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Please tell me - when is enough enough??

(16 Posts)
FergusSingsTheBlues Mon 24-Sep-12 18:46:31

I've been back at work for two months and I'm really unhappy. I am five months pregnant, commute 80 miles a day and have a toddler who has NEVER slept through the night. EVER. So I am chronically tired which is not great in pregnancy. I just can't cope.

I feel like quitting because although what I earn doubles our family income, my son is in nursery 50 hours a week. We can't afford me NOT to work, but in reality, working two or three days a week would be perfect...but it's financial services and I cannot reduced my hours.

Am I being a wimp? I feel like one, to be honest, but feel as though the cards are stacked against me. I lost a baby last year (EMC) and scared of the same thing happening again. I will never find a job as well paid as thins one again either, and dont wsnt to be FORCED to work a five day week once number two arries. sorry if this is rambling, im just too tired to articulate.

janey68 Mon 24-Sep-12 19:52:32

I think there are two different perspectives:
You've only been back 2 months which isnt long enough to really make a judgement; I mean if your toddler starts sleeping through then you'd probably feel quite differently. Also, as you have a toddler and have only been back 2 months I'm guessing you probably had a year off work, and tbh i think it must be a lot harder returning to work when you've had a long time off

On the other hand, if you're desperate to reduce your hours then I would bite the bullet and change jobs. You're in the situation many people are: can't afford to give up work but could afford to cut down hours. So it makes sense to switch to a career with more flexibility.

Third thing is- you're pregnant so presumably will be on ML again soon, possibly for another year... So is it really worth making major changes at this point? If you hang on you can do your next ML, and by the time you return after that, your dc1 will probably be sleeping like a log all through! I don't think it's fair to mess your employer about, so if you don't intend to go back to work at least for a reasonable length of time after your next baby then I think you should act sooner to change things. I've just realised writing that, that you could in theory end up being on leave more than you've been at work over the last couple of years - which is fine if you're intending to make a career of it, but not very reasonable if you're intending to get out soon

In your position I would find another job for a few days a week- but I think the timing is tricky as you're 5 months pregnant... I think there are some big decisions to make

BettyandDon Mon 24-Sep-12 19:58:31

I can't recall what the legal limit is for starting ML but I think it may be 11 weeks before due date? Why not do that? You'll get a year off to decide how to play things and whether you need to switch careers with 2.

It's bloody hard enough being pregnant with a toddler (even worse with a non sleeper) and to work full time on top of that? I think you deserve a break and by law you can start ML early as I said before.

BettyandDon Mon 24-Sep-12 20:01:16

Also imagine if you had a car accident due to driving tired. You need to put yourself first IMHO.

janey68 Mon 24-Sep-12 20:20:51

I'm not sure what the earliest you can start ML is. But I do think if the op end up taking another year off on ML, after only being back at work for only 3 or 4 months since her previous ML, then she's hardly being fair to her employer. And yes, it may technically be her right, but it doesn't make it a reasonable way to behave,

FergusSingsTheBlues Mon 24-Sep-12 20:28:21

To make things worse, this was a new job! I got pregnant totally unexpectedly and found out the week before I started. I wont get any mat leave cash but thats ok because it would have been really embarrassing otherwise!!

I know I cant/wont go back fulltime with two: our family life is shot as it is. I just feel so inadequate. If I could "hang on" at least Ill get pension and nursery vouchers and the chance I may be able to go back part time. If I chuck it in, we will be immersed in money worries - the long term sort eg pension and uni fees. Im inclined to live for now and look after my family. My husband who worries about money endlessly wants to me persevere.

janey68 Mon 24-Sep-12 20:36:25


I think if you really can't manage on your dh's income alone, it would be madness to jack the job in. The stress of not actually being able to pay the bills could feel a lot worse than the stress you're feeling now. I also think its all very well to say 'live for the moment' but it's not fair or right if that means landing your dh with the sole responsibility for trying to keep the family afloat.

