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Should I be grateful or just leave? - Advice needed

(6 Posts)
snowydrops Mon 23-Nov-15 19:57:44

I am really after some advice from other Mums who have either returned or are hoping to return to work.

To briefly explain, I am a mum of 2 (DD1 almost 4 and DD2 8 months). I have been working in the same industry for over 10 years, part of that I was self-employed working as a freelancer. 2 years ago I was offered a great job, 3 days a week, good salary and low ish level stress. My salary has not increased in 5 years however I would say for what I was doing before the birth of DD2 I was quite well paid. Obviously on 3 days a week it doesn't amount to loads but I know it is / was reasonable.

Since having DD2 we have moved house (out of London) and my company has gone through a lot of change. My then boss left and the new boss (who has also been there years so knows me) came to me and basically offered me a new job. Previously I was middle management in a role that really couldn't go anywhere as it was (no room for promotion). New boss offered me big promotion, to do a 'Head of dept' role across not just my old company but two other (related) companies. I have been offered this on my part time contract as before. I have agreed to stagger my return (2 days until Xmas and 3 after). It is a very family friendly role, I am mostly home based and no one keeps tabs on me at all. I have been back there 3 weeks now and the amount of work / responsibility is huge but teh fact remains If I need to I can do the school run... On paper it sounds great right....but the big thing is:

I am not getting paid anything more than I was. So I have a new title, I have direct reports, I have huge job flexibility and I have nice colleagues but I earn very little and have a heck of a lot more responsibility. I have only been back a few weeks and am already feeling the 'strain' even at 2 days a week.

I'm in a quandry. Do I stick this out and just accept that I will only be earning what I pay on childcare (well not quite but not far off!) or do I just jack it in and go back to being freelance / mostly a mum.

I have tried to make a list of Pros and Cons but am completely at a dead end. I have spoken to my DH who supports me to leave as he thinks we / I will be happier but I am scared I lose all earning potential / independence as we would be solely relying on his salary. He earns decent money and we could (just) live off it but would be a bit skint / less holidays etc.

I'm stuck, any pearls of wisdom from someone who has been there?

snowydrops Mon 23-Nov-15 20:06:34

Sorry, I meant to add my pros and cons...


Work from home (I am there for getting kids up, bath and bed, can put washing on during day if I need to!)
No commuting costs
Flexible working hours if I want them to be
Interesting and challenging work
Opportunities to learn
Nice colleagues (when I do see them)
The usual perks of paid holiday, sick pay
I am still earning and retaining my independence
Looks good on CV


Poor salary for level of job (should be at least 10-12k more in the sector I am in)
At 2 or even 3 days a week my take home pay is only marginally more than my childcare bills (for the next 2-3 years)
Stressful job as responsible for delivering on targets etc which I think will be hard to manage on 2-3 days
Working from home (lonely)
Travel every week or two for work (within UK) but means I have even less actual hours at my desk
I feel like I now do everything, work AND everything for the children (DH doesn't seem to have realised I am back working 2 days....)

Any thoughts?

Nyborg Mon 23-Nov-15 20:08:55

Have you asked for a payrise? (Sorry if you'd explained that above; can't see it).

snowydrops Mon 23-Nov-15 20:11:05

Sorry, Yes i asked for a payrise quite informally with my boss at my 'welcome back' meeting. I was offered travel costs for when I attend the office. This is good for me as we chose to move away so it saves me some money each month but the reality is It won't ever amount to what it should be. It's equivalent to a 2-3k pay rise I guess.

snowydrops Mon 23-Nov-15 20:12:54

I could ask again for a pay rise but I think boss may think I am taking the piss. Basically because it's so flexible and he has promoted me whilst on Mat leave I think it's assumed I will just suck it up and be happy to be given the opportunity (which I kind of am?!) but kind of feels like a lot of effort for very little return at the moment. Life is quite hard anyway with two little kids and I feel like I am making it a lot harder for myself by being at work. I dunno, feeling quite confused about it all.

FannyTheChampionOfTheWorld Tue 24-Nov-15 09:21:37

Unfortunately you do tend to 'pay' for flexibility. I'm not saying it's right, just that it's something that often happens. For most of us it's hard to play hardball on all aspects of our terms and conditions, and if you've done it for the hours or flexibility that can mean the money takes second place.

Saying that, no I wouldn't just roll over and take it. Is there a reason it has to be either do that or leave now? What about doing the job for another few months, getting more senior level experience behind you and taking time to make a case for yourself? I'd think in maybe six months you'll be able to demonstrate you've done x and y and therefore justify z amount better than you can when you've only been in the job a few weeks. If your boss thinks you're taking the piss fine, let him, there's nothing you can do about that, and reassess then. I must say that part time senior level/professional positions can be hard to get, so I wouldn't personally want to give one up without a fight. Nor would I want the piss to be taken out of me indefinitely either, but in your shoes I might be quite tempted to stick it for a year, whilst also putting lots of feelers out, and then once I'd got that experience under my belt do the freelance thing. Basically, if my only option to stay in flexible work in my field was to be underpaid and there was no chance of a raise or going elsewhere, I'd suck it up for now and play the long game.

And the doing everything for the children is a DH problem not a work problem. He should be pitching in regardless.

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