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Dh wants me to return to work

(48 Posts)
TychosNose Mon 29-Feb-16 12:06:41

I'm not sure whether it's a good idea.
Dc are 5 and 2. So 5yo in school full time and would need to go to breakfast club and afterschool club on days I work. 2yo would be in nursery.

I'd go back to teaching so no need for holiday childcare and I'd only work part time so childcare wouldn't be every day during term time.

Dh thinks it would take the pressure off him being the sole earner but I worry that it'd make his working life more stressful because he'd have to sometimes take time off when the kids are ill.

I'm also not sure I'd actually bring much money in after paying for childcare. I don't know how benefits like tax credits or childcare vouchers work.

I love being a sahm but I do sometimes think it'd be good for me to have to use the dormant parts of my brain before they completely die off wink

I don't have a job to go back to so I'd have to apply etc. Scary.

Any input/experience/advice welcome.

mouldycheesefan Mon 29-Feb-16 12:12:42

Firstly, get all the facts.
Childcare for the five year old won't be excessive for breakfast club and after school club. Our is £4 for breakfast club, £8 for after school club so £12 per day.
Nursery fees say £50 per day depending on where you liv could be more or less.
So £62 roughly per day childcare costs.
But when 2 year old turns three then cost will go down as will get 15 free hours per week. When starts school will just be the same as the five year old.
Do the maths on whether it makes financial sense. You will ne d to find out about tax cr dits and childcare vouchers etc, not hard to do.
Then you will know whether worth it financially or not.
It's not u reasonable for your partner to say he finds it pressurised being sole earner and he would like you to earn as well.
The time off sick thing is a red herring. All kids get sick and parents just have to take time off sometimes. I wouldn't set up my whole childcare routine around occasional sickness.
Good luck

BathtimeFunkster Mon 29-Feb-16 12:19:52

Do your sums carefully (together) to make sure you know how it will affect finances.

Don't be afraid of going back. You're just as smart and capable as you ever were. smile

If your DH is feeling the pressure of being the sole wage earner, and you can go back part time to your previous career, then you probably should.

TychosNose Mon 29-Feb-16 12:23:32

You're right. I need to sit and do the sums.

My concern about childcare and sickness is that dh has never needed to miss work because a dc is ill so I'm not sure he realises quite how often one of them is ill. Maybe I should keep a record just in case I'm over estimating it. Feels like every week through the winter!

TheHighPriestessOfTinsel Mon 29-Feb-16 12:25:44

my job is on a very similar pay scale to teaching, and I work 0.7WTE
financially, one in nursery plus one in wraparound care was totally doable

some nurseries even do a discount for term-time only care.

WipsGlitter Mon 29-Feb-16 12:26:26

You lower the illness threshold when you work!!

Do your sums, also are there a lot of part time jobs in your field. Could you agree to hold off until the little one is in school?

Is there something that is causing him to feel stress as the sole earner - lots of big outgoings recently?

TychosNose Mon 29-Feb-16 12:31:43


Ha, yes, I did wonder if I'd just have to send the dc in on days that I would have kept them off iyswim.

Dh is worried about the security of his job. We manage ok being fairly frugal on his wage but he's always concerned about redundancies. We have 6 months of out-goings in savings so we'd manage but he does worry.

I think part time would be negotiable for me as a secondary teacher. it's not uncommon.

NNalreadyinuse Mon 29-Feb-16 12:32:02

If your dh is the one putting pressure on you to do something that you don't really want to do, make sure he knows that he will have to step up and do his share. That you are not agreeing to go back to work and be solely responsible for the kids/house etc. A lot of the time working part time means the child care when they are sick falls to you because yours is not the main wage. However, teaching is a responsible job and he can't expect you to drop it every time a family emergency comes up. So make sure he knows what he is asking and what you both are agreeing to.

BathtimeFunkster Mon 29-Feb-16 12:32:06

I think keeping a sickness record and making sure he understands that he will be responsible for whatever proportion seems appropriate, is a good idea.

Also, when you first go back and are earning your work stripes back, he will really have to do all of them on your working days for a while.

Is he up for that?

He can't ask you go back to work if he's going to hobble your chances of making a good go of it.

TychosNose Mon 29-Feb-16 12:33:49

We had originally planned for me to be at home until youngest goes to school but that's 2.5 years away.

Aarrgghh. I just don't know what to do.

Thurlow Mon 29-Feb-16 12:34:38

You lower the illness threshold when you work - Oh, that you do! grin

I think your DH has a point. Obviously loads of families have a sole earner and a sole 'child-carer'. But it seems he has quite clearly said that he feels the pressure of being the sole earner.

