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Happy but disillusioned with work

(9 Posts)
hellohellohihi Wed 05-Jun-13 23:13:45

I went back to work in january after a year of maternity leave, started with 3 days a week and then 4 from April and the expectation to go up to 5 from September. I've been using annual leave to take the other days off so am getting paid for full time.

I'm in the swing of the routine, just about coping ok with kerping the house sorted, and enjoying my work and my boss is trying to get me a promotion. I'm pooped every day getting into bed and feel vaguely aware that things are quite finely balanced though everything is ticking along.

I work funny hours from home and DD (17mo) is back from grandparents/nursery by 3pm on my work days so we have a couple of hours together each day then obv there's my day off (but that will soon be gone when I go up to 5 days).

But. I feel like I'm failing DD. I'm envious of the grandparents who have DD 2 days per week, I'm envious of my SAHM-friends who potter around.

I worry DD is missing out on things and that I'm not as in-tune with her as i used to be (or is this just typical of the toddler phase?), plus that I'm tired from working/keeping the house going (DH works v long hours so most is down to me). Whenever DD is clingy I'm concerned it's because she's fed up with going to nanny's/grandmas/nursery. She doesn't see DH at all in the week as he leaves early and gets home late and her time with me is limited so feel guilty about how much/little time she sees us. Plus because her time with is a bit limited I feel a huge pressure to make sure it's quality time (reading, drawing, singing, games etc) not just pottering whilst I do jobs, but I'm not sure I find playing comes naturally to me so feel guilty useless about that.

We've just bought our forever home and whilst we're not stretched financially, we need to do work to the house and have intentions to overpay on the mortgage to get the monthly repayments down to free up cash in the future. I earn a bit more than DH and we'd like another baby next year so I'm loathed to reduce my hours officially to a) get our longer term finances in a hood position, b) maximise my next maternity pay, c) have cash to sort the house and have a much-needed holiday and upgrade old banger of car and d) be in a better position to then reduce hours officially if/when DC2 arrives. And because of all that I feel guilty for prioritising all that over time with DD.

Yet she's a happy little thing, I'm happy at work, DH's happy. So why can't I shake this niggle? Is it just Curse Of The Working Mum, or should I fuck the finances and longer-term intentions for more time with DD?

I'm not sure how well work would react to me officially reducing my hours and they've been SO accommodating with my flexible working requests so far I don't want to upset the apple cart. Plus if my salary dips now the next few years will be really hard (I'd hope to work PT til dc2 is at school).

If I reduced hours we could make cutbacks by taking DD out if nursery but she loves it there. And it would disappoint/not work logistically for the grandparents if we changed the data they currently have DD.

So all in all our current situation, on the face of it, works well. Not sure what the point of this post really is tbh.

DD will be talking soon and I'm dreading if she says "can I stay home with you today mummy?"

hellohellohihi Wed 05-Jun-13 23:14:28

Argh. Forgot to add a title hence the "w"... Grr.

whattodoo Wed 05-Jun-13 23:22:27

I don't think there's a right or wrong way to do it, nor is there an ideal solution (sorry!).

But I'd say that if it's all working out for you at the moment, why change things?

However, if you re using your holiday allowance to make up for your days 'off', have you enough to have proper family holidays too? I find that having a week or two together with DD and DP is priceless, to get away from routines, switch off from work, and have FUN together.

hellohellohihi Wed 05-Jun-13 23:29:31

I know, I wish there was a magical solution!!

I had a ridiculous amount of holiday after mat leave (52 days) which I barely ate into with my days off and my work let me rolliver ALL unused days to this year, then a new holiday year started in April (I get 28 days plus BHs) that I've not even touched. So I should be ok for annual leave!!

cerealqueen Fri 14-Jun-13 13:57:57

I think these niggles are the lot of the working mother, more worrying if you didn't have niggles!!

Can DH potentially earn more in the future, there is an awful load more on your shoulders than your DP , what return to work, housework, juggling hours, feeling guilty. Who does drop off and pick up, is that down to you too?

I'd get a cleaner for a start, if you don't already have one, maximise all your at home time.

BranchingOut Fri 14-Jun-13 14:03:48

Why not stick at 4 days? Then you get at least one day to be with DD, maybe a Wednesday so that you can be with her after two working days.

KristinaFranziska Thu 20-Jun-13 16:59:50

Hello hellohellohihi
It is a dilemma and ultimately a choice you will have to make. But things are not set in stone and we can learn from experience.
I doubt either choice is right or wrong, just better. And there are alternatives you might choose to explore.
I feel it could be helpful to get a clearer understanding of what makes you the unique person you are, what is important to you, your values, your long and shorter term goals.
With that clarity you would know what's best for you at this time.

hellohellohihi Thu 20-Jun-13 20:45:53

So yes I do nursery/grandparent runs and it's all just so fricking hard. Am fed up with it today. Ironically I'm the happiest at work I've been for a while.

I need to stick on a FT salary for now (until mythical second baby arrives) otherwise we'll struggle for years in terms of sorting the house etc.

DH has recently taken a new job which should accelerate his future opportunities and earning potential but it does mean all home stuff is left for me really. And I think that pace is actually what I'm struggling with.

New cleaner started today. House looked like a shit tip within an hour of her leaving.

I need to manage my time better but am too busy/frazzled/tired to devote any time to managing it better.

KristinaFranziska Mon 08-Jul-13 22:41:45

So I'm wondering how you are feeling today?
Given there's so much to do, what can you let go if that's not serving you?

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