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To ask if you took a career break when DCs were young?

(14 Posts)
Uhohmummy Tue 17-Jan-17 15:55:39

Im interested to hear from anyone who took time off to be at home when DCs were little and has gone back to work after a career break?
Are you glad you did it? How long were you off for and how was going back to work?
I have two DCs aged 3 and 1. I worke 3 days a week (but usually end up working at least part of most evenings too). I really enjoy my job, it's flexible with nice people and an easy commute. Salary just about covers childcare so I don't do it for the money but see it more as a long term investment in myself.
Lately though as DC1 gets closer to starting school I've been thinking about taking a few years off to be at home with the children. If I thought I could walk back into my current job I would do it without a doubt but I'm worried about the impact of 2+ years out on my career.
Would be grateful to hear anyone's experience of doing this.

Uhohmummy Tue 17-Jan-17 15:56:57

Sorry for horrendous typos!

CloverCannot Tue 17-Jan-17 16:03:49

I became a SAHM when my youngest was a little older than yours. Went back to work in my old career when they started school. Obviously I'm on less than I would have been had I not had 5yrs out, but overall the effect was of pressing pause, not a total reset - I'm earning now roughly what I was when I left (taking into account inflation) and prospects appear not to have been materially harmed (so far!)

That's in a professional career which has a large element of needing to be up to date with latest developments.

I am glad I did it (though I know I have been fortunate in my experience). Good luck. It won't always be right or possible for everyone, but it was the best thing for our family.

Pettywoman Tue 17-Jan-17 16:29:47

Yes, but not intentionally. DH initially stayed home and I had a good job. I was made redundant and we moved to the other end of the UK. He fluked a job and I got pregnant so I stayed home.

I tried half hearted self employment but I didn't have the belief that the chosen career would get enough work in my very rural location.

I'm still a SAHP in the week but am working weekends in an easy, low paid job that I enjoy. I think of it as a baby step to working again after 8 years. I lost my confidence by staying off work so long so I needed something easy. I also didn't have a natural career progression in my previous job so felt a bit at sea after so long.

Uhohmummy Tue 17-Jan-17 18:22:04

Thanks for sharing.
Petty - I do worry about the loss of confidence thing. It was hard enough going back after 12 months maternity leave so I think returning to work after years off would be very hard.
Clover - I'm in a similar professional career and have always worried that stepping away even for a short time would make it very difficult to go back. The reality is that although I really like my current job I don't love my career so maybe taking time out and going back to a different sort of job would be no bad thing.
It's such a touch decision! I feel like we have a window at the moment while both DCs are little and at home so it's now or never.

Uhohmummy Tue 17-Jan-17 18:22:55

^ tough decision

user1473879477 Tue 17-Jan-17 18:40:56

I'm exactly the same. My wage leaves me with £100 after childcare costs and travel. Mostly because I stupidly failed to negotiate on a sideways step and value myself. LinkedIn interest shows probably underpaid by 8 to 12k!

I work in content marketing so going to try to freelance I think - or hope to dear God a part time opportunity that pays well comes up. Telling the boss I plan to come back but surely he knows unlikely with the shitty wage and broken target based commissions he discussed - no sign of them despite smashing targets.

Obviously marketing changes rapidly so worried too.

Sorry to gatecrash - would love to know if people made freelancing work or started a successful business where they coukd work from home.

PollyPerky Tue 17-Jan-17 18:48:40

I took some years out and then went back part time.
I didn't work at all from DC1 being conceived until DC2 ( 2 year age gap) was a year so in effect 4 years out. Then I started working one evening a week for a year or so, and then gradually increased to two mornings when DC2 was at nursery and 4 mornings when they went to school full time.

I don't regret it at all, and I also re-trained at 50 and ran another career (p/t) alongside my other one.

AllTheLight Tue 17-Jan-17 19:55:05

I was a SAHM from when my eldest was born to when my youngest started reception two years ago. Going back was actually a lot easier than I expected - I fretted for ages about how difficult it would be, but in the end I was v lucky and got the first job I applied for (slight change in direction from my previous career) and the transition hasn't been too stressful (after the first couple of months, which were tough).

At the time I thought I loved being a SAHM, but going back to work has been a really positive thing for me. I feel like I've rediscovered part of myself that I didn't even realise was missing. I guess I'm still glad I took the time out - after all, they're only little once - but in retrospect I did find it a bit boring!

Karoleann Tue 17-Jan-17 20:00:12

Yes, I never went back after having DC3 as I felt I was much more valuable being at home. DH works very long hours but earns its of money so that made things easier.
I kept in touch with my profession by doing a part-time masters which I finished a few months ago and I had my first working day back today! I enjoyed it, although commuting was a bit fraught and I think I need to work on making that less rushed.

I'm lucky as I can easily work 1-2 days a week and I'm hoping I may just be able to do term-time only as well. I don't want to work full-time until the children are all at uni, I think they still need me too much.

Poorlybabysickday Tue 17-Jan-17 20:10:01

My children are the same age as yours, and I work 3 days too in a professional role that I would struggle to return to after a break. I'm really conflicted at the moment about what to do, I have only been back one week following maternity leave, but I'm giving it serious thought.

Uhohmummy Tue 17-Jan-17 20:15:53

Enjoying the positive experiences here. Thanks for sharing.

Uhohmummy Tue 17-Jan-17 20:20:39

Poorly - it's such a difficult decision, I sympathise. Maybe give it a little while and see how you feel once you've had time to adjust to the new routine? I've been back a year now (DC2 is nearly 2) and I'm glad I've done it but I'm realising how quickly the pre school years fly. I think I may regret not taking this time to spend with the DCs now I have the option.

bunnylove99 Tue 17-Jan-17 20:24:08

You have a 3 day a week job you enjoy, flexibility and an easy commute. I would urge you not to walk away from it. I took a 2 year career break and it's been really tough trying to get a decent job since my return, especially if you want to work part time. You will also lose your financial independence and might find you actually miss going out to work. These issues drove me back to work, 2 pay grades below where I was. I still haven't recovered it 3 years later. Despite gaining a masters in my field during this time.

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