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Regrets about your work-life choices after kids?

(22 Posts)
Inge2012 Fri 05-Oct-12 14:03:38

Have you ever had any regrets about the choices you made? Was it good to take a career-break or would you do it differently now? Was it good to continue to work full-time or go part-time, or would you tell your children (or friends) to do it differently?

Just wondering today, as I am reflecting on my own choices at the moment, and thinking...I wish I would have known. I wish I would have known how biology would impact my career ambitions (here I was thinking I want to go to the top in a corporate environment). I wish I would have known earlier what you need to do to get a senior part-time job. And then again, I don't regret just trying it all, as I think there are so many chances after 40 and perhaps I had to live through it myself to believe it. Now I work from home, am no longer financially independent, but I do what I want to do, and have time for my family and social life.

PigeonPie Fri 05-Oct-12 14:13:38

I have no regrets at all at the moment. I gave up work seven years ago when I went on maternity leave with DS1 and have been gradually building up a new line of work (I'm now a Parish Clerk) which I can do from home and manage my time as I want.

It means that today I can MN as DS2 is off school curled up on my lap after a bout of D&V. We might not be 'rolling' in money, but we have enough to keep us afloat (unless the car blows up!) and our quality of life is good!

Mosman Sat 06-Oct-12 11:57:05

I've dipped in and out of work over the past 12 years sometimes full time, rarely part time, had my own business and now I'm back on the career track with four children.
Obviously I wish I'd married a millionaire and had my feet up since the blue line appeared but what can you do other than soldier on.

MaBaya Sat 06-Oct-12 13:30:10

I have regrets, but also recognise that lots of the good stuff that has happened in my life - career wise and otherwise - wouldnt have happened if I hadnt made those 'bad' choices.

I was one of those fast risers in my career. I was in management for a fantastic organisation with loads of perks by the age of 27 when my first child was born. It totally fucked my career, basically. I ended up a SAHm, had a second child and retrained in a completely different field. Now 35 and just about making my new career work now and earning something approaching decent. It has been a journey fraught with 'am I doing the right thing?' moments and no doubt there will be more to come. I occasionally have pangs of regret about the career that could have been. But onwards and upwards. Give yourself a break!

Jinsei Sat 06-Oct-12 13:48:24

No regrets from me - I have always worked FT apart from maternity leave, and I think it's enabled me to progress in my career to the point where I have much greater flexibility now than I would have at a lower level in the organisation. And it's worked out well for dd too, so I don't feel we've made any sacrifices.

Rosebud05 Sat 06-Oct-12 13:56:15

I went freelance for a variety of reasons when I went back from mat leave with dc1. Bit hairy, although we have dh's full time salary coming in, so not super risky. I work part-time and with a lot of flexibility and will build up when my youngest is in full-time school next year.

In terms of my career, I work in a specialist, growing and ever changing field, so who knows what the future holds?

Very grateful that I haven't had to work full time with very young children, and that I've never had to stop working. This has been the best solution for me.

BackforGood Sat 06-Oct-12 14:07:03

I have no regrets.
I went back FT after dc1, then PT after dc 2 and have remained PT ever since.
Depends on lots of things though - not least your job.
All I can say if ever asked is, for me PT is the absolute best of both worlds. I know that's not true for everyone though. smile

janey68 Sat 06-Oct-12 17:14:11

I worked 3 days a week while my children were pre schooler age, then full time once they were in school. I also didn't rush into having kids, so I had the chance to get to a fairly good position career wise before hand.

I agree with the poster above that remaining in work all the way along (apart from two maternity leaves, one of 6 months and the other slightly longer) has enabled me to have greater flexibility now, as I'm in a management position and have greater control over my work.
No regrets.

betterwhenthesunshines Sun 07-Oct-12 17:15:09

Just wondering this. I was working freelance silly hours pre DC and decided to stop. I have done various things ( some paid, some not) since being SAHM. Sometimes I think careerwise it would have been more sensible to keep a foot in the door, but then I wanted to be at home with them. Also it has given me the chance to build skills in many different areas and now I have a chance to review what to do with the next part of my life, rather than just stay in the same work rut. But the deciding is tricky!

TheFallenMadonna Sun 07-Oct-12 17:21:03

I stopped completely for 5 years, then went back completely, ie full time, going for promotions. I am the all or nothing type I think. Part time home and work would not suit me.

Brandnewbrighttomorrow Sun 07-Oct-12 17:26:22

i have no regrets about giving up my FT job after maternity leave with my first DC, had DC2 fairly quickly then worked freelance for two years before having DC3. The workload fluctuated wildly (due to client demand for resource, not something I could control) and i didn't have enough childcare for when I was really busy - it was extremely stressful at those times and i don't regret giving that up either. I haven't worked (other than managing a rental property) since. Having three kids in 5 years does take a toll physically and although they are all finally sleeping through now i'm so busy running their lives, the house and several voluntary commitments that i really don't see how i could go to work atm without employing several people to do what i'm doing now! Besides which I love being here for them at this stage of their lives - my mum worked nights throughout my childhood and has barely any recall of that time at all. They're only small and want to be around you for such a short time in the big scheme of things. I will work again once my youngest is at school - doing what though is the big question!!

