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To go back or not to go back??

(2 Posts)
Octonautstotherescue Wed 01-May-13 23:36:28

I have a dilemma - I now have two children under 3. I'm currently on mat leave. Do I go back to my part time role and swallow the immense nursery costs and hassle of getting two children there solo in the mornings. Or do I stay at home and accept I'll struggle to get back into a similar role with such an employment gap.

I know that I'd also struggle to find part time work some where else that paid as well for a similar role.
I have a pension and shares with the company.

The first time around when I returned to work after having DD I found the person who had been hired to cover my maternity leave was now doing my job and I was given tasks that he didnt want to do and treated very much as his junior. I have been with the company approaching 10 years and when I left was in a senior role. Effectively I've been demoted.

There is a culture of get in early and work late. If you're not at your desk you're not working. Not entirely family friendly although it does depend if your face fits on occasions and some people manage to get round this.
Being part time I was made to feel bad about coming in to the office at 8:45 - the earliest I could manage with nursery drop offs. A few tutts and 'afternoons' were muttered.

When I announced I was pregnant again after a year the news wasn't received very well by my team. It was as if they felt I'd let them down again. I was given even less of the more interesting projects and more of the mundane.

There's been a change of manager since I've been away - I only found this out through the grapevine - so there is a chance things may improve. The new manager has children of his own so could be more understanding. I haven't met him though and he hasn't been in touch.

Although i will always put my children first I feel I'm good at what I do and would feel I'd let myself down if I gave up everything I'd worked and trained for.

Better the devil you know or quit whilst I can??

badchat Fri 03-May-13 21:34:33

I have just been in a very similar situation...

So, this is what I'd ask yourself:

- Where do you want to be in a few year's time? Can you imagine still being SAHM? Is it really important to have your own income? Have you got career goals you would really like to achieve? Is there any other work you can see yourself doing? Would you like to be FT eventually or PT for a long time? What kind of balance of work and childcare will suit you best?

- Are there any other options that will get you where you want to be that are viable? Moving to a different company FT at first to go PT later? Re-training? Can you freelance?

- What will you miss if you give up your work? How important is that to you?

- What will happen if you stay in your job and how will the bad treatment of being a PTer affect you?

As for me - I have been with my current organisation 6 years, completed my professional training there, but never really enjoyed it, and most of the friends I had there have moved on. I find looking after 2 under 3 really really exhausting and frustrating at times, but I absolutely 100% prefer it to my office job.

Although I had just moved into a role I did like before going on 1st Mat Leave, when I came back I was not allowed to lead teams etc. due to my out of date knowledge. I was back to doing work I did as a new trainee. This meant I was graded as a 'poor performer' and had to have my performance monitored etc. It is the same kind of thing now I am back after my 2nd Mat Leave.

As it happens, they offered a round of voluntary redundancy so I leapt at it and will be SAHM/unemployed 6 weeks from now...

I am nervous about returning to work and how I will do it, but I know that I like the SAHM lifestyle on the whole, and that is more important to me atm than the independent income/social life/status that a job gives me. I do want to work in a year or so, but the redundancy payoff gives me the breathing space to wait and see what comes up a bit, and see if I can get an interesting PT role. Sometimes I think I have not thought it through enough and made a stupid mistake, but I am really really glad to be out of there!

If I were you, I would go back and see how it goes. You can always scout around for other PT jobs while you are there and quit if you find it is not worth it?

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