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Have I Made A Mistake?

(5 Posts)
TeaMakesItBetter Tue 06-Sep-11 12:53:13

I'm not sure how to put this or what I'm looking for so forgive the somewhat stream of consciousness.

I returned to work mid-August doing a few days here and there using holiday to ease back in. At first it was quite exciting as I was only doing a bit but still getting all the nice Mummy bits on my days off but then the baby (6mo when I came back) got sick and then it was just hard juggling who was going to work and so on. And now I'm wondering if I returned to work too soon after just seven months off and if I've messed up my flexible working and should have asked for more flexibility or have different childcare in place.

I work full time, arranged two days working at home, one day shortened in order to do drop off and pick up, the baby is at nursery full time 8-6. DH is supposed to work at home one day and have one shortened day (sounds like a fabulous plan, no?). We both commute around one hour to work, baby's nursery is where we live, not where we work.

My main problem is this: being away from the baby is fine, not as hard as I thought it would be and being back at work is fine and I definitely don't think I'm full time SAHM material, I've fitted straight back in - but actually I think this is the problem. I've been away seven months, I've had a baby, much as I try to insist not, I've changed. I am bored and I am frustrated that much of the nonsense I left is still here now I'm back. My company does not seem very energised and our staffing levels are ridiculous. I think I need a new challenge and I am also absolute that if I'm going to be away from my baby it must be both financially and intellectually worth it.

Additionally my DH is having trouble settling into adjusting his priorities now he's expected to take his share of childcare. I am both angry and understanding about this. He's very work centred. He's got a lot going on as he's about to leave where he works and set up somewhere new with some of the people he currently works with. He's concerned about perceptions and how it looks when he works from home or leaves early. Whilst I've been on maternity leave he has obviously had little that he's HAD to do in terms of childcare and so has been able to pick and choose. But suddenly he now HAS to be in control, that change will take some time.

So how do I resolve it? Right now I think I'm looking at two definite problems: I need a new job but I need to ensure my childcare is cast iron before I inflict myself on a new employer. Do I need to alter my childcare arrangements - perhaps a CM on the days my DH is otherwise supposed to be in charge in order to cut him the slack he needs? Or does we just both need to man up? I'm pretty sure this is in no way a unique problem!

Do hope that wasn't too rambly confused

LadyLapsang Tue 06-Sep-11 13:12:42

You sound pretty dynamic, when I returned I thought that was an achievement in itself.

Difficult to advise, but think it would not be ideal if you and your DH both have new ventures starting at the same time, so soon after becoming parents. However, if you are going to KBO where you are for now, then I think he should make an effort to live up to his side of the deal re: childcare. I think if you start letting him off the hook re: childcare now he will never have to learn and you will do it forever, ok if that's what you agree (my DH never 'did childcare') but it doesn't sound like it will suit you.

Good luck.

SkiBumMum Tue 06-Sep-11 14:24:00

Maybe try rearranging childcare / role a bit before taking any drastic steps.

I left my beloved job after mat leave to take up a PT role for a client. Whilst I do like the flexibility I am bored by the new job and can't see me being there too long when I return this time. I wish I'd given it a go in old role tbh even if it would have been way harder.

Perhaps an internal move if your company has been good about having you back on flexible grounds etc?

Can your husband do drop offs for example if wfh is hard for him? Mine finds wfh nigh on impossible because of his role and leaving at 5 is only doable once a week really because of the perception thing. He does however find that because his whole team work late, they're not there that early and no one really notices if he's arriving at 9 rather than 815ish. I am more able to leave so do majority of pick ups. It is knackering though as you get to do the tiring bath/bed bit every day!

TeaMakesItBetter Tue 06-Sep-11 14:38:35

Thanks. I know I need to give it more time, I'm being very impatient. I'm just bored at work and frustrated my grand plan isn't working out. I think I'm just having that tricky settling in period now it's really into Monday-Friday 9-5:30 with no end in sight sad I thought it would be the baby who suffered but it's me!

I don't know that I can do all the pick ups as that would mean leaving work at 4:30 every day I'm in the office which I don't think would be acceptable. Which is why I thought the way we'd laid it out was fair and made sense as we each only get one shortened day.

Good point re not having two new ventures at the same time - in some ways that's why we're in this pickle as I came back right when DH's work is going to kick off. Should have seen bigger picture and taken a few more months off <wanders off to see if you can purchase hindsight yet>

There's no answer is there, I just have to suck it and see.

LovetheHarp Tue 06-Sep-11 20:33:05

I understand your predicament but just wanted to agree with the others who said it is very very early days and I think you need to give it 3 months or so just so that it settles all in. I do empathise with the boredom thing though.

With my fourth child I went back when she was 18 months and for the first time I had decided to go part-time and so inevitably agreed to a role that is not as high powered as I had before - it has taken some adjustment and I have many moments like you (ie want to quit and find something else, want to go back full time, etc).

Now my DD is 2 I still feel itchy feet but the flexibility comes up trumps a lot when there is the school play to attend (for the older ones), the parent's afternoons consultations, the sickness (quite a few times 4!) and all the other bits to do that I can easily do on my days off. I give myself the same advice I gave you, which is:
- take 3 months at a time, as a lot can change in that time
- remember that I am only relatively young and have zillions of working years ahead of me, so waiting another year or two to go back full time will not hurt me too much in the big scheme of things!
- consider training - seen as my role is not too inspiring, I have been on 2 training courses and earned a couple of useful qualifications - maybe something else you could think about to keep your mind ticking.

Hope this helped and good luck with it!

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