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Why do I suddenly hate being at work?

(25 Posts)
Northerner Wed 02-Jul-03 10:30:39

Mt ds is 15 months old and I came back to work full time when he was just 4 months old. When he was 9 months old I dropped my hours and now only work 3 days a week. This means I get to spend 4 days in a row with my ds and we have so much fun and I adore spending time with him. I dread Wednesday coming around because it means I have to take him to Nursery (which he really enjoys) whilst I go to work. I used to love my job, my boss is fab and was so helpful in allowing me to drop my hours, and they are really flexible with doctors appointments and coming in late etc. However, just lately I really hate being at work. I sit at my desk and think about ds all day, wishing I was with him. I pray for Friday to come quickly so I can be at home. I also feel distanced from my colleagues who regularly have girlie nights out after work which I can never attend due to babysitting problems etc. Well, I probably could arrange a babysitter but I don't want to be at work all day, and then go out on the evening as I will miss ds even more. DH says I should give up work and try being a SAHM for a while, financially things would be a little bit tighter but we could manage. But this thought frightens me. I'm not sure if I would miss getting out of the house and my working environment. HELP!!!! I would love to hear any of your experiences.

oliveoil Wed 02-Jul-03 10:51:42

Know EXACTLY how you feel, I had a similar thread recently and know lots of mumsnetters are in the same boat.

It sounds like you have a very good working environment so I wouldn't recommend jacking in your job if you are unsure, could you arrange some time off/hols so could go through your options and decide? Maybe you are going though a down phase which may pass (I have these all the time)and you may go back to enjoying work soon.

The only person that can make the decision is you and if you can afford to be a SAHM, go for it, I know I would.

Good luck

nobby Wed 02-Jul-03 10:55:41

I worked for a year about ds was born (from 6 months) for 4 days a week and felt much like you -i didn't enjoy work but being a full-time mother scared me. I don't think i'd ever have taken the plunge if we hadn't moved as this rather forced the issue. I thought I'd just look after ds whilst looking for more work but never did as I really enjoy it. Some days are monotonous and frustrating, some drive me mad - but that happened at work too. But most are lovely. I know ds inside out and upside down and we are really good mates. In fact I find him more stimulating and entertaining company than 90% of people that I used to work with (he doesn't go on for hours about his bloody cats or his fat thighs or his sister-in-law's best friend's house renovations).

The anti-sahm brigade do irritate me - mainly crap articles in the media (Catherine Bennett for eg). And have a (controversial) theory that many of the most vocal opponents are actually scared stiff of their own children and run off to the office as it's safer, leaving the nanny to deal with all the difficult stuff. And can I just say that that's only aimed at a few - certainly not the majority of mothers that work.

So now it's 18 months later and I'm pregnant with no. 2 and have no idea if i'll go back to work then although money is tight so I may have to.

If it's what you want to do - then go ahead and take the plunge. You certainly sound like you'd thoroughly enjoy it.

Baba Wed 02-Jul-03 11:02:17

I know exactly how you feel. I work Mon, Tues, Wed and on Wednesdays I feel so relieved that it is nearly over!! I also have lots of fun with my 13 month old and absolutely love being with him.

When Monday morning comes, I almost feel like I detach myself emotionally from him before I take him to nursery and have to leave him.

I do like my job but I, like you, think about baby all day long and wonder what he is doing.

I also can't afford to quit my job, although I do have my own part-time business from home so if it takes off, I will be okay!!

Just wish I could stay with baby all day and have fun!!

I just love being a Mum so much that it takes over your life doesn't it????!!!! Its just the best thing EVER

iota Wed 02-Jul-03 11:07:46

I've recently stopped work as I found having a 4 yr old and a 22 mth old was just too exhausting. I enjoyed my work and had a great child-friendly employer, but trying to 'have it all' decreased the quality of my life.
I've now been at home for 2 months, the kids are still in nursery part-time and I now have time to sort out the house and take time out for myself as well. I never thought I would be a SAHM, but right now it's the best thing for me.

