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Anyone have 4 or more children and a fulfilling career?

(34 Posts)
thefabfour Tue 19-May-09 23:19:27

Just looking for inspiration really.

Resigned from my part-time position after DC4 arrived and have been a SAHM for the last year.

I'm currently completing a part-time MBA that I started whilst I worked but I think I'm starting to lose confidence that I can be a good mum and work. It dosen't help that people keep telling me that I shouldn't even contemplate working with the number of children I have. (DS1 7, DD 5, DS2 3 and DS3 is 2 years)

My DH also seems to enjoy me being at home a bit too much whihc makes me feel a little unsettled hmm

What do those of you who work do? and how do you navigate this from the perpective of childcare?

MarthaFarquhar Tue 19-May-09 23:20:58

have you met Xenia grin?

FrankMustard Tue 19-May-09 23:24:20

isn't Xenia thet pefect mother who carries off massive family and fulfilling successful career than none of us will ever ba able to equal? Or am I getting confused..?

(btw, OP - I have 4 children but my fulfillment doesn't extend beyond the SAHM role!)

chipmonkey Wed 20-May-09 00:19:39

I have 4 children and work 4 days a week. I'm an optometrist which works out nicely as you can pretty much choose whether you want to work PT or FT. I know some friends who are solicitors have difficulty with this.
Mornings are mad, though!

Madmentalbint Wed 20-May-09 07:00:24

I tried and failed so I'm not very inspirational I'm afraid.

I decided to retrain and started uni when my youngest started school. It was a full-on course with placements that included shift work - but after 4 months I felt my family was suffering (including me) and then my youngest had some scary health problems, and I left. I really don't know how women manage to juggle good careers with having a family because I just couldn't do it. I suppose it might be different if you have good support around you. I might try again one day but tbh my confidence has taken a huge battering, and my CV looks crap, so maybe not. My DH likes having me at home, and most days I enjoy being at home too, but sometimes it does wear a bit thin and I feel like I should be doing more. And some extra ££££ would be most welcome.

I've been no help at all really. Sorry! grin

Pollyanna Wed 20-May-09 20:57:50

I do - I have 5 children and am a solicitor. I mostly love my job. (at other times I would like to give it all up, move to Cornwall and home educate my children!).

scienceteacher Wed 20-May-09 21:00:26

I have five children and work full-time in what I believe to be a fairly fulfilling career. It is not the best paid in the world, but it give a good work-life balance.

stressed2007 Wed 20-May-09 21:05:59

Pollyanna how do you do this? I have 2 kids and can't convnce anyone to let me "back in" as solicior having been out having my children. Do you mind me asking what type of law you practice and whether you are F/T or P/T?

Pollyanna Wed 20-May-09 21:09:13

I am not in private practice now, and work pt. (3 days in the office, one day at home, fairly flexible, can drop kids off at school etc.). I sacrificed a large pay packet, but it is well worth it. I am in the charity sector and love it.

For most of the 10 years since I have had children I was in private practice, ranging from full time, to 4 days a week and most recently working 3 days a week.

stressed2007 Wed 20-May-09 21:21:38

What is your specialism? very interested - maybe I have been looking in the wrong direction to get a new job - I was a city slicker and there is just no way that would suit anymore. Did you have to retrain to cover whatever you do now?

whooosh Wed 20-May-09 21:21:39

Scienceteacher-how do you do it?
How old are your children?
What childcare do you have?

Pollyanna Wed 20-May-09 21:24:03

charity law.

I didn't have to retrain - I started off as a corporate solicitor, gathered a bit of charity experience as I went along, and then just channelled myself into that sector. I much prefer it - I wasn't a very good corporate lawyer (although i enjoyed the money smile)

stressed2007 Wed 20-May-09 21:26:02

ditto! thanks very much

Pollyanna Wed 20-May-09 21:30:14

I should say that if you are interested in charity law, as well as doing the law bit, I also got experience both as a volunteer and a trustee. This would help you to get experience but also show commitment to the sector which is necessary too.

HaventSleptForAYear Wed 20-May-09 21:33:42

Hmmm, I'm wondering if anyone can do it with 3!

We have 2Ds and feel stretched to the limit (both university teachers/lecturers) but then occasionally tempted to go for n° 3 before it's too late.

I think you need a lot of help and maybe family nearby?

We have a brilliant v. flexible childminder who we couldn't live without - she minds DS2 4 days a week full-time and takes DS1 to school, has him for lunch and after-school, does our ironing and is about to start doing our cleaning too!

scienceteacher Wed 20-May-09 21:33:52


My younger children are all at the same school as me. We get in fairly early, 7.30am, and there is before-school care for them. At the end of the day, they go into after-school care until 5.15 or 6pm.

My older kids are at a different school but they can bus/train home.

DH does his fair share at home/

I get 19 weeks holiday a year, so feel that I an live a double life.

When my younger children were not at my school, they were cared for by aupairs.

My house is a tip, btw

stressed2007 Wed 20-May-09 21:34:05

very helpful advice - thank you

whooosh Wed 20-May-09 21:35:27

Scienceteacher-thank you.
That's what I call good planning-well done for making it jealouswink

Nighbynight Wed 20-May-09 21:47:34

I have 4 children, and am a software developer. I work partly from the office and partly at home. Have an au pair to look after the children when I am not there.

Pollyanna Wed 20-May-09 21:50:31

we also have an au pair.

whooosh Wed 20-May-09 22:00:11

NightbyNight-how do you cope with the constant recruitment and "training" or the next Au Pairs?

Nighbynight Thu 21-May-09 11:45:50

I do my best to pick au pairs who really want the job, not gap year princesses who just want access to nightclubs. The secret of this, is that in Germany, you can have an au pair from any country in the world.
I have been lucky, and had some fantastic au pairs.

mum2boys2girls Fri 22-May-09 20:58:33

I have four children and expecting number 5 in 4/5 weeks , I work as cabin crew for British Airways and love my job and surprisingly it fits round my family really well , I have a great childminder and grandparents ,also a fantastic DH who works for BA as well smile We have great holidays as well which is a massive perk of the job especially with a large family grin

chipmonkey Fri 22-May-09 22:49:44

One of our TV presenters in Ireland has eight children. She works very hard and she looks fab!envy

rosyleecupoftea Sat 23-May-09 09:28:52

I am expecting DC no 4 and work part time as a doctor. I work as a psychiatrist and hold a senior position but I'm not a consultant - never managed to pass the required exams due to having kids!! Its very fulfilling though and actually I like not having the extra stress and responsibility that being a consultant brings.

I work parttime- 2.5 days a week. Use a mixture of childminder/nursery/after school clubs for childcare. Up until very recently had no family near by but my dh also works part time (hes a GP) so that helps hugely.

I couldnt work full time. I'd never cope and neither would my children!! I think its hard if you have to start re-training for something from scratch, I was lucky in that I was already fairly experienced when I started my family.

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