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stressed and guilty - 3 days or full time?

(19 Posts)
jellywelly Sat 16-May-09 14:16:37

I'm returning to work as an accountant following maternity leave (children 1.6 and 3). The choice I have is to return to my old job full time or a much more junior role 3 days.

If I'm honest I'm not sure If I could get used to being junior again (loss of status income etc) but I feel guilty and selfish at the thought of leaving my children full time as I want what's best for them ( ie me at home).

I've looked everywhere and part time positions are like gold dust and we need the additional income.

Has anyone else been through a similar dilemma?

Lizzylou Sat 16-May-09 14:18:46

Is there any possibility of working from home at all? Then you would be closer to your DC/could catch up with work in the evenings?

jellywelly Sat 16-May-09 14:42:40

Thanks, this may be a possibility although I don't think they will make it easy for me.

The truth is the company want me to take the 3 day job ( a job which has been 'found' for me and for which there's no budget long term - so no job security). This will give them the opportunity to permanently take on the man who will have been covering for me for 20mths.

bigstripeytiger Sat 16-May-09 14:54:01

What do you prefer doing? Would you rather work part time or full time? I expect that your DCs will be OK no matter what you do.

What about returning full time, seeing off the man who has been doing your maternity cover, and then when things are more settled look at going part time in the position you are in?

pavlovthepregnantcat Sat 16-May-09 15:04:19

Could you do full time to get back in the door and then apply for the harder to get part time jobs when they become available?

Northernlurker Sat 16-May-09 15:13:34

Well it doesn't sound like you want to go back at all tbh. That being so I don't think it is a good idea to go back on a low status, low income job. That's just a recipe for depression and misery. Go back to your good job and see how it goes - at least that way you are professionally and financially better off. The three days a week job is just you kicking yourself in the teeth imo.

purepurple Sat 16-May-09 15:22:00

I think you are in a really difficult position, i don't envy you!
Full time working with children is hard work but working in a junior position for less money is not the way forward either.

Seems like an obvious question but can you not go back to your old position part time?

You have the right to request flexible working. When your oldest starts school it will be easier and when both are at school it will be easy to increase your hours.

Is there anyone at work you can get to fught your corner for you? Like a union rep or senior person?
I am sure there is a solution to your dilema!

MrsMattie Sat 16-May-09 15:28:52

Difficult one. I was in this position after the birth of my first child 4 years ago. I went with the full time role (had clawed my way up the career ladder and didn't want to go back to a junior position again). I lasted 3 months - hated it - and decided to stay at home for a while, which is what I really wanted to do at the time, but hadn't been brave enough to face up to.

However, fast forward 4 years and another baby and I found myself in a similar-ish role. The only PT work I could find was way below my capabilities, but was unsure about FT work. I've taken a FT job, though, and start in 10 days time (!). I'm feeling different about things this time for lots of reasons. I feel ready to get my career back on track and devote some time to that. Staying at home was great, but not for me long term. I am also worried about the economic climate and don't want to screw up my career totally for the future. Part time work - unfortunately - just doesn't seem to offer the progression, salary and (some semblance of) security that full time work does.

It really is a complex decision, though. My gut instinct is to take the full time and see if you can get your feet back under the table and request flexible working (a day a week from home? Flexibel starting/finishing times?) after a bit.

MrsMattie Sat 16-May-09 15:29:39

Should say 'similar-ish position' not role - first line of first para.

bosch Sat 16-May-09 15:42:42

Is your full time job something that you can reasonably do in normal working hours. My (public sector) job requires a bit of flexibility - longer days at certain times of the month to get reports done etc - that you just don't get with childcare/nursery.

I find that I can't give as much time to my job as I used to and it's just not as important. I'm glad I can work part time and on my half day, work 'as long as it takes' (within reason!) to finish the weeks work - something I couldn't do at end of the day on Friday.

I find that now the eldest two are at school I want to be around for them more at end of school day than when they were at nursery. Can't imagine how old they will have to be before I will be happy for them to stay late at after school club every day so I can work full time.

