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Working or staying at home

(10 Posts)
sunshinemeg Mon 17-Feb-14 10:35:53

I am posting this here and in education as I am a teacher.

I am due to give birth this week, and last night was discussing return to work with OH.
I have requested that my school gives me a 4 day a week timetable, but have told OH that I want our DD to be in child care on the 5th day so that I can spend it catching up on marking and planning. I envisage needing to stay at work until 5 every day, then home to DD. If I don't have the 5th day for work I would then have to spend from after dinner/bedtime until 10pm every night working. Plus time at the weekend. If I have the 5th day I won't need to do that more than occasionally.

DH says we can't do this as my salary would match child care costs. He says if that's the case I should give up work altogether.

What do I do?

fancyanotherfez Mon 17-Feb-14 10:42:22

I work on an hourly paid contract, 3 days a week. I have no M & P time when I am at school. That was my choice, but I am finding it very difficult. I have to do all the M & P at home as well as all the other nonsense admin stuff being demanded of us. Are you sure your salary won't cover childcare costs? For one child, it was about half my salary as a teacher. Some schools give their staff money towards childcare costs. Have you looked into childcare vouchers? Also, the pension is a benefit (which is still very good) that you won't get if you stay at home. I think you need to look longer term. Are you sure he would not just rather have you staying at home?

sunshinemeg Mon 17-Feb-14 10:58:09

That's some things we really hadn't considered, Thankyou!
The pension is important and I had totally forgotten about it! Same with the tax credits!
DH is very supportive, he would be happy for me to stay at work if it's something I wanted, but he knows how at times I struggle with the workload.
It is now something to reassess. Thankyou!!!

lechers Mon 17-Feb-14 11:19:51

I think you have to juggle your priorities, and decide whether you are looking at returning to teaching long term, and whether you are looking at long term or short term benefits.

Many of my teacher friends gave up after having DC. Some wanted to stay at home whilst their DC were small, but then returned to teaching when their DC started school. The downsides of this is that most of them have had to get full time jobs (part time hours that suit is rare), and this means that whilst they were there when the DC were small, they are now not there to pick their DC up from school, and have to miss key events like nativities, sports days etc... Other friends have not found it possible to get part time work, and so have gone into other related areas like tutoring, childminding and working as a TA instead.

However, I knew I wanted to remain in teaching, so kept working, but reduced my hours to a minimum when the DC were small. I initially went down to 2 days a week, and increased my hours annually as my children got older. Yes, initially it meant that I was away from the DC when they were younger, but I consider that to be balanced against the fact that I now have a job that works around my children. I'm still part time, but because I've been there a long time, I've always been able to submit my hours and as things like, I can't work Tuesday / Wednesday afternoons because I have to take my children to extra curricular activities. Also, being part time, I have always been able to juggle my hours so that I am there for key events like nativities etc. Having been there a long time and 'proved myself' my work are very good and let me have time off to take my daughter to her ballet exam etc...

Although it does mean that for a few years you are working for little / no money (although if you take a year's mat leave, and then use the free childcare from 3, this should only be 2 years), there are the non financial benefits to consider:

1. You are still contributing to your pension
2. It is only term time, you will have holidays (and if you can get a term time only contract, then you will not be paying out holidays)
3. You have already got the hours / goodwill of the school as and when you are ready to build up your hours again. It puts you in control, rather than the school.

I would say do keep an eye on the bigger picture. I think so many people focus so much on being there when their DC are little they forget that their DC still need them when they are older. Mine are 10 and 7 now, and I still work part time, because I feel they need to have me around after school, and I am able to juggle my hours so that I am around to take my DC to clubs / parties, help them with homework after school etc.

Obviously, you have to do what is right for you, and only you know what your long term plans are. But I would say that your children are only home all day for two short years, (taking away the years mat leave, and then free childcare), then they start going to nursery (when my DC did this, I worked mornings to work around their nursery hours), but they will need / want you around for another 10 years to come. This may seem a long way off, but it comes around quick and I think whilst the needs are different at the different ages, I wouldn't say that children need you any less when they are older, so you do have to factor that into the equation too.

lechers Mon 17-Feb-14 11:24:15

I'm working from the assumption that you as secondary, as you say a four day week timetable. If you're primary, then I think there is far less flexibility, and so the arguments may be different. grin

sunshinemeg Mon 17-Feb-14 12:03:29

Yes sorry, I am secondary.
I've been at the school 7 years so I am hopeful to them accommodating my request for part time, it's a lot to consider, but DH is very open to discussing it together, I may well get him to read these comments as they are very constructive so Thankyou.

fancyanotherfez Mon 17-Feb-14 12:42:30

Oh yes, I had forgotten about the part time advantage! This is a problem as far as I can see in many professional jobs, not just teaching that once you have given up a job, if you want to go back after having time off, you have to do it full time and wait until you are established to negotiate part time. I was on a full time contract before children, and was able to negotiate part time afterwards. My friend who left work is retraining after being out of the job market for 8 years. She is finding it incredibly difficult to get a part time job with no recent experience.

Rockchick1984 Mon 17-Feb-14 13:18:49

Can't you spend one day at the weekend doing your m&p, and your DH can take the baby for the day? I'm not a teacher but a few friends are and that's how all of them juggle things!

waterrat Mon 17-Feb-14 13:25:51

The childcare should be taken out if your joint income - your dh isn't suggesting that only your income is related to childcare is he? Keeping up a career isn't just about income in a particular year - you need to look at the bigger picture

Stopping work altogether is a big decision - but to b honest so is working full time while you have a small child

Could you work less than 4 days so you have a day with yor child?

Could your partner go part Time? You may both feel full time childcare is not what suits you or your child

sunshinemeg Mon 17-Feb-14 14:36:26

No DH isn't saying I will pay for it all, but when everything is joint money that's how it equals up.

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