ProjectOysterdotcom Fri 12-Oct-12 16:49:40

You're all great advocates for being brave enough to make work/life choices rather than struggle on in situtaions that just weren't working for your family!

I need to get this on my twitter feed....anyone know how...?

CointreauVersial Fri 12-Oct-12 16:58:12

No regrets here either....

I spent 11 years climbing the greasy pole of management in a large multinational company, then, after DS and DD1 were born I took a 6.5 year career break. I dabbled in Phoenix Cards for a while, but mainly just had a lovely time being a FT mum (also had DD2 during that time).

Two weeks after DD2 started school I landed a great, local, part-time job that enables me to balance work and family life perfectly. It's not high-powered, not particularly well-paid, but it's just what I want. It enables DH to focus on his career, and I get to enjoy the best of both worlds. I shall stay there at least until DD2 goes to secondary (2 more years).

Yes, marrying a millionaire would have been nice, but back in the real world....I just know I wouldn't have been happy trying to maintain a FT high-powered career with 3DCs - plenty of women do, but it's not for me.

honoraglossop Fri 12-Oct-12 17:00:40

no regrets. I worked full time after short maternity breaks for all 3 ( with support from DH who was able to take unpaid career breaks/ flexible working). However I am now in my early 30's and qualified/ senior enough to be able to work part time and still earn reasonable money ( children are now 8,5 and 3). It was VERY hard at the time but I can now enjoy being at home more. I love my job

For 7 years I did full time shift work and lots of long days and weekends ..... it was worth it though as I get a long weekend every week now smile

flinkystanny Fri 12-Oct-12 17:15:49

I have pretty much carried on working throughout having kids other than 6 months of maternity leave for both DC's. I went back FT after DD then PT after DS. I am now PT which works very well for me.
What I wish I had known was how hard it would be after DC to fully commit to a role (hours have to fit within nursery opening hours etc) so it is hard to progress.
Looking back on it, I wish I had really looked at careers in which it is easy to work PT then do my best to get as far on as possible in it before having DC's as I just seem to have continually sidesteeped since having the DCs.

DuelingFanjo Fri 12-Oct-12 17:19:23

I am really enjoying being back in work. It was a bit strange at first but I really feel like I have settled into the whole routine now, I just wish I was a little less shouty in the mornings.

Mind you - I didn't/don't have a career. I have a job which pays me less than the national average. I'm not rolling in money (DH is unemployed at the moment but we weren't rolling in it even when he had his averagely paid job) but I am happy with my son's childcare, our free time and the job I do.

Mandy21 Fri 12-Oct-12 18:01:47

No massive regrets - except for the career choice in general (law) - relatively well paid but not really conducive to a work / life balance. I've had 2 long periods of maternity leave (14 months, then 12 months) and I've worked 3 days for 8 years now (since I had my first) and I'm completely sidelined at work - on my "good" days, I don't regret it - I've loved the maternity leave and the 2 days a week I'm at home, but on my "bad" days (when I'm reporting to someone 10 years younger with less post qualification experience) it makes me wonder whether I did the right thing.

Meglet Fri 12-Oct-12 18:07:06

I went back PT after a years maternity leave with each DC, but I don't have a career as I'm 'just' an administrator.

I won't work FT until they go to Uni as I want to keep them on the straight and narrow and not mess everything up like I did.

Pooka Fri 12-Oct-12 19:13:55

I wish that I'd continued working at least on very art time basis after I had dc2. While I managed to pick up freelance work, that's ride up via my former employer and now I have 3 dcs the logistics of starting over with a formal employer rather than freelance is scary - taking into account childcare and school holidays. And there isn't freelance work really at the moment.

So am stuck really. In a bit of a rut. But torn also because I'm around for the kids (youngest is 3) and being a SAHM is great in many respects.

LynetteScavo Fri 12-Oct-12 19:24:29

I wish I hadn't put DD into nursrery for two days a week (9-3) when she was two. I wish I'd waited until she was at least three. I will never get those days back.

ProjectOysterdotcom Fri 12-Oct-12 20:41:10

It's never too late to change things!!

When you look at your children you are filled with hopes and dreams for them. Then you naturally reflect back on yourself and the life choices you've made. Are you doing what you'd always dreamed of? Are you living the life you expected?

If not, now is the time to do things differently!

I see women everyday who want to live a different life and actively work towards and achieve things they've aspired to for years.

Mums CAN have it all

Just take a minute to think about what your 'all' is and you've taken the first step to getting it x

BlackholesAndRevelations Sat 13-Oct-12 18:48:56

So far I'm back ft after dc2 and think there's no way I'll be able to sustain it. Def don't want to have the regrets lynette has; I know I'll never get these days back! Mine are only 1 and 2 sad

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