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To think it's pointless going back to work?

(89 Posts)
hiimmumma Mon 21-Aug-17 15:46:40

I'm on maternity leave and it's coming to an end.
I had asked my employer if I could have some additional unpaid leave to take me to the end of the year but they said no. (I was upset but I know it's beyond my entitlement).
I've asked for flexible working 4 days a week which is taking them a long time to come back to me about, despite the fact that 50% of the staff in the same or similar rolls do this. Including 2 people that have returned from mat leave this year.
n.b I have worked at this company for 11 years including 24/7 email and phone availability, some long hours 36+ hours straight on rare occasions when required.
Above and beyond.
A usual day would be 9/9:30 - 6:30
Getting me home at 7pm
DH works in the same field and hours are

I get paid a decent salary but I'm looking into childcare options and whatever I do I seem to only come with £250 once over deducted childcare costs. And my travel would be £120 for the month.

So really what's the point?
How do people do it?

even more unreliable. He is on 100% commission so only gets paid if he works. Pays very well when he is working but have had 2 months this year with no work. So would have to live very tightly if we were to go onto one income, and he would be very stressed.

Aibu to just call it a day on my career and put all the pressure on my Husband to make enough money?
I don't think I'm ready, but I also don't want to miss out on seeing my child grow up for the sake of £80 a month!
Any advice would be appreciated.

Madwoman5 Mon 21-Aug-17 15:49:18

I would go back and see how it goes whilst keeping one eye on the job pages for something more suitable.

Shoxfordian Mon 21-Aug-17 15:50:52

Yeah you are being unreasonable. I think you're thinking short term and not considering potential future earnings if you apply for promotions etc.
Why is the childcare only coming from your salary? I think you should both contribute.

vikingprincess81 Mon 21-Aug-17 15:51:04

Honestly OP? After my dc's I went back to work and made very little money after childcare etc. It kept me in the workplace though, and kept me sane. They're older now, need a lot less childcare, and slowly but surely more of my wages have become mine.
It sounds as if you're in a rather specialist profession; might be worth taking the hit for a few years to stay current?
Only you know if that's right for you. Some people are total earth mothers who want to SAH, which I very much admire (not snarky or sarky I really do) but it wasn't for me.
You say 'call it a day on your career' would a break be career ending?

ImperialBlether Mon 21-Aug-17 15:51:44

So you are employed and your partner is freelance? What would happen if you stopped work and he couldn't find work, then?

Other than that, I agree with you - I wouldn't work. Most here will say you should, in order to keep your career prospects up.

Nicknacky Mon 21-Aug-17 15:51:48

It's not going to be a popular comment but in your circumstances I think you would have to consider going back and H being the main SAHP. Doesn't look financially viable for you to give up work.

vikingprincess81 Mon 21-Aug-17 15:55:02

Should say, DH and I have a joint account so technically speaking we both paid childcare, but as I didn't qualify for maternity pay, we'd already been surviving on his wage (but he's public sector so paid a regular amount each month - not as stressful as your situation) so mine was 'extra' IYKWIM?

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Mon 21-Aug-17 15:56:46

Are you the higher income in the average year? Might be better for you to go back to work and him stay at home for a while?

The point is a longer term one than the first few years. If you stop until your child is at school could you resume your career after 5 years out? Assuming you don't have DC2?

Picture 10 years from now, if you stay working where will you be in your career? If you stay at home for 3-5 years and then try to go back where will you be? Which option do you prefer?

If there isn't much difference then staying at home makes sense but as you talk about 'jacking in' your career I'd be checking you're happy with that long term. As you say things would be tight, you'd have to go back to work at some point and you want to make sure you're happy with what that would look like.
I know too many women who have ended up doing less interesting, poorly paid jobs than they started in and trained for because of taking time out and needing flexibility.

I know no men in that position.

Tazerface Mon 21-Aug-17 15:58:33

I would also consider going back and DH being the SAHP. It seems more logical to do it that way when his earnings are so erratic - you can go back on a good full time wage. Don't forget that time out of work could have a negative effect on you if you want to go back later.

Tazerface Mon 21-Aug-17 16:00:35

Also your comment about 'missing out on your child growing up' is extremely telling about why you have come to this arse-about-face way of thinking.

I agree with others, you're thinking short term and personally I don't think short or long term your proposal will work out well for you.

Heratnumber7 Mon 21-Aug-17 16:01:49

What Shox said.

hiimmumma Mon 21-Aug-17 16:06:21

Thanks for the responses

DH earns way more than me over the course of a year. It's just not as reliable. He isn't freelance but is on commission, so others are finding him work.
I wouldn't be able to cover the mortgage and bills etc on my salary alone.

We would share the cost, we have a joint bank account.

I should think about the long term, thanks for those who pointed that out. I was just thinking about now.
I guess because I'm already feeling like I don't want to leave my baby I can't see past that.

PennyTentiary Mon 21-Aug-17 16:08:02

I'd say go back to work. If you don't like it you could look at pt work there or elsewhere. I'd never advise a man or woman to give up their jobs because it would leave you in a very vulnerable decision should you split. Also, when the child is a few years older it can be very difficult to re enter the workplace and you will probably wish you kept a foot in the door.

jay55 Mon 21-Aug-17 16:08:57

Will you get childcare vouchers and so win a bit on tax? Do your employer contribute well to your pension?

BackforGood Mon 21-Aug-17 16:10:36

The point is, this is a short term hit, that keeps you in your career, which is likely to have to last45years+
As a couple, childcare is an enormous amount to take from your salarie*s*, for the relatively short length of time they are in daycare, but it is part of being a parent, and is a small price to pay over the longer journey, to keep your career going.

