WIBU to accept this job offer, given my DC's issues?(19 Posts)
I'm a single parent with absolutely no family help and an XH who lives overseas.
DD1 (16) has severe depression, on anti-depressants, under the care of CAMHS/CYPS, sees a therapist once a week. She's loads better than she was a year ago, but certainly not "fixed" and still has periods of feeling suicidal.
DD2 (14) is extremely intelligent but with SN which mean that she needs a lot more hand-holding than an average child of her age. Completely unable to organise herself, cannot cope with even the slightest change in plans, becomes violent when under stress etc.
Due to various crises with them, I have had to quit two permanent jobs in the last few years, so I could look after the DCs. I am very lucky in that, financially, I don't need to work. But I feel much better about myself when I do - more connected with the real world, making a contribution, being a good role model for the DCs etc.
So. A couple of months ago I started a PT job, which was advertised as 3 days a week for 3 months. I didn't want to apply for permanent jobs because I felt that I couldn't commit long-term to any employer given my DC's issues. Three days a week is perfect, because it means I can take them to their medical appointments on the other days. It's not very well-paid, but it's interesting and I really like the people I work with.
They've now said that at the end of the 3 months, they want to make the job permanent. What should I do?
Both the DCs do best when their lives are as simple and stress-free as possible. When I'm not working I can drive them to and from school, make their food, be there throughout the holidays etc. I know it all sounds really small and irrelevant - but for them, with their difficulties, it actually makes quite a difference.
DD1 has AS exams coming up in April-May and my concern is that she might completely flip out, as she did last year around the time of her GCSEs (when I basically had to spend 2 months on round-the-clock suicide watch.) WIBU to accept this job knowing that there is a risk that this might happen again and if it does, I would have to quit?? Or should I accept that, even though they are teenagers, they need me at home??
Is the permanent job still 3 days a week? I think you should go for it. By the sounds of it you need it. You'll still be home for 4 days a week. Is there anyone at all who your dd's could have as a contact if they needed an adult while you're at work? Family friend? Mum of a friend?
Yes, it'd still be 3 days a week.
And yes, I've got lots of friends who the DDs can ring in an emergency. The issue is more that they have don't have me around when I'm at work so, for example, they have to go on the bus (which of course I know that 99% of teenagers manage perfectly happily, but it does add to the stress-levels of mine...)
Thanks for replying.
I see what you mean. Is there any flexibility in your hours that could mean you could drive them to school so they just have to get the bus home? Or are there any friends they could go with occasionally? I guess you could take holiday so you can be there for GCSE'S (it was hard enough for my un-anxious dd so can't imagine how hard it must be for yours)
No, there's no flexibility in the hours. And I don't think I could take holiday time so I could physically drive DD1 to her AS exams and DD2 to her GCSE exams (doing some early this year) because everyone else in the team has already booked their holidays, so I'll get what's left over!
Sod it, take the job and enjoy it.
You never know your luck, things might be fine, or there might be some miracle new development that helps you out.
Have you been working the same hours as the permanent job would be while temporary? If so the DD's have had some time to adapt to going on the bus, coming home when you're not there etc, how have they coped with that?
Presumably you would have stayed in the job even if it had remained a temporary one, the only difference here is that it will be permanent so more secure, but the circumstances/hours are still the same.
And many employers are understanding if you explain that there are difficulties, especially if you are known to be reliable and good at your job.
You could accept the job but only on the basis that you could take annual leave around the time of the exams, so they know now that they need to factor it into the staff cover?
You could explain that you have personal carer commitments which have made you an unreliable employee in the past. Not being the primary carer is not an option. There is a period of high risk coming up and you would prefer not to put them in an awkward position so you would prefer that that they extend your probation / the role by another 3 months and reassess.
To be honest though, I would have thought that it is in your daughters interests to see you employed even if you don't need the money and taking the bus etc will foster a level of independence and routine for them. Abandoning your job in the expectation that it may become necessary may also become a self-fulfilling prophesy ... ?
I would also talk to your daughters especially your oldest. This article and the other examples within it may be of use if she starts to stress about exams.
Thanks everyone. Had to deal with a bit of a crisis yesterday, hence why I didn't reply then. I appreciate everyone's thoughts and will mull them over. It's good to get another perspective - things can feel a bit isolating when I'm in the thick of it.
Good luck with whatever you decide purpleisthebest
Considering it's still 3 days a week id be tempted to accept. You need to do something for yourself too.
If it doesn't work it then it doesn't work out. I think it's important to support your children through school so if it doesn't work out maybe try again in a year or two.
If you don't need the money could you consider volunteering?
I would take it and see how you go. You'll kick yourself if everything is fine!
I wouldn't worry about letting your employer down - what's the difference if they have to recruit and train now vs a few months down the line, if you did have to leave.
As someone else said, think about how you could bargain for key holidays before you accept the job, when you're in the strongest position - they'd prefer to keep someone trained and good at the job than recruit, and meeting your demands would probably be worth it.
How have the kids been for the past 3 months?
I think I'd be tempted to go and have an honest chat with manager /HR or whoever about what has happened in the past, and see if they will give you the exam period off, unpaid, this year if you accepted.
It sounds like a job is very good for your mental health, and with a supportive company could be good for all of you.
The DCs have been very up and down. Really struggling some days, but perfectly OK on others. And it's difficult to know if their bad days have been caused/worsened by my working or if they would have happened anyway....
I think I just feel terribly guilty whenever I have to let anyone down. So I struggle with the idea of accepting a job and then having to renege on it some time later. But it's interesting to see that all of your responses don't have such qualms. Everyone seems to think I should just go for it!
If you don't accept they would have to recruit now. If you accept but have to quit they have to recruit another time. I'd keep going until your forced not to, as that's the best for you.
You are prepared to give it up if need be, so go for it. At some level your dcs may even feel guilty if they realise they are the reason you have given up a job you enjoy (and presumably you've talked positively about it at home).
I would try it out. You can always quit if it doesn't work out.
Is your youngest getting disability benefits? Could this pay for someone trusted to provide occasional additional support when you're at work?
Thanks everyone. I will take your advice and accept the job.
To answer the last question, I've never applied for disability benefits. I don't suppose either of the DCs would qualify. It's more the combination of having two of them and no family support that makes it tricky. Anyhow, DD1 has just been switched to a new anti-depressant, so fingers crossed that that helps soon.
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