To want to leave my job?(21 Posts)
I returned to work almost a year ago with the aim of pursuing a career that I had been studying for. It took me a while to find a job but eventually find one in a field that really interest me, but is a support role. I really like ‘being at work’ having been at home since having my first child (now a teenager), I really like the company, the people I work with and having an identity and purpose other than ‘mum’. However, I’m not sure that there are any immediate prospects for me to progress where I am, certainly within the next year or so, I initially took the role as I thought that the experience would enable me to progress. Also, I don’t feel that I am being appreciated by the person I work for. I feel that I am doing more than the average person in this role, because of my knowledge and interest, but I get no feedback or guidance from the person I work with and do not feel valued at all.
I have three children, two at primary, one at secondary. I have managed to agree slightly shorter days with my employer, but basically leave the house at 8am take the two to school then am home at tea time, picking the younger two up on two days. I then get in, cook their tea, and one four days out of five, I have to take one or both of the older children to clubs. Which usually means all of us getting in the car, for an hour’s round trip. By the time I get home it’s time to get the youngest to bed, then clear up, make dinner for me and dh, sort out laundry, any school stuff, homework, random requests and demands from children and then collapse. Normally sitting down to dinner with dh at around 8.45, if he is home.
DH has a demanding job, and to be honest is a bit of a workaholic. He works 13 hour days and then catches up on stuff in the evening. However, he makes a good salary, and has provided for us, without complaint for all of the years that we have children, we have a reasonably nice lifestyle and he is pretty relaxed about what I spend money on, though I don’t think I’m particularly extravagant. I am not earning a great deal compared to him, so my salary is obviously a nice extra, but we could manage without it. He doesn’t have a lot of time to do stuff at home, so even though I am also now working, it still feels like the bulk of the work associated with the house and the children falls to me.
I am finding that I can’t continue as things are. I’m constantly exhausted and feel like I am out of control as far as domestic arrangements go. I have periods where I get really organised and sort out my food shopping online and make meals in advance, but then unexpected things will happen and the organisation and planning takes a back seat. I’m always rushing, and running through my ‘to do’ list in my head, which leaves me with a constant feeling that I cannot afford to relax for a minute as something will get forgotten. I’m impatient and intolerant with everyone and just find it so hard to unwind. I’m not finding anytime to do anything for myself. As much I know this would most probably help, I just can’t find the time or the energy. DH’s work commitments mean that he is often home late or is away overnight, and once I’ve factored in all the children’s commitments, it just seems too hard to make time for myself, I would just rather collapse in front of the TV.
The other real issue is that the holiday allowance is shocking, and this is obviously a real issue for school holidays. We have some family support, but definitely not the full on hands on grandparents that many have. We have been sharing out our holiday and relying on holiday clubs and friends, but I find this really stressful, and really miss not spending the time with the children myself. I resent that I am going to have to settle for a couple of weeks family holiday in the year and that’s it.
So my dilemma is, should I leave this job in the next couple of months and take the summer off, therefore solving the problem of summer childcare, then look for something else in the autumn, hopefully less days per week. My worry is that it will take while to find something and that I will really hate not having a purpose and something to occupy my time, I really don’t want to go back to being at home full time. I also feel like I’m letting myself down after all the time and money I invested and that I should have the drive and determination to make it work. I feel massively conflicted between a job/career for myself and looking after the home and family, and at the same time not sending myself insane.
Would really love to hear your views….?
Your first job after such a long career break was never likely to be the most stellar. But if you give up now how likely are you to progress to better jobs?
Your problems sound similar to every other family with two working parents. Compounded by the fact that your DH doesn't seem to have changed anything in his contribution to the family since you have gone back to work.
If I were you I would stick at it but enlist some help - a cleaner, some paid for childcare etc.
And you need to have a serious talk to your husband about stepping up and taking on his fair share of family responsibilities.
I agree with disappearingfish, this is how I felt when working full time with kids and it is exhausting.
As for the job satisfaction, you haven't been there so long. It's quite likely your boss is also stretched - have you asked for feedback / a mentor?
It's much easier to look for something else whilst in employment. However, the longer you are with a particular employer, the more likely you can build trust and ask for home working / reduced hours which can ease things.
I think that your plan for the summer months sounds good and would give you time to find a position with more prospects and better hours.
I do agree with pp about looking to outsourced some domestic duties if your household budget can afford it.
Your job sounds pretty good to be honest. It's a good idea to ask for feedback but don't take it personally if your boss seems too busy to spend more than a minute with you one to one. Especially if you're going above and beyond while performing basic duties to a high standard, the only feedback you're likely to get is "carry on"!
The issue is more that the load at home hasn't changed (cleaning, cooking, lifemin). Both of you working full time is not sustainable unless the balance is found.
Goodness! I could have posted this myself.
Slightly different, as l'm considering the position you seem to be in now.
I just don't k is what to do either.
No family to help in holidays etc...
I wouldn't give up your job - it's harder to get a job if you are not already in a job. You've done well to get back into the workplace after a long break and I'd be reluctant to leave now.
The issues you have ate similar to many families. I only have the one child but teach full time which is demanding. DH used to teach and is now starting a small business.
We sometimes struggle to keep on top of things but you just learn to muddle through as best you can (and possibly lower your standards!).
Can you afford a cleaner or ironing help? Do your dc have to do so many clubs or could they cut down? Pair up with another family to do alternate weeks?
Can your DH get home early maybe once or twice a week?
Also, just to say I think I sounded unsympathetic. I'm not, it's bloody hard to do everything. That's why you need others to pitch in!
OP - nobody can tell you what to do, but your situation sounds almost identical to what mine would be if I had returned to work. Which is exactly why I did not.
