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When to go back to work? - please help....(sorry, it's quite long)

(27 Posts)
duckie19 Sun 25-Feb-07 16:49:36

Hi everyone! I'm new to this chat board. I am 28 y.o. and I have a 1-year-old Ds. I'm really desperate for some advice as I'm not sure when to go back to work. I worked for 1 year before I was pregnant. As my profession was based on short contract, I gave up my new 1-year job contract when I was pregnant as I have a very bad morning sickness. Now that I have my Ds, I decided not to get back to my old profession as it requires long hours and shifts and weekends too (flexible working is hard to get, almost impossible). However, I am now in dilemma about when to look for a new job. If I left it too long before applying for one, I would be highly likely to get a job that is not as well paid as if I apply now. But I really love my Ds and the thought of leaving him with somebody else now really hurts . DH's earning is ok, just enough but there's not much spare cash or even none at all at the end of the month. I would appreciate any advice from all of you. Please help.....Thanks.

NAB3 Sun 25-Feb-07 16:52:43

I think if you really don't want to go back to work then it is going to be very difficult to do so and to sort out child care you are happy with.

Katy44 Sun 25-Feb-07 17:21:48

Is there anything else you could do that would allow you to work reduced hours/flexibly? Not exactly the same of course, but in the same field? That would allow you to shift more easily a few years into the future?

fortyplus Sun 25-Feb-07 17:23:36

This is such a personal issue...

Xenia went back 2 weeks after the birth of each of her children...

... I left it until ds2 was 10.

Neither is right or wrong - pros and cons whichever way you do it.

sunnysideup Sun 25-Feb-07 18:25:04

I think there is right and wrong in this issue actually, I think you need to do what's right for YOUR child. My personal view on it was that I did not want to work while ds was pre-school age, as I felt being at home in the care of a loving parent was absolutely the best thing for him.

As it happened there was no way we could manage at all as dh is not a high earner, so we sold up, and downsized, but I still had to work 2 days a week. This worked ok for me as ds was cared for by his grandmother and I and he were very happy with that. But given the choice I felt I would have been a full time SAHM if I could have been, as I felt it would give ds the most stable, secure and loving start in life.

They are pre-school for only four tiny short years, it's not much time out of a career, is how I felt about it. Maybe it involves sacrifices for a few years but who else will put the child first if their parents don't...

It's been pointed out on here before that in some careers that is a long time but then that's an issue to think through when you decide to have kids I think; I do think part time is a good option if you have good care you are happy with for your ds.

sunnysideup Sun 25-Feb-07 18:27:19

fortyplus I hope that doesn't read as if I am criticising you or saying you didn't do what's right - should preview! You obviously totally did what was right by your kids.

I just mean that sometimes I feel that there IS right and wrong involved. Not everything is ok for each child. Which you know anyway.

jeez. I'll get me coat. must be tired, don't know how to word things today

Kif Sun 25-Feb-07 18:36:23

difficult to be clear cut on this:

childcare is pricey - likely will take up significant amout of you salary - hence money side might not be as good as you hope.

you might find yoiurself rejuvenated by getting back to work, for even a few days a week. Its amazing how much of a thrill it is to buy a coffee in a china cup, and spend fifteen uniterupted minutes drinking it!This may improve you relationship with your son - it made me a more patient mother

slayerette Sun 25-Feb-07 18:50:58

I went back to work when ds was 7 mths old; he went to nursery. He loved nursery but I was unhappy - even working part-time, I didn't get to spend much time with him once he'd had his afternoon nap, etc. I opted to work really reduced hours after that, only two mornings a week, and haven't regretted it for a second. Ds starts school in September and I have loved being a SAHM with a few hours outside the home to be a grown-up each week. And I have loved the things we've done together. Go with your instincts, duckie - if you feel you want to be at home, and you can manage for money if you choose that, go with it.

duckie19 Sun 25-Feb-07 23:47:03

Thank you so much for all of your advice. I feel so much better now . To answer your question Katy44, I'm afraid there's not much opportunity for part time in the field I used to do. I was a junior doctor in training in NHS and at the moment it's hard, if almost impossible, to get a part-time job there at my stage. On top of that, I will need to apply for new posts frequently and this may involve being posted far away from home. I know this is really a personal issue but I think I would be happiest to be SHAM until Ds starts school. I guess the question now is how long we can manage with DH(poor thing) working alone.

Katy44 Mon 26-Feb-07 18:22:59

I see, yes, junior doctors aren't known for their easy working lives!
Glad you've made a decision that makes you happy.

fortyplus Tue 27-Feb-07 09:17:41

sunnysideup - not offended at all...

In you case - what a wonderful opportunity for the children & their grandparents to spend time together. Extended family is very important to me & mine, too.

fortyplus Tue 27-Feb-07 09:18:00

sp - 'your' case...

Judy1234 Tue 27-Feb-07 09:24:21

My brother is a doctor and has a lot of female collegues who work full time with small children and enjoy that combination of work and children. As someone said below I went back to work at 2 weeks so didn't have huge wrench from the baby although whenever you go back there is bound to be a bit of difficulty for the baby and the parents (mother and father) in getting used to the separation but most people manage it fine.

If you asked my oldest, 22, 20 and 18 if they are glad I went back to work (I'm in reasonably well paid work) they would all say they were. The financial difference it has made to our lives in the last 22 years has transformed us in a sense - they went to private schools, ski, sail, have horses, have a lovely big house, we can afford to pay people to clean, do child care, more leisure time so let's not always do down the money option. But most impotantly I love my work and I would not have liked my children to think - mother at home cleans; fathers out in the world earning money.

