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I need advice - is it worth it?(15 Posts)
Hi, I could really do with some impartial advice about whether I should return to work or not. I'm not currently employed and I'm considering a new role.This could be long so apologies in advance.
I have an under 1 year old, and had always thought I would return to work part time when baby was about 12 months old. I recently saw a low level full time job advertised at the place I really, really want to work longterm, which will in a couple of years, once I have re qualified, hopefully provide a very well paid part time role. Baby is 8 months old. As roles at this place come up very rarely I felt I had to apply.
I interviewed and think I will be offered the role. It is full time and that's non negotiable. There are 2 issues;
1. And the biggie - My DH works stupidly long hours. I currently do all the housework and childcare Monday - Friday. I do bedtime alone every night. He is never home before 7pm and often it's much later than that. Despite his "best efforts" something always comes up and I'm pretty much a single parent through the week. He has said that if I take this role he will only be able to do morning drop offs. So, if I take this job I will be "working" pretty much 6am until 7.30pm every night without exception. DH has agreed that we would employ a cleaner but I just can't see how our household will run if I'm at work 5 days a week as DH is never there! DH is really supportive of me getting my professional career back but the fact of it is that his work is so consuming that he contributes very little practically.
2. Because of some unusual circumstances and the fact that the role is low level once we have paid for full time childcare (and a cleaner!) we will only be very slightly better off. Whilst going back to work isn't about the money as my DH is a high earner (and I know I'm bloody lucky) it's about me eventually getting my professional career back, it will still be disheartening leaving my baby 5 days a week to earn what in the scheme of things to us as a family is very little. We have no family to help out so DS will be in childcare 8am to 6pm 5 days per week.
I think in 2 years time this position could lead to my dream part time job but I just worry that I will be a frazzled, divorced mess by then.
If I were you I would give my DH the marigolds and tell him to suck it up. High earner or not he needs to support your career in the way you are supporting his. My DH is a high earner (USD$500k/year) and I just don't accept any excuse. I tell him that if he can't do it he needs to hire someone who can. We have our arguments about it and I have to remind him that I'm not a put upon housewife.
Also, why are you the one looking to be PT in the future? I've been PT for the past 2 years and it isn't the panacea you think it is. I'm going back FT because I resebt doing 10% less work for a 20% decrease in pay.
Your DH needs to think about what he really brings to the table in terms of lifestyle and how that fits in with your (as in your family) expectations as to the environment you want your DC to grow up in. My experience has been that Daddy picking up the kids from school 1-2 times a week has been an excellent way to build their relationship. We are also demonstrating by doing that both mummy and daddy have their own identities outside of the home. It's really hard to do this when you stay home.
If DH is going to be doing the morning drop-offs, why would you be working from 6am? Can't he do the morning baby-care prior to the nursery run? I think that as you are already quite clearly picking up a lot of his slack, and you would be working full-time too, he should agree to take the whole morning "shift", not just the physical transportation of the baby to nursery.
I think that's the least he could do, because although the job definitely sounds perfect for you, you could end up burning out.
I always envisioned that I would work part time until DS (and any other children) started school as I wanted to be home with them part time until they were school age. I realise that the majority of part time workers work full time hours for part time pay, I'm not naive. However, I have worked alongside people who work part time doing the role I am aiming for and they have a great work/life balance.
I know my husband needs to step up but the fact is if he's in meetings all day and has deadlines to meet he has to work, he can't just leave the office. Fairly regularly he has meetings that run into the evenings. I just feel like by taking the role I will be setting myself up to be permanently exhausted. I get annoyed now about the lack of practical support but accept it as DS is my full time job, for now...
Fetchez, whilst the idea would be that DH would be responsible from 6am I hope to continue to bf so would be bf when DS wakes anyway so would be awake. I also know that as DH regularly works until the early hours of the morning, or goes into the office for 7am that more often that not I will be "working" from 6am.
I don't understand. Your DH is a high earner but you'd only be slightly better off if you went back to work. Are you expected to fork out the costs of childcare?
