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If I'm honest I'm a fairly crap hands-on parent - incredibly impatient & easily bored, yet I'm currently totally lacking in ambition and unmotivated work-wise, what the hell to do, keep on the p/t vague career track and bring in the £ or chuck it all in and accept burn-out for a yr or so?

(12 Posts)
MissChief Wed 27-Aug-08 19:48:59

I realise this may sound a touch self-indulgent to some but I'm sure I'm not alone, just being very honest! I've done my time slogging workwise and am now totally lacking in ambition and find it hard to achieve all the tasks I'm set in my current role due to complete lack of focus, boredom, sense of pointlessness.

I have a fairly senior public sector role, huge time of change, team lost key members recently and we have no top-level direction. My post was hard-won though after I retrained while working and looking after a young baby at the time, working my way up with each job move as I then felt so driven to reach a senior level. Now I@m here it seems so meaningless and with family problems, a long commute, on-going insomnia to battle with it sometimes seems an achievement just to get in on time let alone do anyhting productive.

I'm on the verge of resigning but am aware that it could be "career suicide" if I do so. I'm also fearful of what life looking after 2 dcs would be like, I'm not a natural maternal type and seem to spend most of my time with them shouting instructions, counting to 10 (and counting down to when nursery/school opens, if I'm honest!)

So, after this ramble, my question is what to do, I'm (currently at least) a useless employee but I@m also a rather mediocre mother in terms of being hands-on. Would it therefore be wise to think twice about resigning? I would still be working p/t but locally and at a much lower salary. I might also study p/t. Yongest dc starts school next sept.

Elasticwoman Thu 28-Aug-08 09:08:23

Not self indulgent at all, MissChief. Something needs to change in your life because you're not happy either at work or at home. Too much on your plate maybe. Don't set such high standards for yourself - you don't have to be some smiling mum from the adverts - they don't exist. Conversation with my dc consists mostly of

tidy your room
wash your hands
don't tread in the poo.

I'm probably no better "hands on" than you are, but just more relaxed about it.

You sound very tense. I don't believe you're a mediocre mother - I think you're probably a good enough mother like most of us.

Do you get any 1:1 time with your dh/p if you have one? Any "me" time? Does he share the childcare responsibilities with you?

MrsMattie Thu 28-Aug-08 09:21:17

Totally identify with everything you've said. This was me 3 / 4 yrs ago

Don't resign..yet. Before things get to that stage, you need to talk through the situation in detail - I'd advise doing so with your DP firstly, then perhaps with a counsellor.

I know that sounds really 'touchy feely', but what you want to do is get to the bottom of what's making you feel so bored, dissatisfied, tired and hard on yourself (you're being very hard on yourself, btw!). Is it your job/career full stop? Is it a work-life balance thing? Or something else? It would be a shame to jack in your job if it's not actually your job that;s the main source of stress in your life...

I jacked in a senior job in the media for SAHM-dom because I was finding the whole balancing act a nightmare, knackering, soul destroying and pretty bloody boring. I don't regret it - but I can say that now, 3 yrs later, after many twists and turns and attempts at different solutions (p/t work, freelance work, a false start in retraining to do something completely different....)
Being an SAHM was the best of a crappy bunch of options, really. i don't know what I could or should have done differently, but I do know that a) being at home full time didn't suit me, and b) I have made it very difficult (not impossible, but hard) on myself if I wanted to return to such a senior position in the media again

So - not much to ease your confusion, I know (sorry!), but ..

Get some help working things out in your head. Don't make a panic move. Consider all your options.

Good luck!

MissChief Thu 28-Aug-08 09:22:41

thanks for your kind words, ew. Yes, am v tense - Iknow something needs to change and am doing constant lists of +ves/-ves of this, that and the other of my life, rather doing my head in! Stuck in paralysis of indecision which is also irritating. I feel that if I were "good at" at least one side of my life - mother/employee, then I'd be happy just to get by in the other. it's buggering up them both which makes me feel so crappy.

MrsMattie Thu 28-Aug-08 09:23:34

Oh, and remember - if you are feeling frazzled and at breaking point, negotiate some extended leave, even sick leave if you have to.. You may just be feeling burnt out and need some time to recharge your batteries.

MissChief Thu 28-Aug-08 09:29:47

thanks, MrsM - does sound like you were in the same boat as me, so appreciate your words of wisdom! I have spoken about this situation to people - dh is talked out on the subject and just wants me to make a decision and stick to it, have spoken also to a counsellor (well, a few months ago) as well as to any friend who will listen! Also have already taken sick leave and don't want to do so again unless things again reach breaking point, something I'm desperate to avoid.

MissChief Thu 28-Aug-08 09:30:59

thanks, MrsM - does sound like you were in the same boat as me, so appreciate your words of wisdom! I have spoken about this situation to people - dh is talked out on the subject and just wants me to make a decision and stick to it, have spoken also to a counsellor (well, a few months ago) as well as to any friend who will listen! Also have already taken sick leave and don't want to do so again unless things again reach breaking point, something I'm desperate to avoid.

Ripeberry Thu 28-Aug-08 09:45:05

You need to sit down and make a list!
All the good and bad points of carrying on with this particular career and also all the good and bad points of being a SAHM or even a WAHM.
What do you want to do with your life?
Earn more money? Get higher in your profession? OR have a better quality of life? See the children grown up? Shock horror have some time to yourself?
As others have said you have lots on your plate, things are moving on at work and maybe this could be your golden moment to change your life.
I've always used gut feelings for work and home life and it's not let me down yet!
Just take a chance! smile

ranting Thu 28-Aug-08 09:51:09

Well as one who quit a decent job to be a SAHM with my second and is now working part time in the same sort of job I was doing at the age of 19, I think you should hold fire on the quitting your job and reassess what it is you want to do in the long term.

Although that is probably going to stretch your time a bit, it will at least give you something to aim for and a bit of hope. And then you can make a firm decision whether you want to quit or not.

MatBackFack Thu 28-Aug-08 09:58:00

I really identified with your post - you try to keep them all juggling so you dont really have time to be good at either. I have gone the "compromise" route too - kept the job but 4 day week and much crappier stuff and virtually no career progression - but the same salary. It is very hard not to get depressed and demoralised at this situation but I just try and see it as short term and am trying to do other things for myself eg thinking about starting a business, writing a book etc. To be honest though I am just flailing around like everyone else.

MissChief Thu 28-Aug-08 10:04:41

flailing around is about right, mbf! Shame, isn't it? Rather a waste of talent and company investment if we all end up in low paid jobs for which we are hugely overqualified, simply because they are p/t!

I guess it#s time for me to take responsibility for the situation too though.

Ranting, sorryto hear about your job, you sound like you regret resigning?

ranting Thu 28-Aug-08 10:19:27

Nope, not really, it was a good job in terms of cachet and pay but it was not really my dream job. I am working on thatgrin. But I couldn't go back to it as I wasn't formally qualified (I'd worked my way up) and those sort of skills date anyway.

What is a bit of a devil now, I find is that I can't find a full time job in a different sector that pays aswell as the current part time job I'm doing. So I need to work out pretty quickly what I want to do, what training I need to get to achieve it etc. I am finding it a bit of a pita.

I just replied because I think you need to stock take a bit before you quit your job, it is easier to get another job if you already have one.

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