Gorgosparta Mon 21-Aug-17 16:13:04

I would go back.

The drop in whats left is worth it, imo. Its an investment in your future.

You need to make a choice that suits your family. But it does sound like you want to stay at home but think you have to come up with other reasons?

Is that to justify it to yourself, dh or to other people.

Being a sahm is a perfectly valid choice. It does leave you vulnerable and put stress on the one who is soley financially responsible for the family.

But if its what you want and dh is in agreement, do it. But recognise its a choice you are making.

hiimmumma Mon 21-Aug-17 16:13:54

I think if I took say 5 years out I would find it really hard to get back in, especially at my level.
Not impossible though.
Something to think about. Thanks Thinkabout I'll have a chat with my husband and try and see where I/we would be int he future in each scenario. It's a good way to look at it.

And to make it clear we would both contribute towards childcare costs, it's just a simple equation to work out how much better or worse off we would be as a family.
We have a joint account so it wouldn't just be on me to pay it 100%

I can get childcare vouchers yes and they do contribute towards my pension. Both valid points jay55

Dadstheworld Mon 21-Aug-17 16:14:00


Exactly our position, We're taking the hit now as it easier to adjust our lifestyle slightly shortterm.

5rivers7hills Mon 21-Aug-17 16:16:05

The early years will be hard - but you will be in a much better position long term if you can get through these child care heavy years.

Your career progress, pension, equality in the relationship... very important.

hiimmumma Mon 21-Aug-17 16:17:43

I do want to stay at home yes, not forever but just for a bit longer.
That's why I'm finding it so hard I think. Deep down I don't want to go back and then it feels like it's not even financially beneficial it makes it even harder.

But I think I just need to suck it up and accept it and look at is as an investment in the future as pp have said.

Babbitywabbit Mon 21-Aug-17 16:17:48

You're in the same position as many women - for the time being you may see very little immediate financial gain, but in the long term you'll have career progress and of course pension contributions.

If you really feel one parent needs to be at home more, then it seems to make a lot more sense for your dh to do that, as his earnings are less reliable, and I imagine as he's on commission he can be more flexible? In your shoes I'd probably pay childcare for say, 3 days a week, and get your dh looking after the child the other days but having the available time to still do some work.

If you've already made your mind up that you don't want to return to work for other reasons, then tbh nothing anyone says on here will change your mind. But if it's genuinely just about the childcare costs then I'd say just suck it up for now because you'll get the payback in the future.

And btw it's perfectly normal to feel annoy conflicted towards the end of maternity leave- I've no doubt all mums feel it, but many still go back to work.
In fact once you're back, you'll feel less conflicted - it's just a matter of making that transition.

NotTheCoolMum Mon 21-Aug-17 16:18:20

Think of the opportunity cost. Not going back will cost you / be a sacrifice in the long run. Going back now will cost you / be a sacrifice now. Contrary to popular culture, it's not possible to have it all.

I think a lot of women are earning 50 quid a month, they just aren't allowed to discuss it for whatever reason.

Have you visited any nurseries? I felt similar to you, very ambivalent.

The nursery we have chosen is actually amazing, offers opportunities and a learning environment far superior to anything I could do on my own.

Not to say that nursery is the best place for everyone or SAHPs can't offer opportunities. I am speaking from my personal perspective.

Just to say that finding that nursery has made me see going to work in a totally different light. The first nursery I visited was horrid BTW, they are not all the same!

pepperlookslikebumcheeks Mon 21-Aug-17 16:24:15

Interesting thread as I have been pondering the same but not due back from mat leave for a while yet.
My concern is mine and DH jobs are nothing exciting just your standard everyday jobs, so there would be no point in me going back and having to put DD in nursery because the fees would only just be covered by my wage. However I may go back 1 day a week if family could provide childcare for that time.

The other thing is I would like to ttc for number 2 around the time if not before I go back so that's another thing to think about OP how large a gap you want if you have any more? I'm not sure on the maternity pay etc?

At the end of the day I would do what makes you the most happy, there's always other jobs available when you want to loo. Babies are only babies for a short time

hiimmumma Mon 21-Aug-17 16:25:37

I went to look at one today.
It was good actually, I was surprised with how much I liked it. It has lots more for him than I could offer at home you are right.

I just won't be able to get home from work intime to pick him up so also looking at part time nannies/ childminders to look after him into the evening.

Babbitywabbit Mon 21-Aug-17 16:27:37

Hiimumma- just to add from my own experience, ML was 12 weeks long when i had my first dc over 20 years ago. If a fairy godmother has waved a magic wand in week 11 of that leave, told us our mortgage would be paid off and that I could stay home and magically pick up my career where I'd left off at some unspecified point in the future... of course I'd have jumped at it! Your emotions run high when you've been pretty much attached to your baby 24/7 (I was still bf morning and all evenings) and then you're going to be leaving them in childcare and stepping back into your office clothes. It's totally normal- in fact I imagine emotionally it must be harder in some ways now because a year is a hell of a long time at home and you must feel you've developed a completely different life. 12 weeks was physically a lot tougher but I guess one advantage was no separation anxiety.

Of course in the real world I went back to work, realised everything was fine and this led me to returning after my next two dc (by which time childcare costs were through the roof!) 20 years down the line I have absolutely no regrets; no way would I have had the career I've had (or the pension pot waiting for me just round the corner!) if i hadn't returned to work.

I do understand the emotions, but as with all major decisions it's a good idea to do head and heart.

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