

You are probably not doing half as badly as you think you are. Don't be afraid to ask for feedback and help if you need it. If your boss is unapproachable ask your colleagues maybe? Or put it all in a list and ask to have a chat with your manager where you go over it all.

I'm sure it will get easier (that's what I tell myself!) It is a massive adjustment.

But well done you on getting a job after 9 years as a SAHM! No easy task!

cheeseandmarmitesandwich Thu 29-Sep-11 20:04:02

Just wanted to say I sympathise- just gone back to work 3 days after 2 years as a SAHM and I have found it really tough, so going back full time after 9 years must be incredibly tough and overwhelming!

You are probably not doing half as badly as you think you are. Don't be afraid to ask for feedback and help if you need it. If your boss is unapproachable ask your colleagues maybe? Or put it all in a list and ask to have a chat with your manager where you go over it all.

I'm sure it will get easier (that's what I tell myself!) It is a massive adjustment.

But well done you on getting a job after 9 years as a SAHM! No easy task!

PurpleCrazyHorse Thu 29-Sep-11 20:16:08

DH and I both work FT and we're really lucky that he has his own business so is able to do lots of the dropping off/picking up. However, we try to be as organised as we can. I also don't really like my job but have muddled through for six months and am now feeling a little better in my ability.

If you're not feeling sure about something, instead of just asking, maybe approach your manager with your ideas and see what they think. I've taken this approach so it feels like I'm not being useless and not knowing, but that I've worked something out and am just checking.

Don't be afraid to do a waffles & something meal if you're knackered, or a random pasta & sauce thing. It saves us some nights when we can't face cooking a proper meal. We try to use our slow cooker too.

We don't bath DD every night which saves time and it is also just one story. Could your oldest practice their reading by reading to the younger ones. Two birds & one stone (and all that!). You could then just supervise while pottering around doing little odd jobs.

PastaLaVista Thu 29-Sep-11 20:24:59

I would definitely spend some of your pay on getting household help. Maybe find someone who can come in for a couple of hours late on one of your full days to hoover up some dust, clean the kitchen and bathrooms and do the ironing. If she can then stay on for another hour or two to help you with the kids it's another day dealt with.

Also, if you haven't already done this - go out and buy yourself a really nice outfit or two and have a manicure or a facial. You need to feel and enjoy the rewards of working for yourself and that will lift your spirits.

chicletteeth Thu 29-Sep-11 20:32:08

Don't do it yet.
One month isn't long and as you say, there is an element of getting used to it again. If you're lacking in confidence (which you seem to be) this isn't going to help.
Hand over some chores to DH, invest in a slow cooker which are great for family dinners especially if time is thin on the ground, and have one week night buffet dinner (warmed french bread, good ham and cheeses, dips, olives, etc...) which involves no cooking as well.
Cut yourself some slack and pay for some kind of help (cleaner, someone to iron)
And buy yourself some chocolate and wine and a good magazine and try to relax a little.

PastaLaVista Thu 29-Sep-11 20:36:20

Oh good - someone else mentioned the slow cooker so I didn't have to. grin

chicletteeth Thu 29-Sep-11 20:44:09

Thanks for the run-down on your life cricketballs and how well YOU cope. But we're talking about the OP, she's been out of work for a while and feels out of her depth.
Why don't you stop doing something for nine years and then go back to it and see how well you get on.
FWIW I carry the whole burden in my house too and was alone 5 days a week with a 1,3 and 5 year old whilst my DH worked away but I am still sympathetic

bellawilliams Thu 29-Sep-11 21:28:52

Thanks everyone - to clarify I have been working (apart from 3 maternity leaves) in the last nine years, but part time. This is the first time I've done the full time shift for a while. So it's not entirely new but I have underestimated how difficult the juggling will be, and perhaps this role is particularly demanding. Slow cooker sounds great - we don't actually have a kitchen at the moment so are making do with ready meals and lovely friends who leave me the odd home made shepherds pie to put in the micro.

And cricketballs perhaps there is a nicer way to say what you said. I am only here asking for some support as I am so down. I am not surprised that you dont feel the same anyway as you don't have the same holiday cover issues (being a teacher) that others with 'fulltime' roles do.

cricketballs Thu 29-Sep-11 21:38:53

so sorry for having the school holidays at home (although I work during them often in school) - believe it or not, before I became a teacher I worked in a factory, an office etc and yes, we still managed without paying for a bloody cleaner.

Where I had originally had a slight glimmer of sympathy, the rudeness and smugness of your last post just makes you sound like poor me individual and you are just looking people to say, yes, stop working as you can't possibly manage to work and look after the house/kids.....

AuntiePickleBottom Thu 29-Sep-11 21:50:28

Why do people think teacher have a lovely summer hoilday.

They do not, infact it can be more busy in the 6 weeks hoilday than in term time as there is a lot of planning to do

Op give it time

Andrewofgg Thu 29-Sep-11 22:08:27

If you jack it in now it will look like crap on your c.v. for evermore. That may be unfair but that's how it is. Why would anyone employ somebody who likes like they can't stand the heat when they can employ somebody who can?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now