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Please help :((3 Posts)
So I've posted in back to work however I've never actually been to work but felt this best suited. So I became pregnant very shortly after finishing college, I'd studied a level 3 extended diploma in Health and Social Care. My plan was to go on and do a degree to become a social worker however having my little girl has changed all of this. I've always been so set on having a career but not it's not as important and I love being mum. But I'm struggling so bad deciding what my next move will be. Do I finish studying, start working or be a stay at home mum. All I want to do is what's best for my daughter and I'm making myself ill with stress trying to work out what's best. The thought of leaving her literally fills me with anxiety for numerous reasons, I'm mostly scared of something happening to her and me not being there to help. I just wanted some advice or for other people to share their stories and situations? Tia
It is pretty quiet in here so I would post in say Chat to get more responses.
I have worked full-time, part-time and been a SAHM (3 years) so have had lots of different set ups at home but it sounds like at the moment you should have time with your child (if that is possible due to financial reasons etc). But I would put a time limit on it and start planning your future say in 2 years will get onto degree course or get some employment etc.
For me I have always been happiest (and fortunate) with a good combination of part time work and lots of time with kids, but I did not have kids until 30's and had also had been to uni/working full time before then so my experience is very different & you could do with advice from people with similar experience to you. However as a Mum now in 50's whatever yo do you will feel guilty so try and sack that feeling off if you can!
Please don't panic! I know, much easier said then done. In most cases the thing that is best for your little one is what makes you happiest, as it will usually make you a happier and better mum. It sounds from your post that at the moment you really want to spend time with your little one. As the post above said, if this is an option than do that. It is really your choice! I don't know how old your little one is, but as she get's older it will be great for her to spend at least some time in nursery or similar (my little girl has been known to literally try and break down the door at nursery if we got there just before they open. She loves it.) At that stage you might find it a little easier to be away from her.
Then the question becomes what would you like to be doing in the time that your little one is making new friends etc.? I would definitely recommend you spend some time thinking about this. If you like the idea of studying more, great. In the long run more training is usually very useful and if you are still interested in something like social work you will need specific qualifications. But if you are no loner sure, spend some time thinking and exploring options before you commit to something.
I would start by exploring lots of different areas that might interest you. Are there topics or industries that have always looked intriguing to you? Do you tend to read or watch programmes about particular topics all the time etc.? These can be good starting points for your research. It doesn’t mean you should turn any hobby into a career or course, some things we just like for fun, but it can be a starting point. You can also try the reverse and think about what tends to really annoy you. This is usually the flip side of something you really care about. Is there anything that you really enjoy doing all the time, something that all your friends ask you to help with or that you just can’t stop doing? Again, can be a starting point.
Start with a list of industries and explore those. There is a lot of information online, www.allaboutcareers.com is a nice starting point. Once you have some possible areas you want to explore further, look into speaking to people in those industries or roles. Go to careers fairs, ask around family and friends if anyone knows anyone, use linked in to contact people and ask if you could have a 15 minute chat over the phone or could you buy them a coffee just to find out more about what they are doing. First hand information is extremely useful. If at all possible, I would try to do some sort of work experience / shadowing / volunteering. Even a few hours can be a great insight and will look really good on future applications for courses and jobs. And great to build contacts.
If you have courses in mind you would love to study, use this as your starting point and explore careers that link well with it. Ask the uni / college etc. what previous students have gone on to do. www.prospects.ac.uk/careers-advice/what-can-i-do-with-my-degree is great for inspiration.
The 16 personalities test is a nice free resource to get started on a bit of self-reflection. www.16personalities.com
The prospects website also has a careers planner you might find useful. It is aimed more at graduates, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be useful for you. www.prospects.ac.uk/planner
Sorry for the essay... I am a careers adviser and love what I do, so I tend to pile information on people... But from personal experience, find what you love doing. If for now this is spending time with your child and this is an option financially, then do that. When you are ready to be apart more, do the work to find the right thing for you (and this may change over your working life too, career changes are the norm, not the exception). If your daughter grows up seeing her mum happy in her work it will be a great example for her.
I knew I wanted to go back to work, but I still found it hard in the beginning and the fact that I love my work maked a huge difference.
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