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To take a job where I won't see my DC

(416 Posts)
Peakypush Thu 09-Aug-18 15:32:42

More of a WWYD really.

I've been a SAHM for two years now. I had two DDs 15 months apart and finished a masters during that time which I haven't put to use yet. I have the choice to SAH indefinitely as we're in a good situation financially (not rolling in it but comfortable, mortgage free etc.) however - I'm so bored! I had originally said I'd like to stay at home until my youngest started nursery at 3 but on the bad days of tantrums and drudgery I want to cry at the thought of another two years of this... We live rurally so we're limited in how we can fill our days.

A friend from uni has sent a link to a job opportunity at her company and is encouraging me to apply. It's the type of opportunity I would have jumped at pre-babies. I got so excited reading the job description and felt a fire in my belly for the first time in ages. The downside is, with the commute, it would mean I basically wouldn't see my babies from Monday to Friday except for maybe an hour before bedtime. This makes me feel a bit ill.

I'm so conflicted. I'm dying to use my brain again and to have adult interaction but on the flip side I feel such guilt at even considering leaving my DDs to go to work when I don't necessarily HAVE to. Not to mention my youngest is still only 8 months old. I did look into part time work before but it's just not an option where we live - there's literally nothing here relevant to my field. So it would essentially be all or nothing decision.

Has anyone else been in this position or can offer advice? My DP is supportive either way but he thinks in another year - when my youngest is out of the baby stage and the oldest is at nursery - I will have more structure to my days and I may feel happier being at home. I think he's right deep down but a year seems like an awful long time away... I'm not sure what I'm asking really but would love to hear other people's experience. Do you work long hours during the week and is it a source of regret? Do you think your DC suffers? If I did this I would most likely have to employ a nanny as DP also works very long hours. Would it be awful to do this to our children when we have the choice not to? TIA

MrTrebus Thu 09-Aug-18 15:35:46

Could you do the job part time maybe 3 days per week?happy medium?

unadventuretime Thu 09-Aug-18 15:41:43

I don't think your DC will suffer at all, especially with the consistency of a nanny. (And I say that as a SAHM.) But will you regret it when you're older and missed this time with them? (No judgement either way, I just think that's the real question here, the DC will be fine!)

Peakypush Thu 09-Aug-18 15:42:23

I'd love to and even asked my friend if she thought it would be an option but it's definitely a full time position unfortunately.

MrTrebus Thu 09-Aug-18 15:42:26

Also my friend is a stay at home mum to twin boys. They're horribly spoiled, they need to be constantly entertained because that's what their mum has always done, they're age 3 and she's tried many times recently to put them in 3 different nurseries but they cry all day because they miss their mum. She says herself she's left it too late and wishes she had got them into nursery and gone back to work sooner because now she can't really and she's scared about what will happen when they need to go to school.

MrTrebus Thu 09-Aug-18 15:43:41

So my point is it's easy to say I'll just do this til they can go to nursery age 3 but you might not be able to get them to do nursery if you see what I mean? She tried for weeks.

garbagegirl Thu 09-Aug-18 15:43:51

Your dc will be fine either way because it will be what he knows.

Peakypush Thu 09-Aug-18 15:46:00

That's my fear unadventuretime, I'm afraid I might regret it but another part of me thinks I may be a better, more patient mother if I worked. I feel so stressed and impatient a lot of the time which makes me think I'm just not very good at being a SAHM sad

cheeseoverchocolate Thu 09-Aug-18 15:54:53

I would go for it. If you get the job but start feeling like you missing your children, you could talk to the employer about going part-time? May be a possibility and may be easier to get once you have one foot in the door.

Also have you checked if there are flexible arrangements? Some employers will allow WFH so you could perhaps come home earlier and do some work once the kids are in bed?

pickles184 Thu 09-Aug-18 15:55:01

I don't think you would be at all unreasonable no, especially if working meant that you felt more able to connect and enjoy the time you did get with your dc around work.

Fwiw I think your dh is right about the fact that you will likely find it far more rewarding later, but you still have to maintain your sanity in between. Are there any opportunities to achieve flexible working in your field that would enable you to fit family time in around your work more comfortably?

Stupomax Thu 09-Aug-18 15:55:08

Did your DP go through this thought process?

Coldilox Thu 09-Aug-18 15:58:47

Having to work is not the only reason to work. It's ok to want to work, please don't feel guilty for that.

Only you can decide what is best. I love my job and would hate being a SAHM. I never even considered not going back to work, and not purely for financial reasons. I cherish my time with him more now, rather than wishing it away.

You have to do what is right for your family, but guilt shouldn't be a deciding factor.

genivert Thu 09-Aug-18 16:00:15

So you will see your dcs every night?!

What does your husband do if he works long hours with this dilemma? Did he go through this much hand wringing?
You do know that you're just as entitled to use your brain and skills and education as him, and (this is the key bit) have just as much support and (lack of) guilt....?

GandTthankyou Thu 09-Aug-18 16:03:34

Do what makes you happy! And I mean that because you being fulfilled will mean you’re happy and spend the weekends and evenings loving your kids really hard!

Having said that my experience was that I regretted getting back onto my career path so quickly after dd1 and I see now that there are things that only a SAHM can do. This is going to sound so gush-y but if I could’ve I would’ve given that time to my dd1. This time around with dd2 I’m doing part time and I know I’ve got the balance much better.

But I hear you babies under 1 although gorgeous etc can be so very tedious and repetitive!!

