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Not sure I want to return to work - anyone else made this difficult decision?

(6 Posts)
chezchaos Sat 17-Sep-11 20:08:47

In a nutshell, just had DC2, a change in our family circumstances means that our children will now have to attend nursery when I return to work, when it was previously planned that they would be cared for by a close relative in our home.

Apart from the obvious practical implications, this has really made me question my priorities. I really don't want to put my DC in nursery, especially the youngest who will be just 9 months old, and don't want a nanny or childminder either. I want to be the one to comfort them when they are upset, etc. and really want to avoid putting them in nursery for long days, and the hassle to the whole family of very early starts for nursery drop-offs. I only work part-time, but even that feels like too much.

DH is extremely supportive, even though my resigning will mean that our disposable income will drop to a level we will only just be able to manage, i.e. no new car, holidays, treats etc. In my occupation, a period of absence will mean that I find it very difficult to rejoin at a later date, and a career break isn't an option, so I will need to resign and possibly find another, probably lower-paid, occupation at a later date.

I am genuinely split - I know I will never have this time back with my DC, but I'm also loth to give up a well-paid career to scrimp as this may also negatively impact on our family in the long-term.

I'd be interested to hear from anyone who faced similar choices and how they feel their choice has impacted on them and their family in the longer term.

MsWeatherwax Sat 17-Sep-11 20:53:58

Could you drop some hours to do 1 day a week and have your DP drop his hours to take that day off and look after them? Just so you don't lose your career entirely.

suebfg Sat 17-Sep-11 21:02:40

I went back to work 3 days a week when my son was 8 1/2 months old. He is now 4 years old and has just started school.

My son had to go into nursery as I have no relatives nearby to call on. When I look back, I wish I hadn't put him in nursery when he was so young. I think overall he has enjoyed nursery but mostly from the age of 3 onwards.

On the other hand, going to work part-time kept me sane and got me through some difficult circumstances I was going through when my son was young. Also, my son is an only child so it has been good for him to mix with others. And most of my time I feel as if I have the best of both worlds - I have kept up my with my career and also had the fun of going to playgroups etc and meeting other mums.

Do I think he has suffered at all from going to nursery? No, not at all. He is one of the happiest, balanced children you could meet. And the family finances are much healthier as a result!

levantine Sat 17-Sep-11 21:12:08

I'm struggling with the same thing at the moment. Can you work part time? This might sound like the most boring question ever but how would your pension provision be? That was a big factor for me.

Tbh I think you are lucky if you clear much after childcare costs in this period of your working life and it really is about keeping things ticking over - with that in mind if I had two pre-school children I would definitely get a nanny. Nursery is a bit of a straw man I think for you, it is the least workable of options for the children and for you, so discount that. If you couldn't live with a nanny (I am guessing from your OP that you could just about afford it) then you might have your answer.

fannybaws Sat 17-Sep-11 21:15:03

Get a great nanny, much easier for everyone and similar costs to nursery.
Jumping off the career ladder completely is risky and if you can just do two days a week you will still be spending the vast majority of your time with your DCs.

Maisiethemorningsidecat Sat 17-Sep-11 21:21:12

I remember feeling that I didn't want to go back to work with all 3 of mine, and it had to be nurseries as we didn't have family to fall back on. The first few days were awful, but I'm so glad that I did go back to work now. The 2nd income makes such a difference - just about managing is really no way to live, unless you have no other choice imo. Just imagine a garage bill or a broken washing machine all coming in the same week - I can tell you from bitter experience, it ain't fun!

Then you've got the other things - long term income, pensions, career progression - that you would lose if you gave up now. Finally, and most importantly - a good nursery or childminder will give your child great care, they will love the social interaction and will develop great social skills and friendships.

I know you are going back p/t, and tbh I think you've got the best of both worlds ahead of you. WHy not give yourself 6 months, and see how it goes. If it really isn't working then you could look for something else in the evenings or weekends perhaps, or give up altogether, but with the benefit of having tried it. Hope it works out for you smile

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