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Been offered a job but don't know if I should take it

(13 Posts)
MadeUpNameForAnonymity Thu 26-May-11 12:32:55

I've been looking for a job for ages but hadn't had much luck. A while back I saw an advert for a job that didn't give much detail but sounded interesting so I applied and I then had an interview which went fairly well. At the interview it became obvious that it's a full-time job with some overtime but it's a fantastic job. As I wasn't expecting to be offered the job I didn't ask about flexible working or anything like that.

They've only gone and asked me to work for them shock

I genuinely don't know what to do. It's a great opportunity and on good money but I just don't see how I will be able to do it and still be around for my DCs. It's been horrible on benefits but the only upside was that I was home for when my DCs got out of school and I was home for school holidays. Being around with them that much has been lovely and I think it's helped them a lot after a lot of messing around from the ex.

If I take this job then they'll be in after-school clubs five days a week, and holiday clubs for a lot of the school holidays. And that's assuming that I can even find some after-school clubs around here with free spaces and that will take someone in year 7. I've had a couple of offers from local friends to help out which is lovely but I'm just not sure it will be a good thing for my DCs.

Help!

sunshineandbooks Thu 26-May-11 13:23:02

How long have things been stable since the split? Do you feel your DC are now well-adjusted and happy? If so, there's no more bar for you working than there is for any other parent (other than the availability and affordability of childcare). Are your DC old enough for you to talk to them about it?

I work full-time in a rural area with little in the way of childcare. I have no family and all bar one of my friends work. I've still managed to make it work, although I must admit that this is largely due to the fact that I have an amazingly supportive boss who has allowed me to work flexibly and who understands that I sometimes need time off with no notice because DC are sick.

It's do-able if you feel it's worth it and your employers will be supportive. Maybe your first step should be to ask them and take it from there.

If you genuinely don't feel the time is right for you to take this, that's one thing, but be sure that you're not making excuses because you're scared of failure. Being a single parent, especially after a difficult break up, can really knock your confidence and I know many (me included) have avoided taking some opportunities because it's easier not to try than to try and fail (even though success may actually be the more likely outcome).

Good luck whatever you decide.

Latemates Thu 26-May-11 13:41:52

Would they be able to go to their dad's more. I know you mention that he messed them around but wondered if now that things have settled wether it was on avenue you could explore

MadeUpNameForAnonymity Thu 26-May-11 15:14:19

I think you're right that I am worried about failing. If I'm honest though I'm less worried about failing at the new job than I am about failing at being a parent. My ex has been messing our DCs around for years. Things have settled down quite a lot over the last few months but I don't feel comfortable relying on that continuing.

I've got to go and get DD from school but I'll come back to this later.

cestlavielife Thu 26-May-11 16:23:10

take it. will be good for you self esteeme tc and you will have more money etc.
so good for your dc

give it six months or a year.
then ask for flexible working

gillybean2 Thu 26-May-11 17:19:03

What kind of job is it? I ask because if it's office/computer based is there any possibility of you being able to do some work at home in the evenings?

I work 30 hours a week, which fits in with school and cunts as full time for WTC. I drop ds at school at 8.30, I get to work for 9. I leave at 3 and pick him up at 3.30. I also work through lunch so do 6 hours in the day. This is only 1.5 hours a day less than my full time colleagues.

In addition I can now do some work at home in the evenings to catch up a bit. So this might be a possibile alternative for you if you if you really want this job.

However I do get all the school holidays off (unpaid leave), except for 2 weeks in the summer when I have to go in. I have negotiated an additional 2 weeks unpaid leave to cover snow days, ds being sick, orthodontist etc. My boss was happy to do this but I have been at the company for 6 years now so they know I am hard working and reliable. ANd actually this was me uping my hours from being part time before.

I would say take it and give yourself 6 months. It will be tough but you need that long to see if you can make it work.
The hardest childcare cover will be the summer hols, but you should be able to find a holiday club near you. I use Barracudas www.barracudas.co.uk/. I know they're pricey but as a lone parent I get help towards childcare costs and I know my ds is active and busy all day. Is there one near you at all?
Don't rely on friends. If they change their mind (and most will fairly quickly when they realise how tied they are to your dc) you'll be stuffed. So find an after school club , childminder etc

After 6 months approach your boss about more flexible hours if you need too. You'll have had time to prove yourself and hopefully they'll be happy to be flexible in order to keep you. You'll also know by then if you can manage it, if you are enjoying it and if it's worth the juggling act.

