Hi there, I am going back to work in Jan after a very long stint on mat leave. I have 4 children and in Jan they will be: 16 months, nearly 3, 4 and 6. The older 2 are at school. Work have agreed 3 days a week but after a lot of meetings it has become clear that the compromise on my part will be doing a rubbish job, way below my grade. They can't and won't obviously cut my pay or my grade but I am really worried about it being demoralising on many levels. So I have two choices: - I go 3 days and suck it up - do a rubbish job for a while and then up my hours in the future at some point; - Bite the bullet and go full time - there will still be a learning curve and it will be tough. But I do have the option of working from home and my DH works mostly from home too. So that's a bonus.
I have been having sleepless nights over this. My main concern tbh is my 16 month old as she is really clingy and has never been in childcare. The others will be fine, older two wouldn't notice as we'll be able to pick them up from school and nearly 3 year old is already at preschool most days so it would just be my younger DD who would be affected the most....thanks for getting this far!!!
One last point - I am desperate to get my career back on track tbh.
You sound incredibly fortunate to have such a choice (from someone who went back to work 4.5 days a week doing exactly the same job and was made redundant a year later!)! Lucky!
Personally, I think I'd go with the 3 days option. You may find that actually doing the rubbish job is fine (and a nice bit of a rest!). It gives you the chance to see how your 16 month old takes the separation. And then once you've all settled into the new routine, you can take stock and decide if more exciting work would compensate for the extra hours.
Having worked from home, the benefit is no commute time as you still aren't really around for your kids if you are working even if at home.
Yes I think I need to put up with it for a while too, although I know it will be a bit annoying - at least like you said, my salary and job title will be the same, so it won't affect my future prospects toooo much.
Originally my plan was to go back full time when my DD2 turns 3, so just over 2 and a half years' time. In this way I would have 3 at school 1 at preschool...I just started to panic whether I would hack the rubbish they would throw my way!
I guess I might be lucky and enjoy it! (I doubt it though tbh!)
Also then instead of going full time I could always consider working 5 days but slightly shorter days so I am around for the school children....my employer would be more than happy with this as that was their original suggestion..
PT and review after a while. If you then feel your little one has settled, you are fine and you could then handle a switch to FT and an expanded role, they will bite your hand off I am sure. If you go FT, it will be much, much harder to switch down. Hats off to you, I find 2 kids and a 3 day job a juggle!