Northerner Wed 02-Jul-03 11:09:21

Baba you are so right. It does take over your whole life totally. My job used to mean the world to me, but ds has made me realise that there are FAR more important things in life. It is the best feeling ever. Everyday I look at ds and feel overwhelming love. Anyway, have to go into a meeting now where everybody else will be discussing targets and budgets and I'll be draeming about ds!!!!

Bozza Wed 02-Jul-03 11:19:03

Northerner - would there be a possibility of you taking an unpaid sabbatical from work. This would give you a taster and time to weigh up the options.

prufrock Wed 02-Jul-03 11:23:17

Nobby - I wouldn't say your theory is that contraversial - that is exactly why I work - I am scared stiff of being with dd all day. Being at work is far easier - I know what I am doing, I get results, I am good at my job, and people tell me so. I'm really petrified of being a SAHM (which is a move I am considering making when/if we have no. 2) and finding that I can't cope. I would love to find myslef in a situation where I did feel like Northerner - as it is I sometimes feel like a failure as a mother because I don't want to be at home.

LaaLaa Wed 02-Jul-03 11:26:38

Northerner, I have just stopped work - my little girl is three years old - I went back to work in London 4 days a week when she was six months old - although everyone at work was very supportive I hated it as I didn't feel like I belonged anymore - everybody else was just so ambitious and those things didn't matter so much any more - did that for a year and then got a job locally, again 4 days a week - after six months I dropped down to three days - did that for a year and have just left. My husband works long hours so we decided that at least one of us needs to be there all the time and as I earn less it makes sense for it to be me.

Iota - you sound exactly like me (except I only have one baby) - sympathetic employer but "having it all" turned out to be a myth - I was just chasing my tail all the time and feeling that I wasn't doing anything properly - am just getting used to being a SAHM.

Northerner - give it a go - if it doesn't work out you can always get another job.

Can anybody give me any advice on how to persuade husbands that SAHMs are not maids - as this is quite new to us my husband has stopped doing ANYTHING around the house - yesterday he even left his dirty socks on the floor instead of putting them in the laundry basket!! I don't want to have a huge row but neither am I HIS mother!

iota Wed 02-Jul-03 11:30:19

Laalaa - you are me - my dh is doing the same. We need to set some ground rules

iota Wed 02-Jul-03 11:32:18

Laala - when he works at home he asks me to make him a coffee and a sandwich instead of getting his own as he use to. He has also stopped doing child care eg baths unless I do extreme nagging.

LaaLaa Wed 02-Jul-03 11:34:39

Iota - same for me with baths - I only ask him at the weekend - but I get out the pajamas, sort out milk and clean the bath - and he always forgets to brush her teeth!

Northerner Wed 02-Jul-03 11:35:54

Thanks for your comments folks. I'm going to discuss with dh over the weekend. I'll let you know if there are any developments.

nobby Wed 02-Jul-03 11:40:49

Prufrock. You're the first person I have heard admit that. All I can say is that if you do start spending lots of time with your children then the fear goes as you get to know them as little individuals and realise how to meet their needs without stress. The fear of not working, being dependent on your partner for cash, getting to know other people and starting a different life - that's a different thing and really doesn't suit some people at all. It took me a good couple of months to adjust.

I just found that work changed once I had other responsibilites too and became less social and more like pure 'work'. Fine if you feel absolutely fulfilled by the work itself but not if you don't. I just ran around chasing my tail and having no time to sit back and enjoy life, my work or my children (or me or my husband for that matter).

All a matter of individual choice.

LaaLaa Wed 02-Jul-03 11:41:38

Iota, am in foul mood with him today. I absolutely hate ironing and have to build myself up to it. Husband is supposed to iron his shirt before he goes to bed - if he can't be bothered he will iron in the morning. I got up at five this morning as baby crying and got into bed with her to settle her. Husband turns off 2 alarms (in his sleep)and therefore oversleeps and then runs downstairs to ask me to iron his shirt otherwise he will miss train - he didn't come to bed until nearly 2 as he was watching trash TV and reading his book AND he didn't even say thank you! Ground rules are definitely needed! Any assistance/tips gratefully received.

nobby Wed 02-Jul-03 11:44:37

Laalaa. I have always maintained that I left work to be a mother not a housekeeper and although we have tussles I think dh is beginning to accept this - I could spend all day every day cleaning and shopping but then I'd never spend good time with ds. Can't you just leave his socks on the floor

iota Wed 02-Jul-03 11:46:31

nobby - I've already threatened dh with this one - complete cessation of the laundry service in fact.

nobby Wed 02-Jul-03 11:54:03

aaah, he's got to know that you mean your threats - just like a toddler

Lindy Wed 02-Jul-03 12:30:48

Prufrock - I agree with your comments even though I am a SAHM - I don't want to be with my DS all day - he is at playgroup or creche every morning!

