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Potential New Big Job ... Would I cope, am I mad to even consider it??

(7 Posts)
justwantaquietlifeplease Tue 13-Sep-16 21:21:03

Hi everyone,

Quick background. Separated about 18 months ago. Coping (just) financially) but ex continually threatening to reduce maintenance and he's within his (legal) rights to do so as he's currently paying more than he has to. I currently work 4 days but have a lot of flexibility. Children are 7 & 10. Ex has minimal / no involvement with them during the week, so can't ask for help here. My current role however is more junior than some I've done in the past. Have applied for a much more senior role in another company which would pay lots more.

My question is really as per the title ... Would I cope, am I mad to even consider it??

- Increased salary so moving towards better financial independence. I hate my financial position being subject to the whims of my ex and the current govt's position on support for working parents.
- Positive role model for my kids as they grow up

- Loads more childcare would be needed, eating into extra money earned. Realistically, would prob need to find someone to look after kids at home most days after school, and no idea how hard this is to find
- Would prob lose all tax credits
- No idea how I'd cope with house stuff - cleaning, laundry etc etc
- See kids less - would they be sad?
- Increased stress, as this would be a big move up job wise
- New company, so no history to fall back on
- Family distant, so can't help day to day
- Less time to myself

Does anyone have any experience of this type of dilemma, who could share any wisdom with me.

I would be very grateful for any opinions / advice.


WearingFuckMeSocks Tue 20-Sep-16 23:45:28

I'm afraid I don't have wisdom to add, but I'm in a very similar position to you. Been working part time on barely above minimum wage since split with ex 3 years ago, he pays the princely sum of £10 per week for 11 yr old DS & 8 yr old DD.

More money would be lovely, as my savings are slowly but surely dwindling and I'm running out of things to sell, but like you I wonder how I'd manage with house-work and childcare if I worked full time hours. I barely cope with housework now tbh, and frankly there aren't enough hours in the day. And I'd see less of the children, which as they're both a little unsettled with their Dad at the minute wouldn't be great.

I suppose if you earned a lot more then childcare would be more affordable, and you could always get a cleaner in to help with housework? The other alternative to consider is an au pair. I had one for a couple of summers, back in the day when I had money, and it was mostly great, if slightly stressful.

The upside of an au pair is not only that they take care of the kids during both term and school holiday time, they also help with housework. If you can cope with sharing your house with someone else, then I would recommend it - both of the young women that we had were great. And at a cost of about £100 per week would prob cost less than childcare + cleaner.

The downsides would be that you may end up with an au pair that is worse than useless (I'm sure there are plenty of horror stories on here!) and you do have to be comfortable sharing your house with someone who isn't family.

Not sure I have much to add - I hope someone with more experience comes along soon smile

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 21-Sep-16 07:29:12

Yes you would cope. Au pairs are s huge help even the crap ones. I started in your position when DD was eight that four and half years has gone very fast. Now we don't need an AP and our standard of living etc much better for taking the plunge.

Justwanttoweeinpeace Wed 21-Sep-16 07:47:28

Try it. Give it six months at least. How else will you know?

It will be hard now, but if it leads to promotion / a pay rise / flexibility in hours or location, will it be perfect later?

tooearlyforwinestill Wed 21-Sep-16 14:24:09

Glad you are coping so well so far (it's rubbish isn't it). Agree that the only way to find out about the job is to try it.

If it helps to share my experience - my EXH left 4 years ago, my kids were a fair bit younger than yours then. I didn't feel I had much choice as working FT was the only way I could keep our house so I went from 3 days a week to 5 in a fairly stressful job.

I use before and after school clubs and also have a few parents I know who will help with kids at the same school just in case I get stuck on the motorway (do lots of travelling so it occasionally happens). Also used the extra £ to get a cleaner 2 hours a week which is a massive help if you can afford it. Am dead organised - washing on set days of the week, ditto ironing, several sets of uniform, calendar has EVERYTHING written on it, do batch cooking and freeze etc. Also do some play dates at the weekend in school holidays and some other of my DC's friend will have mine on a weekday in return.

I won't lie, some days are a bit stressful but the DC are OK and accept this is how things are and the financial freedom away from reliance on ex makes it worth it for me. As the kids have got older it's got easier in a lot of ways and although they don't spend much time with their dad I have managed a tiny social life.

Good luck if you decide to go for's been hard but I don't have any regrets

MrsNuckyThompson Wed 21-Sep-16 14:26:22

You WOULD cope. I would do this. It will be stressful, but why the hell should you hold yourself back on the whims of your ex??

An au pair is great value childcare option if you have room, but you could also consider childminders etc.

What's the worst that can happen? It doesn't work out, it's all too hard so you go back to the way things are now!

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Wed 21-Sep-16 14:35:11

It sounds as though you owe it to yourself to give it a go. If it's what you want smile.

An au pair may be the best way of getting both help around the house and someone to collect the DCs from school and watch them until you get home.

They are old enough to not require intensive childcare (as opposed to a baby or pre-schooler), so long as they are in the care of a responsible adult whilst you're out. This, and the fact you would appreciate the help with domestic chores, seems to point to an au pair being a better choice than a nanny.

You would probably still need to send the DCs to some activities during school holidays, to give the au pair some child free time to do her other chores aswell as some time off/free time. She (or he) would still be on hand to drop off & pick up from the activities though.

Best of luck flowers.

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