Also why should the state pay to train doctors if they then just give it up? It's a huge subsidy from tax payer to student. if women doctors are doing to give up work then we should only recruit male medical students.

When you are posted away from home your husband can follow. There is nothing written down in the Grand Book of Sexism which says women only follow men.

thebecster Tue 27-Feb-07 13:29:00

I went back when DS was 5.5 months. It was a wrench, but worked really well because it was just before he hit the 'clingy' stage. So by time he started to get separation anxiety he knew the people at nursery & was settled the second I walked out the door.

Poor old sunnysideup trying to express a personal opinion without offending too many people

I have to say, this is such a middle-class debate. My family roots are working class. So my great-grandmothers worked fulltime, as did my grandmothers & great-aunts, my mother and aunts... They didn't even think about it. My generation of the family are more priviledged, so we have this little debate about whether to go back, like the precious little petit bourgeois we are these days... But we all did go back to work. The only difference between me & my great-grandmas is that they had to work fulltime for pennies in factories or fields, whereas I'm in an interesting well paid job. And my baby is being cared for in a lovely nursery whereas my Mum went to her grandma's along with all her cousins and they helped work the mangle and do the ironing 'cos greatgrandma took in laundry in those days (seriously, it sounds like something out of Dickens to me! )

fortyplus Tue 27-Feb-07 16:31:20

Xenia - 'why should the state pay to train doctors if they then just give it up? '
How would you propose to ensure that medical students go on to fulfil their obligation to the British taxpayer? Ban them from having children? Confiscate their passports so that they are unable to move abroad? Or maybe - as you suggest - ban females from undertaking further education unless they sign a written undertaking to return to work when their children are 2 weeks old?

Why do you have such a problem with the concept that many parents are perfectly happy to remain economically inactive for a few years because they believe that it's the best thing for their children. You did what you believed to be best for yours - I chose a different path that I believed was best for mine.

Why are you so arrogant as to infer that sahms are wrong and you are right? I wouldn't criticise your choice, even though it is far from what I believe would have suited my family.

Eleusis Tue 27-Feb-07 16:47:17

This was written by an OP who is happy and content with her SAHM status. This is written by someone who is torn between two worlds.

"I really love my Ds and the thought of leaving him with somebody else now really hurts . DH's earning is ok, just enough but there's not much spare cash or even none at all at the end of the month. I would appreciate any advice from all of you. Please help.....Thanks. "


Personally I think if you can afford to stay home for a whole year you've done really well and you shouldn't feel bad about returning.

Eleusis Tue 27-Feb-07 16:47:49

This was not written by an OP who is happy and content with her SAHM status.

Judy1234 Tue 27-Feb-07 17:23:58

forty, well many busineses pay for training and then if you leave you have to pay the fees back. At the moment sadly 25% of new doctors I think haven't got jobs because of some stupid Government cock up so we're not short of them or in the right grade or something. My oldest is being funded in something else and if she doesn't proceed she will have to pay back every penny she's been given. That's how market forces in the real world work but when it's tax payers' money we just throw it out into the wind because we never care how we spend the money of others. It's human nature.

If we privatised university education we might do a bit better perhaps.

fortyplus Tue 27-Feb-07 17:29:43

That's really the whole point, isn't it? If you can honestly say that you believe you've done the best that you could for your children then no one else has a right to criticise your choices.
If you would like to stay at home but cannot afford what you believe to be the best for your child then even if it hurts you the right decision is to return to work.
I do realise that we were very lucky to be able to afford a decent lifestyle even though I wasn't earning for 12 years - but that reflects the fact that I was 32 when I had ds1 so we had a small mortgage by then.
If we'd had our first child within a couple of years of meeting then I would have had to go back full time - no question about it. I think that I would have been able to accept that as the right choice under those circumstances, even though it would have upset me at the time.

fortyplus Tue 27-Feb-07 17:30:46

That post was meant for Eleusis - I'll read yours now, X

fortyplus Tue 27-Feb-07 17:33:47

Xenia - 'That's how market forces in the real world work but when it's tax payers' money we just throw it out into the wind because we never care how we spend the money of others. It's human nature.'

I think that's called 'Living in a free country'

Judy1234 Tue 27-Feb-07 18:07:46

Far too free with other people's money though....
I just wish as many male junior doctors were having to leave to look after babies as women but the sexism is there all over again and again in marriage after marriage except in more enlightened countries.

robbosmum Tue 27-Feb-07 18:28:05

Do yuo not really want to returen to work becos of the hours? or is it REALLY that you would prefer to be at home.....
Would you consider other training eg g.p. i think it is much easier to work your hours in that situtation. But at the end of the day you should do wots right for all of you

robbosmum Tue 27-Feb-07 18:28:29

sorry so rubbish at typing tonight

duckie19 Wed 28-Feb-07 23:12:26

Hello everyone. Thank you for all of your advice. Sorry for the late reply. Ds just got his MMR and PCV jab and he has been a bit unsettled.
Xenia - I think the reason why some female doctors manage to have children and still work is because either they have family support nearby or they are in a higher level of training that there are more opportunities for part-time posts. We don't have any family nearby and I'm still in a junior level.
Robbosmum - The working hours and the difficulty in getting the post you want (in the right area too) are amongst the main reasons I'm not going back there. Even with combined salary with Dh, it will be hard to get a nanny to cover for the odd working hours. GP seems like a good idea but to get into that training, I still need a minimum of 3 years doing hospital work. I would love to go back to work again in the long term but just not now I'm afraid.

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