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AIBU to feel totally different about my job now I have a baby?

(70 Posts)
Redpolkadots Thu 27-Jun-13 22:24:47

I used to love my job but am now facing the prospect of returning to work after my maternity leave.

I was in work this week for a day to catch up, even though I'm not due back to September (I'm a teacher)

I just felt sick being there and knowing my baby was at home with someone else.

I am going back full time as we need the money and I just feel so flat and low that I have to do this. I had made the decision to go back 4 days but dh thinks I should go back full time. We have £600 left each month after all bills are paid but he feels this wont really go very far, when we divide it in 2.

I can't really explain it but I feel really teary tonight and am probably rambling

twinklyfingers Thu 27-Jun-13 23:07:05

It really shouldn't be all of the work in reality. Your job share would have to plan and deliver the lessons totally on your day off. I don't know which sector you teach in, but stand alone topics/subjects are often given in splits like this in the primary sector I think.

I really feel for you. I hope you can have a calm discussion with your dh about this. Perhaps on reflection he might see that you having a day at home would improve the whole family's quality of life, i.e. you would be cheerful, refreshed, have had a chance to spend some one on one time with lo and get some household tasks done and prepare for the weekend? I wouldn't suggest this angle otherwise, but £600 does seem like plenty spare cash to be getting on with. Hope you get something that makes you both happy sorted.

Eilidhbelle Thu 27-Jun-13 23:07:12

Wow, I can't believe how rude everyone's being about the OPs DH. He has a point, going back four days is likely to turn into five days but without the money - you'll still be expected to go into meetings/inset days, report on all your pupils, meet deadlines etc.

But your problem is not going to be solved by whining on an Internet forum. You need to speak properly to your DH and BOTH reach a soloution that you're BOTH happy with. Me and my DH will be having exactly the same conversation next September!

Burmillababe Thu 27-Jun-13 23:08:58

Do what is best for you and your family - not the most original advice I know!

Redpolkadots Thu 27-Jun-13 23:09:35

It wouldn't be an option for dh to work part time- he works in a team of 5 and every member of the team is key and must be ft.

CheckpointCharlie Thu 27-Jun-13 23:11:00

Erm WTF? Why does your DH get to control your working arrangements when you have £600 a month to share? It is up to YOU!

And you save money every month and he still thinks you are cutting it fine????!!!! shock really, you have to be firm if its what you want. Why can't you go on a cheap holiday this year??????

Teaching is knackering and full time is really hard with a baby.
OP put your foot down.

Oh and also he should be doing half the housework, it's not doing you a favour, he lives there too!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrr to your DH.

You do what you want and what is best for your sanity and your life with your baby.

Anomaly Thu 27-Jun-13 23:12:07

Once you're back at work it will be fine. Talk to your DH about part time but I do think it needs to be a mutual agreement. Its not fair otherwise.

ImagineJL Thu 27-Jun-13 23:13:43

I think you need to explain that a child is not an "add-on", an extra person who just slots into your existing life, which carries on as it did before. Children change everything. Priorities, time available, interests, available resources - everything changes.

Some people like to work full time. You are clearly not one of those people. How miserable are you prepared to be in order to avoid your Dh's disapproval?

ImagineJL Thu 27-Jun-13 23:16:17

Anomaly how do you know it'll be fine? I'm not fine, far from it, and I've been back at work since 2006 and then 2009, so I'm not a novice.

Redpolkadots Thu 27-Jun-13 23:16:55

Some very good points, thanks.

Am aware I sound like a total doormat.

BackforGood Thu 27-Jun-13 23:20:15

I found that when I was in school, I never had a minute to think about the dc until the clock was ticking up to leaving time, and that was in a 'I wonder if I can just do x,y, and z before I leave' type way. I have to agree that the thought of it is worse than the reality.... don't you get that feeling at the end of August every year, that you don't want to go back, but once you are into about the 3rd day, you can't imaging it any other way?
I wouldn't work 4 days as a Primary school teacher though - do 3 days or do FT, otherwise you end up doing 98% of the work for 80% of the pay.

justmyview Thu 27-Jun-13 23:20:18

I have some sympathy for OP's DH. I think he's getting a hard time here. It should be a joint decision, not just up to one or the other to dictate to the other.

You want 4 days. He wants 5. Would 4 and a half days suit you as a compromise ? Hmm........why not come and live in Scotland where, in many areas, school finishes at 12 on Fridays.

FeegleFion Thu 27-Jun-13 23:24:41

I feel exactly the same OP sad

I've also just found myself a single parent and have no idea how I'll cope.

Very stressful job, nursery drop offs/ pick ups and getting to work on time seems impossible, not to mention the drop in household income and the cost of childcare to consider.

I'm literally flaking out at the thought of going back (it's full time and no possibility of flexible working or dropping any days).

We'll get through, somehow. hmm

notanyanymore Thu 27-Jun-13 23:29:50

I think you need to make this decision yourself actually. Decide what is more important to you, time with DC or extra income and then tell dh what you've decided. I'm sure some people will think that's awful but that's the decision I made when I was going back to work and it wasn't negotiable. I will never get this time back and no amount of money or anything else could ever make up for it. When I was due back to work I was still their primary carer (babies will attach to a primary carer, which is usually mum) and I couldn't reconcile myself with leaving them (although I was lucky my mum provided the childcare). In my defense, if I'd have let dp push me into working full time I would always have resented him for it and that would have been more damaging in the long run. And its amazing how easily you can adapt to a smaller budget. (It turns out dp is now very happy with the arrangement. However he has regressed to being a teenager where ANY housework is concerned with the excuse of 'but I work FULL time!')

