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To go back or to stay at home - What would you do?

(22 Posts)
lauraloola Thu 30-Oct-08 11:59:17

I am due to go back to work in April next year. Dd will be 9 months old.

Dp will be earning more money by then and will be able to cover our bills and have some spare.

Before I finished work I said I would return but only 2 or 3 days a week. Now I am not so sure and think I would rather stay at home.

I do worry about not having my own money, what if dp and I split up, dd wont socialise with other children etc.

What would you do? I didnt enjoy my job a huge amount.

mppaw Thu 30-Oct-08 14:33:15

When I had DD, I was adamant I would not return to work, then when she was about 9months old, I started thinking about going back to work etc versus staying at home.
I returned to work for 2 days a week when DD was 11 months old to satisfy my curiosity, and I think I made the right decision.

Basically, I came to my decision as follows:
If I dont go back, will I always wonder/regret etc that I did not give it a shot to see if I could cope/enjoy etc. And my answer was YES, I think I would always wonder.
So, if money is not an issue, why not negotiate a 2 days week and see how you get on, you have nothing to loose.

My 2 days a week is a really nice balance for me and DD. She spends a day with grandparents and a day in nursey.

Now PG with DC2, and off on Mat leave in 2 weeks time.


lauraloola Thu 30-Oct-08 14:58:27

Thats a really good idea. My mum doesnt work Mondays so she could have dd one day and nursery for one day like you.

Thanks and good luck with dc2 x

mppaw Thu 30-Oct-08 15:04:09

Good luck with your decision.

I am one of those people that doesn't like to regret anything, so always give things a go and if it does or doesn't work out, I will never be left wondering "What if".

Another bonus, if you have another DC, you get all that Mat leave and Mat pay. wink

lauraloola Thu 30-Oct-08 15:15:39

Good point! I do want another dc and could do with the mat pay wink

ScottishMummy Thu 30-Oct-08 15:32:38

you have to essentially do what you feel is right.if you are solvent why not.if you dont enjoy work maybe it will become an incumberance to you

no point worrying all the "what if's"

hell aliens could land

who knows?why ponder what about dis and dat

tartetatin Thu 30-Oct-08 15:38:16

You might not be feeling like going back to work yet, but by April you might be ready for some more adult company. Two days a week would be a good compromise. Still much more time at home than at work, with the bonus of having some extra money coming in. You mention your DD socialising with others, but it is important for Mummys to have time away from the home too.

findtheriver Thu 30-Oct-08 19:26:10

Two days a week isn't very much at all, so could potentially be a nice way of keeping your hand in, earning some extra money (even if your partner earns enough for essentials, it's the non-essentials that make life worth living!) and also giving you some adult company.

As tartetatin says, April is a way off, you may well feel like more of a balance than just being at home by then.

RhinestoneCowghoul Thu 30-Oct-08 19:38:28

I did 2 days a week, went back when DS was 11 months old. I've now just started mat leave for DC2. I feel that 2 days gives me just enough of the adult company, challenges me in a different way etc, but still means I spend majority of my time with DS.

Also, I didn't go back to my original job, ended up doing something completely different. May be worth thinking about what you would really like to do - this might be paid work or retraining for something else.

lauraloola Thu 30-Oct-08 19:54:02

I think 2 days a week is a good idea. Maybe Monday and Tuesday then I have the whole rest of the week with dd. Like you say, I may have changed my mind by then - I may even be pg!!!

Fizzylemonade Fri 31-Oct-08 10:53:16

I returned to work after almost a year off. Went back part time so did 2 1/2 days. Did love it, but then I loved my job, after doing it for 6 months we moved house due to DH's job and over 100 miles away.

I did look to return to work but in the end didn't. Ds1 was 17 months by then and I loved being at home BUT I did put ds1 into a nursery for 1 day a week to be away from me, for me to have a break and for him to socialise.

He was a very sensitive child so didn't socialise when we went to parent and toddler groups. Just stuck to me like glue grin

I think you will never know until you have tried to return to work. You will always wonder.