Nobby - I bet there are more people who think like us - but don't just want to admit it!

For me being a SAHM means I have the time & freedom to do what I want, I know I am lucky in that financially I can make that choice but there is so much to do with your time (& I don't just mean mumsnet!) I certainly don't find that I am bored or just staying 'at home' all the time!

Northerner - hope you can work something out, life's too short to be miserable, good luck.

tigermoth Wed 02-Jul-03 17:07:19

I loved being a SAHM for a year and a bit, but I did, admittedly, have time alone during the day when my sons were at school and part time nursery. In my 'me' time I intended to job hunt and do freelance work when I had it, but when I didn't, the time was all mine - what a fantastic novelty!

Your orignal message made the think, northerner. I do find work less important after having children and it has definitely sapped my original ambition. There is no way I want a big job with very long hours and lots of responsibility, even it I was paid double my salary. Life - and childhood - is just too short, IMO.

However I do like working and have been happy to return to full time work for a famaily friendly employer. I didn't realise until I started again, but I really needed to learn something new, and get recognition for my talents (whatever they are) and my experience.

However, since having children I have not wanted to spend my working day many miles away from them. I want to be close to home, even if I am not at home. An important, instinctive need. A realisation that while I can cope with a job, I cannot cope mentally or physically with a long communte any more.

I grew to hate the 2 -3 hours I spent driving to work in my last job. All those wasted hours and the tiredness and stress, so when I arrived home to my children my energy was at a low.

If I had no children, a long commute would not be half so off putting. But as a parent I found it worse than the job itself.

nobby Wed 02-Jul-03 17:36:03

actually, my ds is at nursery several times a week - i love having the time without him and the time with him. best of both worlds.

tigermoth. you're absolutely right - a job near home (part-time for me) would be perfect. it's just finding one in the future that pays enough to make it worth my while (my profession doesn't lend itself to p-t or freelance). I like your phrase 'important, instinctive need': if we could all follow ours -whatever they are- it would be great.

susanb Wed 02-Jul-03 20:40:00

Hi Northener

I can completely relate to what you are saying although my situation is a bit different. I was fortunate enough to stay at home full time until my son turned 3. However this did mean my dp working 2 jobs (about 80 hour weeks) to provide for us. I made the decision to get a part time job partly because I felt the need to do something and also to allow my dp to work fewer hours. I was lucky enough to get a flexible job which means we share child care between us and don't have to rely on any childminders, etc.

On paper this looks great but in reality I haven't enjoyed being away from ds at all. It took me quite a while to adjust to going out to work and I still miss him so much now. I'm also doing an admin job which is okay but pretty boring with few prospects. I also find it hard to fit everything in; although its only 18 hours a week, they change every week and its hard to plan ahead especially if I've got important dates (like doctors appointments/ nursery open day) that I really want to take my son too.

To make matters worse, ds seems to save up his tantrums until I walk in the door so it seems I get the worst of both worlds!! Its making me feel really miserable but we need the money and I would feel guilty if dp had to go back to working so many hours when he hardly saw ds at all.

Sorry, moan over.......!

lilymum Wed 02-Jul-03 21:16:07

Northerner - there is a lot of interesting stuff on being a SAHM at the full-time mothers website which could be useful in providing food for thought.

codswallop Wed 02-Jul-03 21:17:09

I think you are ready for More maternity leave!!! leave those patents for a while.. theyll be ok

Laalaa Tue 26-Aug-03 00:28:20

Quick message for Iota if she is there - Are things any better yet? I am training husband but it is slow going - was watching Corrie today and asked him why he couldn't be more like Roy Cropper and tidy up after himself - we laughed but I was only half joking!

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