Advanced search

Back to work - part time or full time?

(30 Posts)
CupcakesK Fri 08-Nov-19 13:26:58

I'm trying to decide whether I should go back to work full-time or part-time. Financially, there isn't too much different between the two (with childcare costs) and my work place is supportive, so really it's just my preference.

My partner is a teacher and there isn't much scope for him to go part-time, but he will obviously be looking after the baby during school holidays.

I really like my job and hope to progress, but will I regret working full time? Will the baby miss a parent being there? I feel that working part-time I will still have the same volume of work, but less time to do it in!

OP’s posts: |
Isleepinahedgefund Sat 09-Nov-19 13:52:03

Your baby will be fine. Lots of people have no choice but to work FT.

Personally I wouldn’t look at it as you’re earning the same FT or PT, childcare is a time limited cost and you’ll be better off working FT in the long run. It is also a shared cost so should be accounted for equally from your partner’s salary and from yours. As your partner is a teacher, a term time only childminder might work out cheaper for you. Then of course there’s the difference working PT will make to your pension. I wish I’d been more aware of that before deciding to work 16 hrs a week before by DD was school age.

When I worked PT (16 hrs) in my last job my caseload was genuinely adjusted accordingly and I wasn’t expected to do more. I started my current job PT (30 hrs) but it became clear very quickly that I was going to have to do the same amount of work and would end up working the extra hours anyway, so I went FT. If your workload won’t be genuinely adjusted I’d either go for FT, or PT over 4 days/30 hrs maybe, otherwise you will probably find yourself working extra anyway and getting v stressed about the whole thing.

Lazypuppy Sat 16-Nov-19 20:01:17

I'd definitely say ful time.

Think of loss of pension, as well as loss of income and lack of career progression in the future

Flamingolegs Sat 16-Nov-19 20:21:13

It depends on the job. If it is the type that will work flexibly (ie workload reduces accordingly) or a job share then I think it can work but otherwise it is really hard.
I am a solicitor and work PT (3 days) and it is a nightmare - I have to check email at home, do odd bits of work on days off, rearrange childcare at short notice if there is a meeting/ course I need to be on on my days off. I still have mandatory stuff to do at work (cpd, networking etc) which they do not seem to appreciate - eg there is a monthly lunch for local businesses, I am expected to go, even on my day off. I do not get paid to go on my day off and even if it is my working day I am clock watching as I need to get back to finish my actual work. Clients also do not always appreciate that I am not in the office two days (even though it is made clear from the start and is on all correspondence) and so that stresses me out. There is no slack to have a chat in the office, I have to work 100% of the time there.
My career has completely stalled as I am "only" part time. I work way more hours than I am paid for and have not had a pay rise in 4 years.
Definitely don't do 4 days - friends that have done that just do their old FT job but for 80% of the pay.
If I could turn back time I would have gone back FT.
As PP said there is also promotion prospects, pension contributions and also, personally, I have become the one responsible for childcare/ housework etc because, again, I "only" work PT - not saying this would happen to you, but it has definitely skewed our relationship in terms of equality and it is this which is making it hard for me to go back FT now, things would have to really change at home.

Gosh, sorry, bit of a rant blush

Curtainly Sat 16-Nov-19 20:24:35

It depends, if you will have the opportunity to revert to full time in the future once childcare costs aren't so much of a factor, I would consider part time. Although it will affect your pension, and although it shouldn't, it can hamper your chances of progressing. I work part time and I love it, but my workload actually reflects my hours, and as you have identified, this isn't always the case. Would you maybe consider 4 days? Or a 9 day fortnight? I do 3 and it's a great balance, but it really is a personal decision. Your DC will be fine in childcare though, it's more how you feel about it.

WineIsMyCarb Sat 16-Nov-19 20:28:27

As lots of PPs have argued for full-time, here's on for part time:
Your child will have had more of your time.
There will be less stress on the family overall as you can cover the housework, life admin etc on your 'mumming days'
You have a choice to do something that lots of people do not have: the best of both worlds. Your own income and as PPs have said, pension etc, as well as the time to spend with your DC and as a whole family when your DH is on school hols and you are doing your 'at Home' days
Good luck with your decision brew

Teddyreddy Sat 16-Nov-19 20:49:23

How many days a week would it be PT? I initially did 4 and now do 3. I've found 3 better as with 4 you end up still trying to do most of a FT job, with 3 and being out the office 2 days the workload adjusts more. I also officially do slightly longer days than normal so that I actually get paid for some of the extra hours I end up doing.

I love working PT, I love the extra time it gives me with the kids whilst still keeping in touch enough career wise I can pick it up properly later. With FT work unless you have a very short commute, you won't have any quality time with a young DC during the week - mornings will be running around madly getting yourself plus them out the house, and evenings they are generally tired after a day in childcare and you are almost immediately into bedtime routine. It's up to you whether you are OK with that.

holidays987 Sat 16-Nov-19 21:02:40

I'd go back part time. Then once the baby gets the 30hours per week free childcare at 3years old, go back full time (If you want to).

I have loved working part time while my DC have been little. I won't get this time back with them again. For me, I care about that more than career progression, pension etc. There will be plenty of time for the career, given we'll most likely have to work until 70s. And I'm still keeping myself in the loop with part time hours.

