Please reassure this ft working mum that shes not just effing it all up(11 Posts)
"She" being me, actually
Im 37 (well nearly 38), Have dds aged 7 1/2 and 5, delightful, brilliant kids who I love more than life itself. Husband works ft. Just gone back to City type job after a few years not working/working pt in not very fulfilling position. New job is seniorish and well paid, but oh so hard and intense and hours are, well, city hours.
Among the whirlwind of getting up to speed with everything, used to commute etc, I have this agonising fear that Im missing out... On my dds growing up, on their best years, on my best years... I see them for less than 2 hours a day, dont take them or pick them up from school... The nannyntakes them to extracurricular activities in the afternoons. Ofmcourse we try to make up at the weekend but its not the same as daily presence...
When I didnt work or worked pt I was forever mourning my lost career... Now Im tearing myself apart that Im not there enough for my girls...
Will I turn around ina few years time and regret my choices?
No idea if you will regret it, but from the opposite perspective I'm a SAHM and one of my worries is that I'm setting DS up to see that a woman 'belongs' in the home, so maybe try to just focus on the model of strong career woman that you are setting to your DD's? I honestly think that mums (far more so than dads) are made to feel bad about whatever choice they make, you were at home with them when they were smaller, you can't be expected to be unhappy until they move out!
When I went back to work f/t after working p/t I went through the same thought process of feeling that I was missing out.
Then I sat down and actually thought about what I was missing.
The reality is that the DC used to come in from school, watch TV and virtually ignore me for a bit. Or they would be out with friends. Or they would be at after activities and my role would be chivvying them to find things and then be a glorified taxi driver. I used to take them to school but in reality they ran off as soon as I got there so it was just an exercise in hanging round the playground (my DC are a bit older than yours so some of this won't apply yet!)
Of course there's things I miss such as the spontaneous descriptions of things DD used to say when she came out of school, that she's now forgotten before I get home. But, like you, I feel much more fulfilled in myself now I'm working f/t. I also try to make the most of the time I have with them - so I do try to spend 1-1 time with each child each day.
Does your DH feel he is effing it all up by working FT and not seeing his children much during the week? Probably not, so why do you?
It can't have been easy getting the job after what sounds like quite a while out of the market so you must be good at what you do!
Is there any way you could work a day a week at home - you then don't have to commute one day, and if your work isn't time sensitive can do it in the evening and during school hours so you can spend time with your children after school that day. Even if you have to sit and work 9-5 at home you wouldn't have the commute for that day. My DH and I have both worked at home one day a week and it worked really well for us. Or working nearly FT so working 4 days, or even 4 1/2 so you leave one lunchtime and pick up from school one day a week. I know a lot of city jobs aren't very flexible but you can always ask!
I agree with redsky - you might well not be missing much. I am currently on maternity leave with DS. It is so easy to get back from school and let DD turn the TV on straight away. As I only have a few more months with her I make an effort to play games, read, make stuff together after school. If I was at home on a permanent basis I am not sure this would happen every day!
It's difficult being a woman, isn't it??
I work p/t and have a toddler DD. I miss her when I'm at work but on my days off sometimes (dare I say it) I find it all a bit tedious....
I don't know any woman who is happy all the time with their lot. We just make the most of it. Well done on getting such a good job after a career break, I know it's not easy,
Thanks everyone. Lots of anxiety about new job... Just have to get settled in, i guess... My kids seem ok actually, its mostly me whos all overnthe place and doubting my choices
Dont be silly. I work 50 hours but Im with my children lots as well. I love it tbh.
I'm about to go back to the city full time. I will miss DD horrendously, but I like to think about all the things DD is going to get to do as a result. She will live in a nice house, go to a good school, be fed healthy food, etc. Also, she will get to know her grandparents (who are helping with daycare) and she gets to spend two days in nursery per week, where she can play with sand/custard/flour/shredded paper/chalk/shaving foam - things which she would be unlikely to be doing with me.
So long as they are well cared for and you make your time with yourkids could (i.e. turn off the Blackberry and give them your attention) they will be absolutely fine.
I second ZiaMaria. The grass will often seem greener - and ultimately it is about being fully 'there' when you are actually there (e.g. have a set time on weekends when you check the BB - first thing in morning is ideal, before kids are up). I am on my second maternity leave now and despite feeling a lot like you a couple of months ago (exhausted, split in two, seeing my son only an hour a day), I still think it is really, really important to try to keep some part of your professional self going - not least to set an example to your kids! I also recommend a REALLY good book on this subject - "Step Aside Superwoman" - by Christine Brown-Quinn.
You are doing the right thing. I can see it a few years down the track from where you are and it is so brilliant to have worked full time. Children respect you. They like to follow your career. When they are job hunting you are in the same game as them. It helps pay their university fees. It ensures better fair equal marriages. All you miss out on as you already see them for 2 hours a day is rather dull school collection, cleaning up and cooking their dinner. I bet your husband is not asking himself the same questions.
Also it gets much much easier as they get older too so life will just get better and better for you with a balance of full time work in high status job, children and a nice life. What is not to like?
Thank you for the reassuring posts on this thread - I have just started work on a graduate scheme (age 29!). Two kids at home who now get to see their mother working, their dad working part time & spend time with their grandmother. I haven't actually even missed them that much!
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