People will say get a cleaner in, which does help, but it doesn't take the pressure off in the evenings. The children could not do their clubs, but then you feel guilty about that. I also have a workaholic husband who is highly unlikely to start taking on more round the house or cooking his own dinner. It's just not going to happen. We don't need the money and I took the decision that the children are only young once - this is it. People do comment that I don't have my career, but I just think well, I do have a life! I refuse to live on a treadmill - giving off the appearance of "having it all" at the expense of my health and my family.
Anyway, that's just me. One suggestion could be that you to leave this job, if the prospects aren't that great anyway, and look for something part time? If you don't need the money, you can afford be a bit more choosy and take your time until the right thing comes up?
If you progressed in your career, wouldn't you be even busier? Hard to say, not knowing the field of work or your level in it, but generally you'd do a job longer than a year before thinking of progressing (standard is a year to get in the swing of it, a year to excel and a year to get sick of it). The fact that you're itchy to go already may mean it's a bad fit, but I agree with PP that what you describe sounds normal for a family with 3 DC and the exacerbating factor is your DH's lack of non-work contribution rather than your job, although if you work there for longer you could look into reducing your days if that'd take off some of the strain. Personally I wouldn't leave as you obviously wanted to return to work and trained for it and this is just a year into your first job back, which is the platform you build on, not necessarily a great gig in itself. Could you ask to take some unpaid leave during the summer as the holiday is so bad (or again, is it standard? unless you're in education or some public sector roles, people are lucky to get more than that)? Sounds like you'd have nothing to lose by asking. In fact, have you got an annual review coming up where you can raise the issues of feedback too? If not, you could ask for and arrange one? And definitely get a cleaner if you haven't already. Good luck. It is really tough, but unless someone truly wants to be a SAHM, I'm always wary of encouraging women to be financially dependent on men, and nice though your DH sounds about it, it especially rankles with me when DH's would be pleased for you to be a SAHM while they're happy to be workaholics. Fucks me right off in fact. Tell him you'd be happy if he worked less and helped out more, that's the only way we're ever really going to progress!
(apologies for lack of pars, went on one a bit there)
I know how you feel and I don't even work full time.
I don't think the taking the summer off idea is a good one. The next job you go to, you would have the same issue.
You need to talk to dh about making this work. What more he can do.
You also need to address the lack of feedback and progress made at your current job. You need to speak to your boss: get certain things: experience in a the next big area/speciality, get it on your cv and then look for a new job.
To quote an oft-used MN maxim, you don't have a work problem you have a DH problem. Pinkdelight is right the issue is that both of you are parents, both of you have responsibilities to your home and children and both of you go to work. This is the way that modern family life is and I'm sorry to say that your husband needs to understand this. I'm not going to pretend that its easy because it isn't. Getting your husband to understand that he needs to have more respect for you and your career is tricky and (speaking from experience) takes frank discussion. But please don't give up on yourself and your job. You've obviously worked hard to get there so book a babysitter, take your husband out to dinner and have a very full-on conversation about your future as a couple.
I'm in a similar boat. Have been doing two jobs for the past year. The house is a disaster, I've ruined holidays with having to work and we all just fight as a family. Enough is enough.
I would be inclined to hold on to the job you have, I'm not sure it would be helpful to create a gap in your cv at this stage after doing so well to get a job in a field you're interested in after such a long break,
Could you afford an after school nanny? Even if it ate up most of your earnings it would be a short term solution until you find something that works better hours wise.
I was an after school nanny when I was at law school. I worked pt term time 3-7 and ft in the holidays 7-7. Suited me as I could fit it around studying.
I collected the children from school, gave them dinner, supervised homework, dealt with after school clubs, did all the children's laundry, changed their beds, cleaned their bathroom etc
That would hopefully remove a big chunk of your to do list and make things more manageable?
Keep the job, buy in some domestic help. Getting yourself back on the ladder is worth more in the long run.
Thanks so much for your posts, it's all food for thought.
@Deven7 I feel just as you describe about being on a treadmill, I'm not sure that I want the job / career enough to make the changes and compromises necessary, and like you say they're only little for so long.
@PrimalLass you've got it, sounds very similar, sometimes you've got to step back and ask 'why am I doing this?'
@pinkdelight I know just where you're coming from, and I suppose that's what I'm struggling to accept, I dearly wanted a family, but I'm finding it hard to accept that the way to make it work for us, in our situation without much help, is for me to compromise on how much I work, but I don't want to outsource everything and I would like a life.
I wouldn't, an employer looking at your cv will see a large garden of no work then another a few months later. It won't look good
Quitting every time there is a large holiday isn't the answer, you need to find childcare.
The hours you have are good, most firms expect a lot more.
I wouldn't give up your job. I'm a single parent of 3 who works full time. As a teacher holidays aren't an issue but I have all three out the house by 7.30 every day and I tutor as well. I have a cleaner once a month and we don't do that many clubs because it's too much.
Sounds like you expected an awful lot from a first job after a long gap, after less than a year you are complaining about lack of progression, not being appreciated enough, not being valued, lack of holiday allowance (which is presumably what most people get?) etc etc.
It's not going to look good when you start looking again, but if you don't want to work its ok not to.
I'm always a but suspect of high earners who have to work 18 hour days to the detriment of their families and housework / life admin. It's totally dependent on his actual job but I know lots of high earners who are very disciplined in carving out enough family time.
What would your DH do if he was single? He'd have to shop and cook and clean for himself. What does he contribute at the weekend? Don't the kids miss spending time with him?
It's not all about your current earnings. It's about your future potential earnings and what you have to do now to reach that. Try going back to work in your 50s and building a decent career from there - it's bloody hard, and you have decades of working life left.
Is there a middle ground? More part time? Negotiated unpaid leave? Paid help in the house?
Is your DH generally supportive or is he unwilling to change now you are back at work?
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