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I need to go back to work, help needed with an important childcare decision

(9 Posts)
dejags Mon 20-Jun-05 18:09:23

Hi all,

I need some impartial advice - here is the scenario:

DS1 is 4 at school, DS2 is 9 months old. Financially we have decided that I need to return to work. I can earn a very good salary and will easily get a job if I am prepared to commute. My problem is, is that when we made the decision to come back to South Africa I did so with the express purpose of being a SAHM while DS2 is little, certainly until both kids are settled into Jr School.

I have accepted that I cannot be a SAHM (at least for the next year) but I would still like to work locally to be able to do the school run and spend an hour with the kids at lunchtime. If I commute I cannot be around to do the school run and this makes me sad. Here are my options:

1 - I can take the job and get an aupair to help with the children and school-runs

2 - I can hold out for a local job which would pay far less and will be much more difficult to secure.

What would you do?

Twiglett Mon 20-Jun-05 18:13:09

either way you will need to get good childcare .. is that a problem for you?

only you can decide

could you take the better paid job but do it for less time?

if you do secure a local job how do you know you will be able to take kids to school and have lunch with them?

sorry don't know set-up in SA and there's no way I could advise you which to take

dejags Mon 20-Jun-05 19:35:07

Hi Twiglett,

Unfortunately there really are very few part time jobs in Cape Town. DS2 already has a part time nanny but she doesn't have sole charge of him (at most I may pop out for a couple of hours when she is on duty). I am not sure she would be the right person for a sole charge so I would have to make a major change on this front.

My gut says that spending time with the children at this very young age is critical at the same time though we have very real financial constraints which need to be considered. I seem so foggy on this one, I really can't help think that it won't harm the children but on the other hand I can't promise myself it won't [confused emoticon].

the major dilemma of the working mother I suppose.

thanks for your reply tho

Twiglett Mon 20-Jun-05 19:38:54

very real financial constraints that will put you in dire straits or will just mean you have to give up certain things

dejags Mon 20-Jun-05 19:49:53

Twig, dire straits for certain. We have some assets but I don't want to go down the road of hocking assets as that's only a temporary stopgap. The initial plan was to work from home, but red tape and a whole bunch of unforeseen obstacles have made this almost impossible.

I am totally reconciled to going out to work, I just need to get used to the idea that I may not see much of my kids in the week .

WideWebWitch Mon 20-Jun-05 20:07:26

I'd take the job and get an au pair I think if your priority is to earn as much as pos, plus is that one already offered? In which case, take it. I know a bit how you feel dejags, we had decided I would work and dp would be a sahd but I've been looking for a while now and dp is working. Because my work is interim we've decided we are both going to have to work just so it's not all down to me on a contract job, it's too scary. So we've had to rethink our expectations and our plan, hard isn't it? It's not that I think there's anything wrong with childcare and parents both working, it's just that 1 sahp was our plan and it's not going to turn out that way. If it doesn't work out could you go for local less money job as plan b?

dejags Mon 20-Jun-05 20:18:23

www, thanks for replying.

DH says he would go stir crazy if he was a SAHD (I think secretly he would love it).

I also secretly have a real issue with me having to work and him staying home - does this make me a terrible person?

The government here have enforced an Affirmative Action policy which favours people who come from a previously disadvantaged background in the job market. This means that DH will have a hard time finding a good job, as he is excluded from applying for most positions. So from this perspective it almost makes sense for him to be a SAHD.

I have to admit that I feel "grumbly" at the prospect.

I think I will have to accept the higher paid, commuter job and re-assess in a year. Ho hum.

WideWebWitch Mon 20-Jun-05 20:39:02

I don't think he should be a sahd then or, if he is, only part time or something OR only if you two can sort out a non resentment agreement between you or something. I can see trouble ahead otherwise! If you take this job you can always backtrack or downshift later. Can you plan to save some money and reduce your outgoings so you can work locally in a years time?

minicommandant Wed 06-Jul-05 20:53:00

Hello dejags. I'm in a similar boat but in UK. DH did have good job in education, but then had major bout of depression that was horrid for us both, as a result of which we decided it would be better for him to leave. He has been trying his hand at journalism with some success, but imho probably not enough application. Meanwhile, I earnt a very good salary so not a prob till ds arrived 9 months ago. dh now doing part time teaching/part time writing, but to pay London mortgage I have to work. My old job was uber fulltime and wouldn't let me reduce hours, I looked for a p/t job but they only seem to exsit at much lower level of salary. Looked for local job, but they also were only at much lower level. Neither case would have been worthwhile once childcare costs taken into account. So have taken new f/t job in central London with more family-friendly company. It's hard right now, cos I have to build a new reputation all whilst dealing with painful separation etc, but am hoping that once am ensconced in the company it might be easier to negotiate down to p/t or do some work from home, so that i see ds more in the week. It helps me to try and think of the current situation as one more step on the way towards the end goal, rather than this is it for ever. Can't help feeling though that I am paying for dh to fritter away time playing at a dream....whilst I miss out on important early years with ds.

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