So really that was unhelpful. Sorry x

Somewhereoverthesanddune Thu 09-Aug-18 16:13:42

OP I went back to work with both of mine at 4 months (and I have a similar age gap). Similar situation - I didn't have to work but I wanted to and of course the money helped. With my DS2 I worked very long hours and rarely made bedtime at all.

They're 8 and 9 now and I don't regret it for a second. It was the right decision for me and my family. Partly for my mental health and partly because me having a career gives us much more security. My husband's work went through rounds of redundancy and it massive helps knowing that whilst it would be horrible, it would be manageable, which reduced the stress on him massively. I now (significantly) our earn my husband - we'd be in a massively different position if I'd never gone back to work.

Apply for the job. If you get it and realise after starting you hate being at work you can always quit!

Ohyippedydooda Thu 09-Aug-18 16:16:50

I have just upped my hours to full from part time so not quite the extreme jump you are considering, but for the same reasons, a job that made me feel excited. I think childcare you are comfortable with is vital to your state of mind, a nanny or childminder and grandparents if possible as full time nursery is exhausting for little ones.

Once that is covered, I say go for it! You read so many threads on here about regretful mums who gave up all chance of a fulfilling career, and husbands that get the best of both worlds. If you put in the hours now you may be able to get flexible working in a senior role once your DC are school age which as I understand it is the holy grail of situations. If you stay at home and out of the game then by school age you will struggle to negotiate a situation that befits your expertise, and may find yourself trapped with low paying dull pt work as the only option. Something to consider?

I think you know in your heart if you are cut out to be a sahm or not and I think you are looking for reassurance your DC will be ok, not tales of how lovely it is to stay home! Get everything arranged and follow your gut instinct. If you hate it you can always quit! If you don't try you will never know

Stupomax Thu 09-Aug-18 16:17:47

I do also think that an advantage of going back full time into something you're excited about is that you can throw yourself into the job and build up your skills, contacts, make yourself known, then if you get to the point where you would like to go part-time you're in a better position to negotiate a part-time role.

harshbuttrue1980 Thu 09-Aug-18 16:23:48

Is there any possibility of negotiating a day working from home, or working through lunch to get away a little earlier or start later on some days? Working isn't just about financial need. Working means you are able to look after yourself if anything goes wrong with your marriage, and also allows you to pay into a pension.
Lots of men say they want a wife at home and then when the children are older they (quite rightly) want the woman to go back to work as staying at home is no longer a full-time job. After years outside of the workplace, these women then struggle to get a fulfilling professional job at their previous level.
Childcare is fine for children as long as it is of a high quality and allows the children to bond with the caregiver, and as long as they do see enough of their parents to know who their family are.

DarlingNikita Thu 09-Aug-18 16:27:50

I don't have kids, so feel free to ignore me grin
but what jumps out from your OP is 'I got so excited reading the job description and felt a fire in my belly for the first time in ages.'

It sounds as though you loved your work and are thirsty to do it again.

On the other hand, I know you say you feel 'ill' at the thought of all the time away from your DCs, so it's not totally straightforward.

I'd say apply and interview for it at least. I think it's never a bad idea to keep one's hand in, in terms of keeping an eye on the job market, filling in job apps and interviewing.

If they offer you the job then your gut reaction to that news might tell you what decision you should make.

The last things I'd say are

- I do feel that fulfilled parents make for happier children. Of course I can't say whether you'd be more fulfilled working in this job or staying at home.
- it might not be impossible that you get the job, do it full-time/on-site for a while and then the opportunity arises to go flexible or part-time, or partly from home.

DorisDances Thu 09-Aug-18 16:31:52

I had my children when maternity leave was very limited. I needed to work financially but also to sustain my career. the key was having childcare you have total confidence in and when you are at home - this is family time (so resist getting the laptop out in the evening and use some of your income to pay a cleaner). Go for it..

Scifi101 Thu 09-Aug-18 16:31:56

I've been a sahm to a Sen child for 18 years.

Despite being educated beyond degree level I can't even get an interview for a minimum wage job.

Take the job!!

Gojira Thu 09-Aug-18 16:35:44

I went back to work full time when my child turned three, six months ago. It was the perfect time to do it and I felt like I'd 'served my time' having stayed at home with them for so long.

I was literally skipping out of the door on my first day (and still to tbh!)

However, my job is flexible and I am very much in control of my own diary. I travel a lot, but I can work it to my advantage and am very lucky in that respect.

For example, today, I didn't leave until midday but I'll be home at about 9pm. So I was able to spend time with my child this morning.

I don't think I would be happy if I only saw them for an hour before bed every day. However it is totally your choice and being a SAHM is bloody hard.

I would try and negotiate as much flexibility as possible, so maybe a 4 day week or a couple of afternoons working from home so you can finish at 4? Try and make it work for you.

Pressuredrip Thu 09-Aug-18 16:38:25

Personally I think that's really selfish, if you done need the money.

Pressuredrip Thu 09-Aug-18 16:39:51

Unless of course you swap with your husband. He stays at home and you take the job. But to put them in full time childcare or have a nanny unnecessarily is cruel.

harshbuttrue1980 Thu 09-Aug-18 16:41:32

Pressuredrip, why is it selfish? If the OP's DH ever gets made redundant, wants to retrain or becomes ill, they will both be glad that the OP has a job. Things happen, and well-off husbands don't necessarily stay well-off forever.

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