Toughest decision of my life...am I BU?(71 Posts)
I have a one yr old baby, who was very much wanted (TTC for several years). Currently work 3 days a week. Making ends meet- just. Love spending time with him so much. He is in nursery 8-5 on the days I work. The nursery is "outanding" according to ofsted, and to me- the staff are amazing, and he loves it there.
I also live 4 hours away from my family who I miss terribly and would love to be closer to. Where they live is very expensive.
My employer has a job opportunity which I have been told I have potential for. It would be full time, a LOT more money, and would require study. I worked hard to get where I am- worked to pay my way through uni, put in a lot of hours and made sacrifices to get where I am.
My DH is a teacher, and only just qualified. He is strongly encouraging me to go for it- he sees it as not only a good opportunity financially, but recognition of my hard work, and a great thing for me to accomplish (I was, prior to my baby, very ambitious).
On one hand, I think this could be a way for me to get enough money to eventually move near my family, it would be a siginificant achievement for me. it would give us massive financial security... but I keep thinking I just want to be with my baby.
Is it U to turn down potential future happiness, and security, just so I can spend time with my son? I am so torn, I haven't slept in weeks.
Is it a full time job as in 37 hours or more like 50+? Will they expect you to stay late and turn up early? If it's a normal 37 hour job I'd say take it, but if it's the latter then not the right time.
Would the opportunity be open to you again in say a year, or two years? Or is it more "now or never"?
It wouldn't suit me at all. I'm very similar to you - very ambitious but have put my career on hold since having DS. He's 2.5 now and I've turned down a few opportunities (qualifications paid for by employer, jobs etc) since he was born but it's not what I want right now.
I doubt I'll ever regret spending more time with my son!
What would your daily/weekly schedule be like if you took this job and study on?Write it out realistically (including commute,hours at work and study time) and see how it looks.
Bear in mind though,that while this is an opportunity,it is just one opportunity.Just like this came along unexpectedly,so too will others,in time.
Go for it. I was at my most ambitious and tenacious when my babies were young (plenty of people told me I couldn't work at my job and have children as I'm self employed and work long hours).
10 years on, I'm at a good place career-wise. Earning more money PLUS I've found that the children need me more with school work, extra cuticular activities and just general day to day chit chat. They have vague memories of the toddler days but I feel now is most important.
Your dc would be proud of you too I'm sure.
In your position I would take the job but try and negotiate some flexibility into the hours - maybe working from home one day a week so that the commute isn't eating into your free time, or working a 9 day fortnight.
Having that extra money means you will be able to spend more of your leisure time doing nice things, or afford a cleaner, etc. which will maximise the time you do get.
I would suggest going for it you will have to join the full time working mum guilt club but you will have financial security for your son.
YANBU considering not doing it, as equally money does not buy happiness although as I like to be a pain financial stress does cause misery
Hope you can make peace with yourself whatever you decide
There will be other opportunities but you will only get one chance for this time with your little one.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
You can alwAys get an other job latter on your son is only young once .so no I would not .
Well you are certainly not BU to find it a tough decision! My old boss once pointed out that it's very hard to juggle work and motherhood when you care about both
If you're more committed to one than the other, it's a simpler life.
I'm with Ehric - there is a world of difference between a job that will be reliably 37 hours and a job that will entail many more. A bit of flexibility in the role is also important.
If it's reliably 9-5 then you can think about routines that will enable you to maximise time with your baby. Perhaps you can start early/leave early to have more time with him in the evening for example? With the extra money, outsource as much household stuff as you can so you aren't spending time on that evenings and weekends.
It may be very hard to gauge the hours commitment before you start though.
Personally I would also say go for it - while the baby years are fun they do need you more when they are older, sounds strange but if it really isn't a crazy hrs job and you can maybe so a short day at home every couple of weeks, use your holiday wisely and still have time with your son then I would say go for it. Even when he is older hubby will be around in holidays so you have childcare - sometimes you have to take the leap.
Make a decision then sleep on it - you will know in the morning if it was the right one
I have taken the view that I will never get the chance to see my DD's childhood again. I probably won't be able to have any more children, it took years to have my DD, so every moment is very precious to me. I have reduced my work hours by half and that is having an impact on my career but for me being with my DD as much as I can is more important.
Your DH could go part time for a while so your baby is not in full time nursery. Schools are not allowed to turn down this request if there is anyone else in the school already working part time as its discrimination.
Is the new job absolutely full time? Could you work 4 days? More than once my DH has gone for full time jobs and then stated at interview he only works 4 days. He has got the job each time.