Cherriesarelovely Thu 27-Jun-13 23:37:08

I have worked 3 days at school since having Dd, she is now 10. I disagree that you don't get the benefit of the days off. My friend/colleague does 4 days a week ( I take her class for Fridays) and she makes sure I teach discrete subjects on those days so I am fully responsible for planning, assesment and reporting in those areas. She has been 4 days a week for a year now and loves it. I would say please, if you can, take this day to be with your Ds.

IsItMeOr Thu 27-Jun-13 23:42:13

Funny, DH was keen for us to find an arrangement that we could afford and made us all as happy as possible. Isn't that the norm?

Why would OP's DH want her to work extra time for money that they can manage without if it's making her unhappy? Just doesn't make sense to me.

OP - I do think that the 3 day option is worth looking at if you can make the sums add up. That way you have more days with your DC than you do at work.

chubbychipmonk Thu 27-Jun-13 23:44:20

£600 left over???. . .Thud

maternitart Thu 27-Jun-13 23:44:23

Your DH's slight disapproval vs YOUR stress, regret, guilt, potential resentment, missing your baby and your baby spending less time with you? No contest.

Put your foot down. You do NOT need 600 per month after bills or 2.5k for holidays.

Drhamsterstortoise Thu 27-Jun-13 23:44:23

I'm in the same position op.Went back after my first.Everyone told me it would get easier.It did but I still suffered from depression....Now have a second and dreading going back again.Oh thinks we should be trying to earn and save every penny for the future and improvements to the house....all I want is to have some more time with my girls when they are small.Its hard having to suck it up ...He would resent the fact that I would be at home while he is away working.I really do hope that it all works out for you and in the meantime let's keep doing the lotto!

notanyanymore Thu 27-Jun-13 23:48:13

feeglefion I just wanted to offer you some support, I was a single parent for 18 months after ds2 was born (it was nothing to do with me insisting on working PT BTW!) and whilst it was hard, it was also lovely in a lot of ways. Being the only adult at the house makes you completely responsible, but also makes you completely in charge and that can make it SO much easier!

MagicHouse Thu 27-Jun-13 23:50:25

Definitely go for 4 days- not full time. Going back to teaching after maternity leave is tough. Sounds like you can afford it, and it will make a huge difference to you in terms of workload (I do 4 days teaching - contrary to what your DH says - it is massively different to 5). You will also have that lovely day with your baby - which will make a big difference to you both.

It is difficult when you first go back to work - I remember feeling depressed and tearful too. A few years later though, and I actually enjoy working! (The key is finding the right childcare)

Good luck :-)

chipmonkey Thu 27-Jun-13 23:51:54

Redpolkadots, I get it! Before I had ds1, I was all about my Career and my Right to Have A Career etc and them I had him and sat in the hospital bed crying my eyes out because I was going to have to go back to work. I remember a lovely nurse trying to comfort me.
ds1 is now 16 year old and I stll work. I went from 5 days a week to 4 and as I work Saturdays, dh looks after them that day, and I get to look after them two weekdays.
I like the idea that when the kids are grown up I will still have a career, which I wouldn't have done if I had given up altogether.
Re holidays, I actually think it can be nice to bring the children away somewhere different, mine love it so maybe see how you feel about that once dd is older and able to express an opinion.

MagicHouse Thu 27-Jun-13 23:53:12

Being the only adult at the house makes you completely responsible, but also makes you completely in charge and that can make it SO much easier!

Completely agree! Also - find out what tax credits you are entitled to feeglefion, I wouldn't be able to work without these.

FeelingHorse Thu 27-Jun-13 23:58:10


I am in exactly the same position. I return back to teaching for the last week of summer term, and then for 4 days a week from September.

Like you, I can't afford not to go back to work.

I think that I will still enjoy my job (once I'm over the initial guilt) but will no longer spend every waking minute thinking about pupils/marking/grades etc. I will be returning with a new perspective and will be leaving by 4.30pm instead of 6pm!

McNewPants2013 Fri 28-Jun-13 00:39:22

You will never get the time back with your child and I would say drop that day.

What are you child care plans, if its nursery you will be saving approx £150-£200 per month by dropping a day.

parttimer79 Fri 28-Jun-13 09:53:22

Could you work out what the finances will be like if you go back 3/4/5 days? We did this and after looking at nursery fees and the costs of my commute, tax threshold etc I am going back 3 days not the original 4 that I planned as moneywise it made such a small difference to our finances. It is a different situation as I am a researcher so am not as fixed in my working patterns.

I had also planned only to take 9 months maternity leave but after looking round nurseries we decided I should consider taking 12 months.

Baby is not due for another 5 weeks but I already feel differently about work, I have always loved what I do, it is not just a job but so much who I am. Even so this has been overridden by my need to balance career and time with our baby.

I'm pretty sure DP doesn't feel it in the same way, he is FT and even more than I am is very defined by what he does but he is understanding of my feelings and driven by the happiness of al the family rather than short term financial gain.

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