PavlovtheWitchesCat Fri 31-Oct-08 11:01:04

I personally would, if in your shoes, try it. Go back 2 days a week, if you like it and want to do 3 you can, if not and you really cannot cope with it/dislike being there, you can stop work. And in the meantime you will be earning a little.

I work 3.5 days per week, and have done since DD was 1 year old (was meant to return when she was 6 months but for various reasons did not). I think at 6 months it would have been harder to do, but at 1 year it was fine.

She is 2.4 now, and she spends 2 days at nursery, 1.5s day with daddy and 1.5 days with me. To be honest she loves nursery and I think it is better for her to spend 2 days there rather than all week with me.

I would like to perhaps be able to drop to 2.5-3 days. But, I would certainly not want to NOT work, as it gives me a chance to be me, not mum for a while, and that makes me a better mum.

I recall very clearly though, panicking while on maternity leave about having to leave DD, how bad a mum I would be, that I would want to be at home with her afterall. I had many many sleepless nights as my time to return drew near and many tears.

But, returning for me was the right thing to do, and it might be for you.

Good luck smile

findtheriver Fri 31-Oct-08 12:45:57

Pavlov - excellent post! I think you sum up the feelings of many people.

One thing that strikes me - it's so easy as a mum to think of how we feel - the tugging at the heartstrings, the anxiety about how we'll feel leaving our babies. It can be very difficult to actually stand back a bit and think 'What's best for the child?' As Pavlov says, it may well be better for the all round development of a child to spend a balance of time with mother, father and nursery rather than with just one parent 24/7. And as a family, it can often be a good thing for both parents to contribute financially. Particularly in the current climate. I can think of at least two families I know where only dad works and the pressure of being sole breadwinner with rising costs and job insecurity shouldnt be underestimated.

Try to take the larger view as Pavlov says. Work will give you a different perspective on things. It will give you you time, a chance to be with adults, develop your skills and stay in the job market - all hugely important factors.

blithedance Fri 31-Oct-08 12:56:39

You'd certainly have nothing to lose by giving part-time a try. I really like being back at work (I'm 3.5 days too). I don't think it's at all detrimental to the children.

I think it is quite normal to have waves of guilty panicking feelings (I'm an uncaring career-minded selfish monster, farming out my Poor Innocent Children, why did I have them if I didn't want to look after them, etc etc) you just have to put your rational head on and remember that a great many mothers work part time very successfully, a great many others choose not to and that either way may be OK for you.

Can you not take the full 12 months off?

PavlovtheWitchesCat Fri 31-Oct-08 17:39:03

Why thank you Findtheriver - you too grin.

I have many many reasons myself for working, not mentioned above, for example, I think in the even bigger picture, I think it is a powerful and positive message to my daughter to see her parents both working to acheive, both financially and personally. It will be a good example to her, that it is possible to be successful, without losing out on the family live, and as a female, her own expectations of herself as she becomes an adult are not necessarily defined in the home. I really think I am setting a good value base for her.

BUT, I certainly understand the emotional wrench of going back to work, which is much more immediate than long term goals/ambitions and desires for your own children.

I did not really have the choice. I wonder sometimes if I had been given the option of not returning to work, I might have been tempted to stay at home. But I am positive I would have regretted it before long as I am a crap housewife!!! grin.

I think, as I and other have said, it is a good idea to give it a try, and think that if you only manage a month or so before feeling you just cannot make the transition back into work just yet, you can change your mind. And it is not forever. If you change your mind and feel you are much happier and can provide for your LOs needs in the home, you can return to work at any point, when LO is 2, or 3, or goes to school.