Get the figures, add them up carefully, discuss honestly what can be done when a child is ill (and also the probable increase in the housework he might need to do).

Maybe it's worth waiting until your 2yo starts getting some funding hours, as that will help the costs.

But also, think long-term. Are you sure you're going to love being a SAHM in 10 years time when the kids are teenagers? Is your DH worried that if you don't do some p/t work now, you'll find it harder to return to work when your DC are older and he'll just have longer being the sole earner?

I think p/t teaching is a fantastic compromise.

mouldycheesefan Mon 29-Feb-16 12:35:17

Well you won't know if the sickness is an issue until you try it. You are in. O worse position than any other working parent in this regard, I don't think you can refuse to go back to work in case one of the kids is ill.
When they are ill, it maybe school holidays, a non working day or a weekend anyway. You are legally entitled to unpaid time off in an emergency. I really wouldn't let that stop you returning to work.
I have several friends who are secondary teachers and they all work part time,

TychosNose Mon 29-Feb-16 12:35:55

Thanks for the replies.
This is a really useful discussion for me.

TheHighPriestessOfTinsel Mon 29-Feb-16 12:36:55

if you're part-time, you usually end up needing less time off with ill kids by the law of averages
i think probably in the first term you'd be looking to avoid being off yourself, so make sure you DH knows it would fall to him until then. After that 50/50 isn't so bad - you might even being to rope in other people for the odd day here and there.

DrSeussRevived Mon 29-Feb-16 12:38:07

Do you have a relative who could cover the odd supply day so you can keep your hand in? Or could you use the free hours once the younger turns 3 to do supply work?

StuffEverywhere Mon 29-Feb-16 12:38:48

The way taxes work in the UK, it makes absolute sense for both parents to work (even part-time) as opposed to one person to be the only breadwinner.

Also, you might not be able to find the right job straight away, so the sooner you start looking, the better.

I think even if you don't earn much for a short period of time (when your youngest is in the nursery for example), it is still worthwhile to get back to work, as it's your ticket to better job prospects in the future.

TychosNose Mon 29-Feb-16 12:40:17

I definitely don't plan on being a sahm when the dc are teenagers!

I just thought of another financial consideration - we'd need another car. We only have one and we live well outside any regular public transport so there's no way to do it without another car.

BathtimeFunkster Mon 29-Feb-16 12:42:36

I didn't lower my sickness threshold confused

If my kids are too sick to be at school/nursery, then they get to stay home.

I don't just let them take days off willy niloy just because I don't have to work that day.

If the plan was you staying off until the youngest started school, what has changed?

Do you want to go back now yourself?

I wouldn't presume that part time is the perfect "compromise". It can often end up with a woman running herself ragged at work and at home.

What's his part of the "compromise"?

He is, presumably, thinking about the increased chores he will be doing and figuring out how the house will run with two working parents?

TychosNose Mon 29-Feb-16 12:46:44

There's no one to help with childcare. It would all be paid. I realise you can take emergency time off but that's only to sort out childcare isn't it? What do parents do with their ill children when they have to go back to work?
I know I sound neurotic about this. Probably because both dc are ill today and have fevers so will probably be ill tomorrow too so it's on my mind.

TychosNose Mon 29-Feb-16 12:50:29

What has changed is that dh is in an industry that has funding shortages and his new head of dept. Has a reputation for "culling" staff so dh is worried.

The honest truth is I don't know if I want to go back. I just want to do the right thing for my family but I don't know what that is.

DrSeussRevived Mon 29-Feb-16 12:50:45

Then talk to him about that - perfect example - "if I was working tiday and tomorrow, what would you have done, DH?"

If you are part time and off in school holidays, there's an argument he should cover most if not all of the illness on your working days as there are more days you are covering by "default"

DrSeussRevived Mon 29-Feb-16 12:52:46

Many employers will allow unpaid leave or short notice annual leave to cover child sickness. DH should check out his firm's policy. He can also start accruing childcare vouchers now if he isn't already.

TychosNose Mon 29-Feb-16 12:54:17

Good point dr seuss

BathtimeFunkster Mon 29-Feb-16 12:54:59

You'll really struggle as a part time teacher if you miss a lot of time due to sick children.

You'd be going back and having to prove yourself.

Taking a lot of time off to look after children when that leaves classes to be covered when you are already part time will not go down well.

What about going back initially as a sub and seeing how you find that?

TychosNose Mon 29-Feb-16 13:07:51

Yes supply might be a good place to start. I'll look into it.

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