Rainuntilseptember Sat 16-Nov-19 21:07:57

Why on earth is there not much scope for your partner to be part time? About a quarter of the teachers I work with seem to be part time. It doesn't have to be a permanent change, can be for a year or so. If the sexes were reversed, you'd be told there was lots of scope for you to be part time precisely because of the teaching job!

RedLipstickHighHeels Sat 16-Nov-19 21:08:04

Full time to build career, financial security,stimulation for you
And don’t be starting convos about baby missing parents or you’ll get a pasting off the more superiors

Nix32 Sat 16-Nov-19 21:08:08

Part time, definitely.

RedLipstickHighHeels Sat 16-Nov-19 21:10:04

And don’t be starting convos about baby missing parents or you’ll get a pasting off the mother superiors
They will share their prejudice and anecdotes about how. FT working mum is so bad

dontalltalkatonce Sat 16-Nov-19 21:12:17

FT. Never, ever give up your full financial security if you're with an unmarried partner.

RedLipstickHighHeels Sat 16-Nov-19 21:14:47

Def FT and yes don’t give up career and earning whether married or unmarried
Out of interest, why can’t he go PT?has he asked?

BendingSpoons Sat 16-Nov-19 21:20:18

I love working 3 days. Work doesn't dominate my life in the same way. I am lucky though, I have a reasonable workload for my hours and lots of people work PT in my role so it shouldn't hold me back. It will be easy to up my hours in the future if I want to (at the moment I really don't!)

BackforGood Sat 16-Nov-19 21:22:27

I feel that working part-time I will still have the same volume of work, but less time to do it in!

Well, that's what you have to establish. You have to have a way of measuring your current input, and then only giving whatever proportionate part of that is, that you are being pad to work. Whether that is projects completed or numbers of clients or hours you put in or whatever. But also factor in the things (for example meetings or dealing with e-mails) that take {say} 2 hours, that will still take 2 hours when you are PT, but that 2 hours will be a bigger proportion of your working time than it will for FT people.

*My partner is a teacher and there isn't much scope for him to go part-time8
Why do you say that ? confused Teaching has always been ahead of its time in terms of part time working - one of the jobs you are traditionally most likely to have a PT working request granted.

Personally I think PT is ideal for people with any sort of caring responsibility, but it does depend to a greater extent on the combination of factors - your particular industry; what hours you work anyway; and what commute you have to add on to that; What possibility there is for home working or flexi-hours being some of them

Mrscog Sat 16-Nov-19 21:26:22

My advice is to stay full time and see if you like toddlers or not. I adored my year of maternity leave and dabbled with dropping to 3 days. I did not adore the 1-3.5 stage, and went back full time as soon as I could, I just found it relentless and a grind (my toddlers were tricky though - 1 hour of tantrumming every day about getting dressed, 20 mins to get in the car seat etc.)

Rainuntilseptember Sat 16-Nov-19 21:26:45

Financially it would be daft to drop a couple of days of a teacher's salary to enable a TA to work full time. But could be worth it for the sake of being home with dc, especially if only a year or so.

JHaniver Sat 16-Nov-19 21:35:20

I initially went back to work three days a week after my first baby, and really enjoyed the balance. After my second baby I was offered a promotion if I would return full time so went ahead and never regretted it. I do really love my job though, I think it would have been harder otherwise. My commute is 10 minutes and my employer is family friendly, happy for staff to nip out for Christmas plays, etc. which really helps.

trilbydoll Sat 16-Nov-19 21:40:32

With the benefit of your other half having the holidays I'd do 3.5 or 4 days and then if backlog of work accrued, I'd do full time in the school holidays. My boss is pretty good at paying me overtime if I come in on my day off.

riotlady Sat 16-Nov-19 21:42:00

I would choose part time, just for the breathing space. Full-time with a little one is relentless.

RedLipstickHighHeels Sat 16-Nov-19 21:48:03

FT work doesn’t always = harried tired mum
No one ever tells a father not to work FT cause he’ll be too tired.or needs more time
Funny though women are always warned about the perils and/or exhaustion of FT work. Not men though...

grafittiartist Sat 16-Nov-19 21:49:41

I think full time with kids is easier when they are babies.
I found part time really helpful when they were at primary.

RedLipstickHighHeels Sat 16-Nov-19 21:51:21

Just don’t sleepwalk into mum=pt work and sucking up all that mummy guilt

blueshoes Sat 16-Nov-19 21:57:36

Many posters have made good points.

On ft working, I agree with flamingolegs.

Another point to consider is that if you are thinking of having another child quite soon, then stick with ft then you get more (rather than prorated) maternity pay for your second maternity leave, particularly if your workplace has an enhanced maternity package.

If you are not married to your partner, then it is more important that you keep your financial independence and your career progressing.

You say costs are the same after childcare but childcare costs are only for a short time. ft will start to pay more soon.

Pt is fine too if you want more time with your dcs. I would not worry too much if your career stalls. It might and best to work along those lines. You can always change jobs and reinvent yourself as a committed ft employee once you are ready to increase your hours. A brief plateau in your working life will not make much of a difference as you probably have decades more of worklife ahead of you but that is provided it is easy for you to find ft work later on.

If you don't like the baby/toddler stage, then go back ft now and save your time at home for the exam stage (15+) when your child could need you more and then only you as parent can help with their more complex issues then, not just any child carer.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in