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Returning to work. worth it?

(11 Posts)
lexxity Sat 22-Jan-11 16:23:40

I'm on mat leave with DS2 and just working out childcare costs for both children has made me stop and think. I will come out with nothing from my wages after paying for childcare and petrol.

I love my job, love the people I work with and want to go back. I should state here that I don't need to go back, my DH wage will cover that, but I have always worked, always had my own money and always been quite independant. Buggeration.

I don't really know what to do and feel quite depressed about it. This is before I think about school clubs for holidays too, which is frighteningly expensive and will actually push me into negative earning. arses.

Violethill Sat 22-Jan-11 17:42:00

I think its a no brainer. You love your job, you love the people you work with... it makes sense to return, as otherwise you're chucking away a role you love, find fulfilling, and which will last long after your children are in school and your childcare bills reduced.

I totally understand the frustration of feeling its going to cost you to go to work (many of us have been in your shoes) but as someone with teenage children, I can't tell you how glad I am that I continued to work even when the nursery was taking all my earnings. I now have a far more senior role, a good income and pension etc, and I've watched friends of mine who gave up work completely, struggle to get back into the workplace.

On a practical note, if I were taking maternity leave now, in 2011 with vastly improved rights, and a lot more financial help with childcare, I would consider taking a longer maternity leave (even if you are paying a retainer for dc1, you can then stave off paying childcare on dc2 for maybe a year) because then there hopefully won't be too long before dc1 is getting the free hours, which kick in after the 3rd birthday. I know that equates to only a couple of days a week, but it all helps, and is worth planning around.

The one thing I wouldn't do is leave your job - your resentment at feeling forced to jack in a job you love, is likely to be greater than any resentment about paying a lot in childcare

lexxity Sat 22-Jan-11 20:36:53

You're right, it just sucks that childcare is so bloody expensive. I think I'll try and put it out of my mind for a little longer, I'm not due back until the back end of august so at the minimum I'm thinking september so as to get through the summer holidays.

Wise advice and much appreciated.I'm going to speak to work and see what hours we can arrange and see if I can find a slightly better fit. It's shift work so let's see what we can do!

Tootingbec Tue 25-Jan-11 12:40:25

Hi Lexxity - I could have written your post! I too am on my second bout of maternity leave and feeling all in a dither about going back to work. I love my job too and actually can't imagine giving it up to stay at home but the cost of childcare in London means I will be working for love of my job and to keep my career going.

It is not just the money though that makes me question the decision - it is also knowing that the early years are so precious and why would I want to spend them working and letting someon else bring up my children?

But I have come to realise that:

a) a happy mum is a good mum and that me working (even part time and "cruising" for a bit) will make me happier than sitting at home feeling resentful that I want to be back at work.

b) high cost childcare won't last forever - eventually they will go to school, and while that throws up some logistical difficulties, the cost of after school care (childminder etc) HAS to be cheaper than full days a nursery (God I hope so!).

weaselbudge Tue 25-Jan-11 14:21:35

i gave up completely and struggling to get back in. If you are in a job already you can request flexi working. If you're applying for jobs from scratch is it SO difficult to request this! On the other hand i have loved being with my dcs. Part time after a long ML would have been perfect but unfort my job didn't work part time.

lexxity Tue 25-Jan-11 14:29:34

I've been giving it more thought and I am going to ask for more flexible hours and go from there.

venusandmarzipan Wed 26-Jan-11 10:30:56

I went back to work when dcs were small and through a series of fortunate opportunities (rather than blatent ambition) I progressed well in my career. That meant that when dcs were adolescents I could have more flexibility in how I worked. For us that was just great - my dcs seemed to need me in a more flexible way at that age than they did when they were little, and it was great to be around when they had things to talk through.

If I'd not gone back to work when they were small, then I'd probably have been in a job without much choice or flexibility, and certainly not as fulfilled.

Never any right answers to your dilemma, you can't guess how things will turn out, but going back to work at least gives you choices.

nouveaupauvre Thu 27-Jan-11 22:22:55

if you WANT to go back to work, i would. remember there are longterm as well as shortterm rewards for work - even if you're not clearing anything after childcare costs you are still getting pension contributions, NI contributions, unbroken CV which may make it easier to switch jobs/get promoted etc later (may be harder to get back in after a career break). so don't just look at earnings. also childcare costs should go down over the years as your older DC get eligible for free hours, then the little one, then school etc so might be worth taking upfront hit now...

lexxity Fri 06-May-11 11:04:11

Well I'm going back, but just for 2 months as I've opted to take voluntary redundancy and strike out in a new direction. I'm aiming long term here and looking for something completely new! eek!

emy72 Sat 07-May-11 12:26:38

Glad you made a decision and hope it works out for you. Good luck!!!!

lexxity Tue 31-May-11 22:06:49

I've applied for an access course! Humanities and teaching. First step.

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