Think I'm going to have to resign due to childcare but scared to make the decision(98 Posts)
I guess this is 'AIBU to quit my job?'
Long story short. Currently WFH (primary teacher, part time). Have 2 DC, one with SEN who doesn't attend school full time and a 2 yo who is autistic. Childcare for youngest was grandparents who are shielding. Nursery not appropriate for youngest as very delayed, clingy to me etc.
DH self employed and we rely on his income. We would cope if I quit. But I'm scared to quit. I'd be isolating myself (work was my escape). Loss of financial independence. Recession looming.
On the other hand, my DC2s difficulties are severe. I'm struggling to cope. Not having to physically go into work for the last few weeks has taken so much stress away. I feel I've been coping better. I cry at the thought of anyone other than family looking after him, he is so vulnerable.
I feel like the decision is made, I can't go back. I can't, not with no childcare. But I'm scared. Scared that I'll regret it.
YABU - find childcare - your DC2 will just have to cope
YANBU - be with your child now while they are so young.
I wanted to explain my thinking. I don’t really like the term “your DS2 will have to cope” but it might help him and it will definitely help your mental health if you could stay working.
However it’s not an easy decision and you have to do what is best.
Does your employer offer career breaks so that you can take a year or two off but still have a job to return to if you decide that's feasible?
Can you take a leave of absence or a sabbatical whilst you look at the alternatives? That would enable you to protect your employment for a time but not be paid (thus reducing the pressures on the employer). Making decisions of such magnitude right now may not be wise. People may not need to shield for ever. There may be alternatives that, given the time to invest, you can ease your child in to. His difficulties may be severe - but equally he may do very well once settled into an alternative and honestly, it might be good for him. And that would give you both some independence and some space of your own.
If all else fails, why not take a period of unpaid parental leave? Just don't rush a decision like this. You already know that you might regret it. Maybe you won't. But even you don't yet know that.
What does your DH think? In a partnership, one partner can’t just decide to stop working and depend on the other financially. It has to be agreed by both of you.
If his difficulties are severe and you feel it's best for your family for you to be home then that could be the best decision to make.
Make sure you are applying for what support you are entitled to, DLA could help with their costs if you don't get it already.
Thanks for replies.
Moondust this could be an option but I'm feeling ill with stress trying to make a decision. I thought it might be better to just make the decision and deal with it.
plan DH feels its better if I quit and is happy to support us. I wouldn't just take this decision alone
Are you able to take unpaid leave. Give yourself time to think over the options.
Your children and young and also have additional needs so extra pressure on both of you that others won't have. If you can survive ok on one income and you feel it would help you and your little ones then do it.
There will always be teaching jobs to return to. Your children are only little for a short time and if you can afford it and want to do it then why not.
If you can afford to then do it, you could always sign up to do agency work once you can have family support again. DH was a SAHP for my youngest who has autism, but he eventually started nursery part time aged 3 and it was a struggle at first (was non verbal at the time).
Being at home meant he could do a lot of the early interaction intervention work suggested on the sensory course we went on. He also did a More than Words course (this is the book) which helped pre PECS, which came later once SALT were involved. DS is 6 now and talks in full sentences so I think it was worth the early input.
He did find being at home quite isolating, it depends what local children's groups you have near you. The local SEND offer information on the council website might direct you to groups for people with children with autism where you can get support. DH found the local group good for getting advice.
The alternative is a nanny so that there is continuity and familiarity of being in his own home, but the cost may not make it worth it. Apply for DLA if you haven't done already to help you with costs of buying resources or going to places that he would benefit from.
Look at other childcare options - sen childminder, nanny etc
Yes I don't think now is an ideal time to be making life changing decisions - I'd look at taking a period of unpaid parental leave (you have a statutory right to 4 weeks per child per year up to a total of 18 weeks per child total) or ideally a longer unpaid career break - your employer should be supporting you to look at different options. Obviously childcare is your responsibility to sort but there is an expectation that employers help their employees is these unprecedented times. Totally understand that you feel you need a complete break from work but things might look a lot better in a few months time and you might regret having quit. Part time teaching posts are not that easy to find esp if you want to stay fairly local/not have a long commute.
Absolutely don't stick your DS2 into any old childcare you can find but given time you may be able to find something suitable (nursery with experience of autism? Specialist childminder? grandparents once out of lockdown?) that will be a real benefit to him and the whole family.
If at the end of the period you still feel you need to quit then you won't have lost anything but just keeps your options open?
That sounds like a difficult situation. Parents are legally entitled to unpaid parental leave. Could you apply for a few weeks leave given the circumstances?
Could DH not look after the kids the days you are working?
