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Can you good people counsel me through my tailspin - to work or not to work?

(6 Posts)
Kif Thu 22-Feb-07 08:56:14

Should I go back to work? At six months? at twelve months? Not at all?

I keep completely changing my mind on this. Sometimes i think work :
-it would be an easier life - fun to be in bustle of office, not so emptionally draining
-the childminder would be a bit of a surrogate grandmother to take the strain off us (our families aren't local),
-I wouldn't be tempted to pressurise and hothouse dD through her being my 'project' - she might have lots of laidback social fun at childminders
-Worried Ds will get a lot of separation anxiety if i raise him exclusively (Dd we lived closed to family, and she was always hanging out with other people).
- I'd have a career ticking over, rather than starting from scratch when kids are older
- Money is nice - and it'll get more and more lucrative as childcare cost drops and wages rise
- I could get a cleaner - my house is never clean

On the cons:
- Dd is very receptive now, and I'm teaching her lots
-Our week is crammed full of clubs and outings
-While not at work, I have more time to devote to godDcs, and personal 'projects'
- May be more pressure on Dh if I go back to work - he's already under pressure, and currently his is the more lucrative and rising career.
- Ds may benefit from having unbrken care for me/may be stressed by other care
- What if the childminder is mean? Or kids get stressed by early starts late finishes...
- Kids are very cute now. Hand on heart, they seem to like having me around.
- Kids kids kids kids kids - says it all really.

Me: On mat leave with second dc (3 months old), 26 y.o.,

My work: have a standing arrangement to work 3 days a week in a professional occupation close to my home in a supportive office (albeit apprently undergoing yet another restructure). Have a speculative job offer in hand, also 3 days, but a more 'ambitious' and lucrative career path.

My finances: married. Dh earns shed loads. Have to send lots of money to support his family meaning that we're actually quite tight week to week (let's say, can afford to eat, but not eat out, dress from AsDA and worried about washing machine breaking). Will certainly end the year with debts (that will likely be cleared by bonus). If I worked I'd clear about 1K a month after childcare.

My kids: Dd in preschool in september. Both kids laid back and secure. Have found local childminder with good reputation (albeit a little strict for my taste) who Dd knows and likes. Her other mindee could be in dds year in school. Thinking is that ds would be more relaxed to be near his sister.

beansprout Thu 22-Feb-07 09:02:32

I think the two lists for and against, are not mutually exclusive. The first list is good and many of the things on the second list still apply, even if you work. Getting the childcare right is important but that's ok. I work 3 days a week and am ds's primary carer without a shadow of a doubt.

You can always go back and then give it up if you want to?

Waswondering Thu 22-Feb-07 09:07:40

It's a difficult one. If you didn't go back, would dh be able to cut the support he sends to his family to allow you to be less tight at the end of the month? So that he can finance his immediate family (you and dc) as priority?

If you're happy and fulfilled at home, with all your activities, then you may regret not having these years with the dc.

FiachraFrogakaDave Thu 22-Feb-07 09:09:48

Agree totally with Beansprout - you still get to teach / play / nurture your DCs even if you WOH.

I work FT - have two DSs (3.5y, 9m). I have become an expert juggler and prioritiser, and the time spent with the kids is precious.
Would I work if I didn't have to? perhaps not as long and not as hard, but I personally find I need the mental stimulation, and the boys really do love it at nursery.
If you're still toying with it after a few months, then as Beansprout says, how about going back, giving it three months and then re-assessing?

Kif Thu 22-Feb-07 09:18:25

What do you think about returning when ds os 6 m.o. vs 1 y.o.?

Dh reckons with dd i was much calmer about leaving her onceshe could walk, but I'm concerned about separation anxiety. Also ,part of me is quite keen to 'get back to normal' as soon as poss.... the general opinion of those around me is that I'll end up working again eventually, just a qiestion of whether its after six months, 1 year or 3 years.

I worked 18 months after Dd. Loved the variety of getting out ot work - but did sporadically feel irrational hatred towards her nursery - and occasional wild indifference to my work 'pressures'.

Kif Thu 22-Feb-07 14:17:11

bump for you office surfers

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