Hang on in there, get through your ML and apply for flexible working to cut your hours. Toddler Should be sleeping through by then and new baby hopefully won't be such a poor sleeper. Everything will feel a bit rosier than

narmada Wed 26-Sep-12 19:38:42

sorry have to disagree with the above. If your financial worries are over things like pensions and paying for yr kids' uni fees and not over paying mortgage and feeding your family, then i would be tempted to say sod it and look fir something else during your mat leave.

narmada Wed 26-Sep-12 19:48:50

what i meant to say and didn't very eloquently was in your situation i would not privilege long term financial security over short- to -medium term family life. Life is short and your immediate day to day happiness, and that of your family, is what matters.

With all due respect your dp is not pregnant. He does get up to your toddler in the night, right?!

startlife Thu 27-Sep-12 19:18:45

I would be inclined to stick with it until ML. If your salary is absolutely needed then what is Plan B to pay the bills? Do you have savings to last from now til you would go back to work?

Would your current employer provide part time work after your leave. If so then I think it's worth struggling on as a well paid part time job is hard to find.

I have to say however that a long commute and a ds at nursery all week is horrible so can you consider working from home 1 day a week. Could your DH do the same so that you get some more balance. I think he needs to be getting up most nights however as you do need more sleep.

It's a crap situation I feel for you.

Mosman Mon 08-Oct-12 15:33:18

I worked in a bit of a ball breaking environment when pregnant with Dd2 and just told them straight, I will be in at 10am one day a week and leaving at 4pm everyday to pick my little one up, what are they going to do, fire you I don't think so.

MrsMuddyPuddles Thu 18-Oct-12 13:56:01

What did you decide in the end?

"If I chuck it in, we will be immersed in money worries - the long term sort eg pension and uni fees. Im inclined to live for now and look after my family. My husband who worries about money endlessly wants to me persevere. "

FWIW: ask your husband how he'd manage these things if you were incapacitated from stress or worse. I think he needs a bit of perspective, or to take on EVERYTHING that he physically can, so all you have to worry about is work, your own commute, and growing no 2.

Thorpster Thu 18-Oct-12 15:40:21

I think the concensus to hang on until ML is a good idea but sit down with your hubbie and sort out a plan for the next 3 months to make it bareable for you.
Honestly you want to take good care of yourself and that baby.

Also have you actually discussed any options with your boss? They may be surprisingly reasonable you never know! If you can come at it from their angle and show them the benefits of you working part time or possibly finding someone to job share.

I really feel for you, being pregnant is knackering and no sleep is torture (been there, done that) You are not being a wimp in any way, you need to have a plan to deal with the next few months and then while you're on ML before the baby arrives have another think about the future.

Good luck with it all, please put yourself first x

Goldmandra Thu 18-Oct-12 23:47:04

Would you consider being childminder when your DC2 is old enough rather than going back to work and paying for childcare?

It might feel better for you to earn less but still be at home with your DCs. It worked for me.

kdignam Fri 19-Oct-12 14:45:26

This is the first time I've ever posted but have been in a similar situation.
I commute to london to work in fs and went back 4 days a week after my first son.
I can quite honestly say that being pregnant with number 2 and working was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I was so tired that at weekends I was having up to 3 naps a day. It did pass a bit around 5 months and then returned with a vengeance during the last bit.
I got through it eventually and then had my baby and a year off work and I have just returned. And now I'm wondering if it's worth it, whether to jack it in and spend more time at home.
My advice would be for you to keep going. Changing your working pattern or job now will only impact on your maternity leave payments. Try and get to the end of this pregnancy and then have a year at home to see what changes. A lot can happen in that time, your priorities change, your husbands job may change and you never know the sleep situation may well improve.
I know it's tough, I found pregnancy the second time much harder than actually looking after two children as your physical fitness is shot to pieces.
Hope this helps

kdignam Fri 19-Oct-12 14:53:37

Ps meant to say that I employed a nanny to look after my 2 this time as it works out cheaper than nursery. Knowing that my two boys are at home, being looked after well and not out of the house in childcare is amazing. Also my nanny cleans their rooms, does their washing, cooks lovely food. She still works when they are poorly and she comes to my house in the morning and stays until I get home.
So hang on! Working with two might not be as bad as you think. (although I miss my boys terribly and am still trying to decide whether it's worth the effort after I've paid for childcare and travel as I actually only earn a few hundred pounds!)

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