If you need the money, I would take the compromise on the junior position. Worth asking if your job can be done part time, don't tell them yet that you are willing to take the junior position. But I (am cynical enough to) think that company will want to find a way to take the easy option as you have described. Not perfect world. Also agree professional part time jobs are like gold dust, would not rely on one to just come along, I think you have to be working for the company so that they can see that they want to keep you on your terms...

Also, if you go back to junior position can you take on more interesting/senior work as time goes on? And then ask for more money to reflect that?

jellywelly Sat 16-May-09 20:05:42

Thanks for all the comments. I think I'll probably find it hard leaving my children and doing the junior role but you've given me a lot to think about.

I will probably end up going back full time.
I'm going to try and get flexible working and if not it's probably easier to go down to the junior role than try to get back up.

If all else fails I'll have to give up and try and find something else

neenztwinz Sat 16-May-09 20:21:56

Remember they have to have a good reason to refuse you flexible working (I think there are eight reasons they can use), and you have the right to appeal. You shouldn't have to take a more junior position in order to work PT.

See for more info.

I am going back two days a week in July, I really wanted to quit altogether, and when we worked out how much money I was going to make after childcare, it was only about £100 a month, so we decided I would quit. I was very happy about that but then a few days later I changed my mind and felt quite angry that I had worked so hard in my career (I am a journalist with a national title) and was now being forced to give it up! So be careful what you wish for... you may think you just want to be home with your kids but equally you might become resentful if you lose what you have worked so hard for in your career.

FWIW I am taking a slightly more junior role (but on the same wages as before) but I know that my employers know that I am much more capable in my job than most of the other people who work in my office, and even in my more junior role I will be able to continue to show that, so a more junior role isn't always a bad thing.

NatLex Fri 05-Jun-09 10:21:20

I went back full-time, as there was nothing avaialable part-time at the level I want to work in, but now, 6 months later, I would LOVE to go part-time. I don't feel very happy with having to work and commute full-time, I find I miss my son and feel sorry for him being at nursery 5 days a week, plus I feel the job is not that important at the moment. The other day I speeded back home (1 hour drive) to get to my son, who was ill and got done for it, which made me thing - what am I doing? I don't want to be doing this and would absosolutely love to go part-time or from home even if it means less money. Flexi working was refused for me here, so I am not very happy at the moment and think about it all the time - torn between my son and work and wanting the right balance SO Badly. Don't know what is going to happen...

Kiwinyc Fri 05-Jun-09 14:10:44

I would still request flexible working, and if you don't think part-time is something they'd allow ask for some days working from home? It does still make a big difference even if they are in childcare, being at home means it easier to do drop off/pick up and you can throw laundry on and do your grocery shopping online etc.

NatLex Mon 08-Jun-09 09:18:40

I did ask to work from home - that's what I did, but they refused point blank with no trial! Reasons you list are exactly what I was thinking, being able to do laundry and closer to my son to pick him up, etc.
The policy is a waste of time and I don't think I will get anywhere with that, if they refused a simple request of one day working from home (I did that before successfully).

Orissiah Mon 15-Jun-09 11:32:59

Your LO should be fine being in fulltime care, if that is the issue. So long as the fulltime care is GOOD. My LO thrives in fulltime care - she is so happy and sociable and has developed in leaps and bounds since I returned to work (far more quickly than when I was looking after her on maternity leave).

The problem with returning to fulltime work is with you missing your LO; rarely will your LO suffer (if the care is GOOD).

NatLex Tue 16-Jun-09 12:12:05

it is not the care, it is my life and being away from home and commuting, long hours - too much. I have just been turned down again and feeling like chucking it in. Don't know what else to do.

NatLex Tue 16-Jun-09 12:12:05

it is not the care, it is my life and being away from home and commuting, long hours - too much. I have just been turned down again and feeling like chucking it in. Don't know what else to do.

gem1jess Sun 06-Sep-09 20:57:55

Hi - don't know what income u r on, our yr partner, but if u reduce hours & income u should contact the wftc/ctc helpline & see what assist/entitlement u could receive?

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