He's self employed, can't he work evenings/weekends & anytime they're amusing themselves?
He supports you giving up your job, but he needs to support you DOING your job as well. You need the change of scenery and it's not wise to give up your career & be dependent on him, it's really not. Even more so with DC with SEN.
If you were working in another field I would be cautious about career breaks but as a teacher you know you can return when you are ready and it sounds like it makes sense at the moment for you to be at home more.
I’ve been in a similar position. Two dc with autism plus another child. Youngest couldn’t cope for many hours in a nursery setting and then was in and out of school until he went to a specialist school. He couldn’t be left with anyone really. My parents live too far away and in laws were too old.
I’d speak to your employer and see what options are there for you. I didn’t work for years and the needs of my two dc with Sen have consumed a lot of me and my identity. I am working part time now in school hours. For some people they preferred being a sahp but I found I just became X’s mum and it was very tough. I missed the break that work offered and using my brain.
First steps I would say is speak to your employer. You’re obviously in a stressful job. Do you feel you can cope with both without burning out?
What sort of work does your dh do? If it’s office type could he work around your work? Childcare is not just your responsibility.
Re DH and childcare. The business is a partnership, where the partner has fronted all of the costs and only DH is currently drawing a salary. We really think it would not be acceptable for him to say he is only available for part of the week. Some work could potentially be done at weekends, but a large proportion is responding to calls in a timely manner which would not be possible while looking after DC2.
I have always been financially independent, so becoming dependent on DH makes me feel very uneasy. But not as uneasy as DC2 going to childcare potentially.
My job is stressful, even just part time. To be honest I don't think I can do both. Ive felt for a while that I'm doing a shit job at everything. It does feel like an impossible choice.
Im pretty sure that DC2 will attend a specialist nursery, unfortunately in my area demand is so high that he will not get a place until preschool age. So September 21 at the earliest. Too long away.
I'm sorry if I sound defeatist, I'm struggling with this a lot. It is really useful to hear objective opinions, so thanks again.
Will he be going to a specialist school? Many have specialist nursery provision from 2. Ours is fantastic. I wouldnt make any definite decisions at the moment. You have a few more weeks of the summer term, then the summer holidays. Give yourself time to mull over all the options. Maybe you could reduce your hours further so you can increase them again when you feel able and your pension wont be affected in the same way. Things change so quickly when they are little. How long are you likely to be able to work from home for? Would you consider a nanny to care for your children. They could get established whilst you are working from home then enable you to go back to teachiing. Many university and college students wont be going back until Christmas so a part time position could be ideal for someone studying. We have a employed a local student for a couple of years now and it has been an absolute life saver.
Have you looked at claiming DLA for your children? You would also be entitled to carer's allowance and enhanced tax credits if appropriate. That might help you a little financially.
Have you considered stepping down from teaching for the time being and taking on a TA role instead. I know a lot of teachers with young children who have done that for 'interim' years until things are more settled at home, with childcare, children a bit older, etc.
TAs don't bring home the work teachers do.
Should add I became a SAHM when my ASD dc's needs became obvious. No childminder prepared to take him, then nursery and school caused so many more demands and difficulties. Like pp until they were both in independent specialist schools school was sporadic and difficult and impossible to work round. Ds did a year out of school and dd did two years out of school. Tbf most people have no idea how common it is for children with SEN to be out of school for extended periods which makes working incredibly difficult.
My twins are both autistic. I started the term after they turned 2 as they qualified for free hours due to being in receipt of DLA. They started just 10 hours a week (two mornings). Ordinarily I would strongly suggest you consider this if you can as I think it has helped our twins immeasurably, but obviously now is not a good time due to the fact that nurseries won’t be very child friendly places to be, especially with additional needs.
Could you request unpaid time off? I know another teacher who took a year off unpaid when her child has similar issues and in that time she was able to get him settled into a nursery part time.
YANBU - be with your child now while they are so young
Psssh, not everyone gets that choice love.
My DS2 has ASD. I didn’t go back to work after having DS3 to give more time to DS2 and his brothers. I don’t regret that part of it, DS2 needed me. He did go to a special preschool/child development centre part time from age 3, which was actually really good for him.
But, my ‘lovely, laid back, helpful’ DH became my exH a few years later. Midlife crisis, affair, whatever. I’m afraid it’s true that many marriages fail if there are DC with SN. I regret abandoning my career. I now work in a school in a term time only job which isn’t well paid despite having a degree. Think very carefully. Can you go part time?
Sorry, I mean they started nursery at 2y3m.
Your local authority can provide additional funding for early years setting for additional support and then you can apply for an EHCP to get a specialist placement (my twins are due to start one in September)
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