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reaching the end of my tether - wwyd?

(10 Posts)
elizadoolittle Thu 02-Jul-09 13:17:48

Not really 'going back to work' as I have been back at work for 2.5 years after having DS 3.5 years ago. I do 4 days (2 at home, 2 with a 6-hour commute) and have got to the point where it is all (work, home, child) just too much. Love the industry, and have been in this world for 12 years, the job is interesting and rewarding but very full on and not part-time at all with lots of aggro and I am basically very bad at confrontation.

DS is quite an intense little chap, has periodically hated nursery, I fundamentally feel 4 days is far too much for him and that he would be calmer and I would handle him much better if he just did a few mornings.

Up till now, DS was a student and I had no choice, however we would soon just about manage on his salary. However i don't want to leave and have all my contacts think I'm a flake, or let down my employer/colleagues, who will be further dumped on.

Has anyone else been in this situation? what would you do? Keep a good job with good money, leave with no prospect of going back to that industry, risk realising that failings at home are my bad parenting and nothing to do with nursery/work?

Help! going round in circles trying to make a decision and I am shattered, in tears a lot of the time, low on confidence. Also trying for DC2 with no luck for more than a year... Thanks!

JigglyPiggy Thu 02-Jul-09 14:00:10

hi eliza,

its never easy trying to get that elusive work/life balance once you have DC. Im currently on mat leave with DC2 and my head is swimming with what to do about returning to work as it would be 30hrs a week.

I was in a similar situation while ttc dc2 (not commuting though thank god) which took approx 2 years. I think the stress work was putting me under was a huge factor as all initial tests on fertility were clear.

As it happens the minute i handed my notice in I fell pg! But I wonder if like me you see falling pg with DC2 as a way out of making the decision as you would then be on mat leave iyswim? This in itself heaps more pressure to the stressful time of ttc.

Have you spoken with your partner as to the best way forward? And have the nursery been able to help you pinpoint your DS's issue with nursery?

elizadoolittle Thu 02-Jul-09 14:08:44

Hi Jiggly. Thanks for replying. I'm sure you're right - I had always thought 'o I'll leave when I'm pregnant' and now that hasn't happened yet I feel as if the time has come to make a decision.

DH does worry about money but he would support me in leaving. Think I'm in such a mess over it all he has a hard time trying to work out what I want - so am I! I should just resign, but I really struggle with admitting I can't do something and being seen as a quitter.

Nursery has got better - we had months of struggling in the mornings, and quite bad behaviour on weekends etc. - and they did help, he is happier now but still hates going in the morning. Guess I have to take the risk and try some different tactics with him, coupled with less time at nursery. I probably just need to be a bit stricter tbh!

JigglyPiggy Thu 02-Jul-09 14:26:08

TBH i think you need to give yourself a break because ultimately you are trying to do the very best for your family as otherwise it would'nt be worrying you so much! Anyone who thinks you are being a quitter when you are faced with this decision is'nt worth your precious time imo smile

Is there any way you can take some extended leave so as to trial the reduced hours at nursery and see how you get on not working?

Another thing to bear in mind is that I find the times I have had most trouble with DD is when I'm stressed. She seems to pick up on and reflect my mood. Also if I was anxious about her going to nursery/her behaviour she would almost exhibit the very thing I was worried about.

elizadoolittle Thu 02-Jul-09 15:31:12

O, you're really kind. I'm sure it's true that he picks up on my ambivalence/guilt about nursery because he's definitely more difficult with me than DH.

I don't think extended leave will be an option so I will bite the bullet. I should stop moaning becuase it's a luxury to finally be in the position to choose whether or not to work right now.

Just hope not working relieves some of the stress and i Can be a bit stronger because I'll have no excuse then! Hope you're enjoying mat leave JP

risingstar Thu 02-Jul-09 19:09:11

I think the first thing you need to do is stop worrying about what others think about you. it is your decision for your family.
Re stress- was in a similarish situation in that wanted dc3 but didnt want to do this with a new employer so wanted to take maternity leave with current employer. didnt conceive for nearly 2 years, tehn moved to reduced hours and fell the first month........
I also think it helps not to think of this in terms of absolutes- could you do some contract work, keep up with your contacts in another way( through a professional association or similar).
If you have decided that there has to be a radical change and your employers/colleagues are up against it, no harm in doing one final attempt at finding some balance in current role- proper part time?
Alternatively, can you just find something local part time so you have something to go to? or give your employer extended notice (ie i am leaving in 2/3 months and thought you would appreciate the extra notice). this gives you time to sort out finances and them time to fill your position or consider something more reasonable.

good luck- remember you can only make the decision based on what you know now, dont try and second guess what might be round the next corner!

woodstock3 Thu 02-Jul-09 21:30:31

i sympathise - am in the same position, cant really sustain the hours im doing (very ft, late finishes, and still cant keep on top of it in the way i used to pre-ds) and worried that our failure so far ttc no 2 is, um, not unconnected.
i am currently plotting an escape to part time: current boss would be hopelessly unsympathetic to that so thinking of complete change of career, like risingstar says maybe better to try that before the nuclear option of jacking it all in? if you have worked for 12 yearsin an industry you love and a job you mainly find interesting, you may find the transition to sahm a bit of a shock to say the least
worth thinking outside the box - not sure what your current industry is but if ou can freelance/consult/reapply your skills to something totally different it might open your options and stop that horrible feeling of being trapped (which is one of the worst things - just knowing now that i am hatching my escape plan is making me a lot more relaxed about work)
good luck doing whatever it is you decide to

woodstock3 Thu 02-Jul-09 21:31:36

oh and meant to say - six hour commute on the days you do work - that is a hell of a lot, is it an option to look for ft work closer to home? might reduce your stress levels and presumably give you more time with your ds

POTC Thu 02-Jul-09 21:39:15

I so know how you feel Eliza smile

I managed just fine with ds1 but now I have ds2 and am on my own I've started to lose it. After several months of stress and worry over what to do for the best, I finally took the decision 2 weeks ago to hand my notice in. I will look for a job closer to home with less hours and in the meantime will have to get by with temping assignments. I just decided that whilst I had always worked believing it was the best thing for us all, that balanced had shifted and it was dangerously close to being detrimental to our lives.

Good luck with your decision, I know how hard it is smile

elizadoolittle Thu 02-Jul-09 21:50:20

I'm really lucky to get such empathetic and wise replies! I think you're right and jacking it in now in this frame of mind would probably not be a good idea. I've been here lots of times over the last 2 years and somehow muddled through. Big row with my boss on my mobile outside the nursery when she called me an idiot didn't help tonight! I have a day off tomorrow, will calm down and take stock. I did apply for a local job in January but didn't get an interview. Trouble is I'm quite senior in my field, want to take a step back but can't get into the university sector on a lower level where I'd ideally like to be. Woodstock you're right, it's the trapped feeling which is horrible! And Risingstar I think giving an extended notice period is a great idea.

Just what I needed - a bit of sense talking into me. Difficult to see your options when you're in a spin, isn't it?

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