Ditto all the questions about hours required and how much time you actually would have with your ds. As your DH is a NQT he presumable would have quite a lot of holiday time to spend with ds reducing the time he is in nursery care?
I think I would err towards going for it with a view to it being the goal to move nearer to family since this is a long held wish and a stepping stone towards it. However, every minute of the time you have with ds should be maximised by being super organised at home and outsourcing all cleaning, ironing etc and also allocating a fair share of tasks to your DH to do during school hols.
YANBU There is no such thing as now or never and sometimes turning down something wonderful can be a good decision as something even better comes along (in my humble opinion and experience). You can't do this if you're given to thinking about "what might have been" a lot though - if you're staying as you are, you need to go with that and not look back.
You're not being u for feeling torn but if this is an opportunity that won't be repeated I do think it would be shortsighted not to go for it. You say you were ambitious pre-baby - it's unlikely that aspect of your personality has gone for good. And financial security is also vv important for your child's future. Plus I personally think that high achieving women have a social duty to continue climbing the career ladder post children - as it's so bad for everyone if the top tiers of every profession are male dominated (but this is not a popular opinion I know!). However is there a compromise - could you coast on your current position for a couple of years then seek advancement?
I would take the job but look into it having 1 day a week working from home and study - well your DH would have to step-up childcare during that period.
How long would the study be for?
Cleaner is a definite and anything else that makes your life easier eg online food shop. Get DH to get any other food shopping.
Also make sure it's 37 etc hours and absolutely no overtime.
and I know you've said DC has been born after TTC for a few years but are you sure you don't want to TTC for another baby say in a year or 2? then after the job you'd possibly be able to take your year off then? depending on when this is your DC now could be 2 or 3 and still at home (sorry if that sounds muddled).
Longterm thinking is great because longterm you can plan more. also after a while you may be able to reduce to 4 days a week etc.
I went back to work when my daughter was 8 months old and started a course of further qualifications that meant I had to stay the other end of the country for three week long stretches and weekends were spent studying. I don't regret it because the opportunity would never have presented itself later on and the qualification has massively increased my career potential. Sometimes opportunities have to be grabbed only you will know whether this is something you should do right now.
also another one - can you negotiate a higher holiday allowance and what about unpaid leave? would they be up for that?
is nursery essential or would a nanny be better as a 'home' environment?
a good friend of mine with 3 DC and childcare issues decided on an au pair as a good way to run the house not sure if you'd consider for a 1 year old though. nanny may be better option.
I had to go back to work when DD was 4 months old. When she was 8 months old, an opportunity to do a FT Masters over a 2 year period came up (paid study), which meant slightly easier in one way but very tough in others.
I applied, and got accepted. It was a tough taught year, including doing essays etc again. The second year was back in the office doing a thesis (and not a lot of other work on top). DH took DD down "home" (2.5 hours away) for a weekend roughly once a month/6 weeks while I was doing it - so I could concentrate on studying at home. We also took weekends down home together.
It was an exercise in juggling. DD was also in a good crèche. But it was so well worth it in the end.
If you are happy with where you are at, then you can stay put.
But don't put off studying while your DC is small - there is almost NO WAY I could do that now (DD is 9), but while she was so small, it meant we could juggle and establish new routines easily. But trying to change patterns once they are older, and particularly once school, and other activities, comes along - is much, much harder.
It doesn't sound like you're too keen on going back full time, and that's OK. If you can manage on part time money, even if things are a bit tight, then keep with the current arrangement. The baby days do go by quickly.
Your boss might be able to be flexible if you discuss things with them, and there could be a happy medium in here somewhere. Could you do 3 long days a week, with DH doing the nursery run, to get you up to 30ish hours?
Do it. You will reap the rewards loooong before your son realises what's happening.
As your DH is a teacher, could you negotiate a Term time Only agreement with a Childminder or Nursery?
Id go for it. Use some of the extra money to pay for a cleaner and send your clothes out to be ironed. Save as much as possible and give yourself, say, two years to savre the rest. Make a decision then as to whether you carry on / drop back down / move.
It is a very hard decision and only you know whether you can really go for it. But for what it is worth the post I quoted below is exactly my experience. I found the school and teen years it was so important for one of us to be more available ad I had worked up a lot of good will at work so they had no problem with me being flexible/working at home etc.
*Go for it. I was at my most ambitious and tenacious when my babies were young (plenty of people told me I couldn't work at my job and have children as I'm self employed and work long hours).
10 years on, I'm at a good place career-wise. Earning more money PLUS I've found that the children need me more with school work, extra cuticular activities and just general day to day chit chat. They have vague memories of the toddler days but I feel now is most important.*
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