Agree with the others though that your DH would need to pick up more slack at home. It is knackering to shift your routines drastically like this (and mine were older when I went back to work ) you may be exhausted for a few months until it settles.
In your heart of hearts what do you really want to do? If you secure good childcare your baby will be fine but you will need your DH's support to make it work and not burn you out. He has had a baby as well you know?
I disagree about part time roles and poor returns btw. Depends on what industry you are in.
I had an amazing work life balance working 2-3 days a week while the children were smaller. When I couldn't find regular part time work I could choose contracts that were full time for 3-6 months than have some time off again. It worked really well and the pay was good.
Is it possible for either of you to work from home at all?
Get a nanny. Will come to your home so less rushing out of the house in am. Will care for baby if/when baby is ill. Can pick up family shopping etc through the week. Can keep on top of kitchen, bathroom etc & washing. Will feed & prepare food for baby. Baby gets a 1-1 bond and care at home. You come home to a house where everything is kept on top of, baby perhaps had bath and ready for you to do bedtime routine when you arrive back 6pm. What's not to go for? Sounds a good compromise.
Yes to a nanny and a cleaner.
You may say if you get a nanny it will be more than your pay - but (a) remember that won't be the case once your pay increases and (b) if DH is high earning then you can afford it. See it as an investment in your future career.
Also, yes to your DH doing more. My DH has a long hours, demanding, high paid job and this is what he does:
- gets up 6.30 with the DC and looks after them 6.30-7.30 incl getting them dressed and starting breakfast
- he leaves for work 7.30, I take over till 8 when nanny arrives
- one day a week, he gets home by 7 to do nanny handover and bedtime (so I can work late) - he often works from home that evening after the kids are in bed
- one day a week, he takes DC1 into nursery and gets to work late
If you have a nanny and cleaner then "all" that is left is the life admin: ordering food, buying new clothes for the DC, sorting activities/social life, sorting holidays, house maintenance. This can be fitted into evenings, weekends, the odd unbusy time at work. Your DH does some (less if his working hours are longer) and you do some. It's not ideal, yes you will be a bit frazzled at times, but it is how many many families manage.
Is it worth it? Depends on you really. Depends on how valuable working (and future working) is to you. To me it's very valuable - not for financial reasons but for a whole heap of other reasons. And it sounds like this job is a rare opportunity.
If you are likely to need to do some FT work before the PT is available, I personally think it's much easier working while they are at nursery (longer days, no holidays, no homework) than when they get to school.
Only you can decide what is right for you, but I went back FT after each maternity (PT request denied)and then quit when my youngest went to school.2 at school and a job (even with a cleaner) was too much for me, tho thousands juggle it and make it work.
Brass - I meant that when childcare is paid for our family income will only increase very slightly.
I think the nanny suggestion is a good one as it ticks more than one box. Could you look into a nanny share, would that help with costs?
I do appreciate how expensive it is. When I looked I was quoted a figure that was larger than our mortgage!
I have enquired about nanny shares, the cost is marginally more than daycare. My secondary issue is that finding daycare places here, and especially 5 days, is very difficult. Most places have wait lists in excess of 12 months. I'm would probably end up with a combination of daycare and nanny share until I could get 5 days at daycare.
I really liked the PP's idea of having the childcare centred around you via a nanny rather than having to factor in day care logistics.
Care would be provided in the home, they could attend playgroups, park, play dates, activites as appropriate. DC would have their own routine and could be fed and partially ready for bed when you walked through the door. That way you and DH only need to worry about getting yourselves to and from work. You'd also have someone when the DC were ill as day care will expect you to keep them home.
If you can afford it, it might be the easier option and less stressful in the long run. Worth considering.
I'd say it's not worth it. If you are offered the job just explain you thought p-t may have been an option and therefore you can't accept the role. Enjoy your ds while he's so young I'm sure there will be more options in a couple of years.
Just my opinion (and no doubt I'll be flamed) but I think it's unrealistic to expect a high earning dh with a full on job to take on the childcare so you can take a low level job.
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