Good luck

MadeUpNameForAnonymity Thu 26-May-11 22:07:13

That's what I was thinking about relying on friends. Sooner or later that welcome will run out. I think that it would be better to ask those friends if they'd be available for emergency cover rather than as a regular thing.

I've done some googling for afterschool cover and I think that I might be able to find somewhere for my 9yo DD but I haven't found anywhere that says they would take my 12yo DS. He really wouldn't be happy coming home to an empty house and being on his own for at least two hours. I'm going to ask the mums of some of DS's friends to see if they know of anywhere that would take him.

I can see the point of just getting my head down and dealing with it for six months before asking for flexible working. But I wonder if it might be worth the risk of being open and honest about it up front before I sign the contract. If I could negotiate some extra unpaid holiday and the possibility of some afternoons working from home then it would make it all seem much more possible.

All these people saying that single parents should go out to work as a matter of course don't think about how bloody hard it is to organise do they? sad

lookingfoxy Thu 26-May-11 23:13:46

Friends goodwill will run out, your kids are getting up there, so if you can find good professional care it would be in your best interests.
Nobody (apart from other single parents) realises how hard it is, not just practically, but emotionally on you as well.
Have you thought about a childminder? I've used the same one for the past 5 years and it works out really well for me. If you could find one near the school, then your ds could walk there and your dd gets picked up?
Fwiw, he might be perfectly happy being alone for a couple of hours after school vegging in front of the tv with a sandwich?
It will be a huge lifestyle change for all of you.
I would be really tempted to ask the place if they would consider you part time, or reduced hours though.

gillybean2 Fri 27-May-11 07:00:12

If it were me I would ask now for some flexibility yes.
I was honest about my situation when I ws interviewed for my current job and they were fine so it can work. And to be honest, if they really want you but they're not going to be a bit flexible at this stage then that tells you what they'll be like in 6 months too...
Just say that it wasn't clear from the advert that it was full time and this is what you'd ideally like to do and what do they think...

I actually had to go in after a few months and swap my hours round because my childminder packed up and I had no other local childcare. So I swaped my 3 long days to 4 shorter ones and found childcare cover local to work in the holidays. It's also taken 3 years of asking to be able to get access from home and I think they agreed finally because I said I would do some bits at home during the schools holidays (which I have off as unpaid leave) if they did.

I would say use a childminder if you can as most secondary's don't have after school clubs. Your local council should be able to provide you with a litst of registered childcare, or ask at school if they know any who do school pick ups etc.

I too think that 12 is too old to be arriving home on his own. If it was once a week then ok, but not every single night. And you still have the holidays to consider! My ds wouldn't be happy with it that's for sure and I'd be worrying all the time and calling to check on him...

Bear in mind you should get some help with childcare costs through WTC/CTC and the cost won't seem so preohibitive then.

MadeUpNameForAnonymity Fri 27-May-11 12:27:30

Thanks everyone. My boss-to-be did say that if I had any questions to drop her an email. So I've sent one asking for some clarification about a couple of minor points but also about flexible working. I feel better about getting it out in the open from the start rather than springing it on them later on.

I'll also definitely look into the childminder option. In the longer term there may be a possibility of my mum helping out as I know she'd be keen but it would mean she'd have to move nearer to me. That's something she's been thinking about doing anyway but it wouldn't be something she could do at the drop of a hat.

cestlavielife Fri 27-May-11 12:57:23

would you have space for an au pair ?

MadeUpNameForAnonymity Fri 27-May-11 17:24:49

I don't think we could squeeze an au pair in here and I'd feel really uncomfortable about having a stranger living in my home.

america Fri 27-May-11 20:42:17

I think you should take the job, see how it goes and if it doesn't work out quit. I was made redundant and then dumped by my ex. DC are a lot younger than yours but I had to take a job and start rebuilding our lives. I have more disposable income, I am working on my professional pride and self esteem which are things I want to pass on to my DC. DC are at a nursery (I work 4 days a week) and seem to cope fine. This means that I have to spend every minute of my spare time with them and they even often sleep in my bed, but it's worth it. If you can work out the childcare, do give it a try. As others said, maybe try working from home in the evenings if you have to leave early. But do give it a try!

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