VHam Fri 31-Oct-08 18:30:39

I would stay at home , sounds like you don'treally want to do back to the job you didn'treally enjoy. Enjoy every second with your baby instead. At 2 1/2 pre-school awaits and then school. Perhaps you could look into training to do another job while you are at home. Home courses can start this off for you and your still with your babs.

babbi Sat 01-Nov-08 20:16:57

I stayed home and have never regretted it. I am loving every minute of being at home. With reference to Pavlovs comments, I have actually gone the other way and have surprisingly become a rather good housewife !! Cooking from scratch, learning to bake, knit and now sew. I am now looking for a sewing machine to further develop my home making skills !!(TBH I am becoming somewhat concerned as yesterday I had to stop myself from ringing up and enquiring how to join the local flower arranging group ??)
I question now why on earth I went to the trouble of getting a degree when I seem to be happy as larry doing so many things I would have scoffed at in the past.
However , I have just started work 2 hours a week tutoring so the degree was not completely wasted !
I agree with the others, give everything a try , you never know working may or may not suit you , you may surprise yourself with what you settle for. Good luck !

PS am perfectly willing to accept that I may of course just be getting very old ...

milojar Mon 03-Nov-08 14:01:51

I am still at home (DS is a year old on Saturday) and I can't imagine going back to work. I thought it was because I was just lazy, but really its more about not wanting to go and work for someone else.. I have been doing Usborne for about 4 months and I put loads of hours into it but it doesn't seem like work, so maybe I'm not lazy, just better off self employed!

In actual fact I looked for a part time job, but couldn't find anything that was financially viable - we only have one car to share (DH has a works van every other month) and getting a second car would cost more than I could earn, plus I would have to pay for a childminder etc.. so I'm actually better off staying home with DS, cooking & baking, with the occasional bit of housework and trying to make a good go of my book biz wherever I can take DS along or at weekends when DH can babysit.

Niecie Mon 03-Nov-08 14:15:46

I think it is too early to say. I wouldn't even think about it until after Christmas.

Presumably your baby is only 3 or 4 months old and between now and April will change a huge amount. You will also have had more time at home and may find you miss work or at least adult company or you may find that you just don't fancy it at all.

The mixing with other children thing is a bit of a red herring imo. Children don't play together until they reach the age of 2.5 or 3 yrs by which time they are old enough to go to pre-school. She will be fine going out and about with you - that is plenty of socialisation for a baby or toddler.

What you need to focus on is what will make you happy. If you get to March and you want to work then do it. Maybe don't even go back to your old job but take a few months more over the summer and find a job that you like more instead. There is no hurry.

jellybeans Mon 03-Nov-08 14:20:27

I would SAH, I chose to do this after working f/t and p/t first; f/t was too much. The way I see it is; your DP will be just as dependant on you (for childcare to enable him to work) as you wil be on him (for the wages). That's equal in my eyes! I wouldn't work anymore unless I had to or really really loved my job. Once you have enough to live on, extra money just increases the outgoings (bigger house, car etc) or goes on tat. Time is valuable (and what you are selling to a employer) why not keep it for yourself and family? You can always choose to work later after all, but canot get this time back.

spookyrookie Mon 03-Nov-08 14:30:26

Can you wait until your DC is a year old ? I was originally meant to go back when DS was 9mths and was really glad that I delayed it and felt much more ready to do it when he was 11 months.

Am very envy that in your profession it is possible to go back 2 days a week. Its true as jellybeans says that you won't get the time back, but I would also say that once you are out of the job market it is much harder to return on a p/t basis after a few years. Therefore if the 2 days is a possiblity if it were me I would definitely go for it. When I went back I made a pact with myself to review how I felt about things at the end of 6 months and if I wasn't happy to reconsider my options. At the end of that time I was fine so I stayed on. Am not overwhelmed by it at the minute, but bad time to ask to reduce hours due to restructure, economic climate etc etc.

jellybeans Mon 03-Nov-08 15:10:19

Forgot to add that being dependant one one wage is not such a bad position to be in as if this person becomes unable to work, the other can step in and get a job. If dependant on both wages for mortgage etc and one looses their job then it's not a good position. Of course this is different if the second wage is 'extra' that's a good position to be in.

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