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Not sure whether to give up work completely

(31 Posts)
monkies Thu 20-Feb-14 20:35:58

I know this will irritate some, as it would have done me a year ago but here I am anyway. I have a 3 yo son and 1.5 yo girl. I HAD to go back to work after 4 months with both and have resented it ever since. I was so lucky that my mum could and wanted to look after them. Seeing my misery, hubby got on it, did a full time conversion degree in 2 years while working full time and bagged himself a much better job so that we could afford for me to be with the kids more.
So, now I can quit but, guess what? I'm not sure. My job is rewarding and fulfilling and not too stressful most of the time. It is school hours and term time only. I would never get this job back if I left and had a change of heart. I'm thinking that long term I want to be able offer my kids the chance do a lot of travel and activities ...etc and the money and hours would be good for that. I am also worried that I will lose all sense of myself if I give up work which I know is sad but true, so I can't escape it. Hubby doesn't really mind either way as long as I'm happy. I miss my kids like mad but I do find being with them both, full time, hard work because they have such different needs.
I guess I just want a bolt form the future to tell me how I'll be feeling in ten year's time with either choice because I can't seem to get any perspective on this and I am going round in circles. Part time is a possibility but it would be a massive demotion in career terms.

Awakeagain Thu 20-Feb-14 20:39:21

Deleted what I had written bit shock
Keep the job, make the most of the time you can spend with them - if you like the job when they are at school/nursery you may find yourself twiddling your thumbs and feeling hmm

scurryfunge Thu 20-Feb-14 20:42:07

I had the opportunity to give up employment completely when DS was small but I chose to carry on because I enjoyed my job and the extras my wage brought in. I was bored senseless even on maternity leave and do not regret maintaining my career. DS is now nearly twenty and I am glad I still have a purposeful career. I would be twiddling my thumbs by now if I had opted out of employment with little hope of resumiyardy years down the line. You do what's best for your self esteem and your family.

Minnieisthedevilmouse Thu 20-Feb-14 20:42:17

I'm a sahm. I would give everything for a job that you describe. I cannot tell you how rare they are.

I think it's natural to always worry what if. If you wake up in the morning and like it if stick with it. Jack it in the moment you stop. Whatever age they are. Then it's the right time.

Pagwatch Thu 20-Feb-14 20:42:51

Go back to work and see how it goes.
If you then feel strongly that you both would prefer for you to have a longer break you can do it.
It will give you time to maybe put some savings away or top up your pension in case you interrupt your career later.

scurryfunge Thu 20-Feb-14 20:43:08

*resuming it

SunnyRandall Thu 20-Feb-14 20:43:15

I think you know the answer. You don't want to give up your job. So don't. If you change your mind in six months you can always do it then.

School hours term time only jobs are surely the holy grail for working parents once dc are at school.

Am a bit envy tbh.

MeMySonAndI Thu 20-Feb-14 20:47:13

Don't quit, you like the job and the job is a big part of who you are.

It is not true that children need you the most when they are young. They need you the most when they are teenagers. If I could turn the clock back I would not have taken time off to stay with DS. It is the only decision I regret in my life, because by doing so I put myself in a very vulnerable position, and compromised DS' future for ever, as my very child oriented family man ex husband, turned his back in his own child a short time after meeting his new partner. The full responsibility of keeping a roof over our heads is now mine, I have 2 jobs now, I'm always tired and couldn't dream of working less hours because I was never was able to go back to the level of salary I had before I stopped working.

monkies Thu 20-Feb-14 21:38:28

Thank you, all of you. That is so helpful to hear. I have been beating myself up, feeling terrible for having second thoughts because surely every mother wants to be with her kids... but I also want what's best for them and I'm not sure that's me all day everyday. I'm so grateful... I think I was expecting a lot of abuse because I know I'm incredibly lucky to have the choice. I will take your advice, knowing that at some later point, maybe when they actually start school or become teenagers, that I could drop back and be more present for them. Thanks.

PumpkinPie2013 Fri 21-Feb-14 08:33:03

Glad you're feeling better and please don't feel bad. Young children are lovely but very hard work - you probably get a rest at work lol smile

My mum always worked and has always admitted that she just wasn't cut out to be a sahm. However, she was (and still is) a brilliant mum and we've all grown up into happy, independant adults.

I have one ds who is 12 weeks old and I adore him with all my heart. Love spending time with him but I will return to ft work in late Aug (I'm a teacher so also term time).

I enjoy my job and think it will be good for me to continue and the nursery we have chosen for ds is amazing so I feel confident that he'll have a great time there.

I did a KIT day last week and actually really enjoyed it. I missed my ds loads and once I'd finished couldn't wait to get home for cuddles but just having an adult conversation, using my skills and finishing a hot cup of coffee was great!

I know I could reduce my hours if I ever needed too which is very lucky so I'm going to give it a go from Aug to Christmas and then if I feel differently I'll look at changing things.

WoodBurnerBabe Fri 21-Feb-14 08:44:09

God, please keep the job! I would kill for hours like that. Could you bank the money you make and live of your DH salary alone for a few months to see if it isctuly doable? If it isn't, you'll still have the job - if it is, you'll have a nice savings account!

You don't sound like you want to stop work - I love the balance of working part time, my kids are amazing but I get a lot of intellectual and professional satisfaction from what I do that makes me a better parent (some of the time!)

My childcare bill is currently around 70% of my take home and commuting accounts for most of the rest sad

Christmascandles Fri 21-Feb-14 08:51:12

Morning monkies

I could type a huge long reply to you, based on my experience, but I won't, I'll just say, don't give up your job.....

You're with them during the holidays and when they go to school you'll be there after school etc too.

You don't know what is round the corner, if for whatever reason you needed to go ft it will be so much easier to secure another role if you are currently working, rather than going from being a sahm.

Please don't feel guilty, don't give up your job.....

Ragwort Fri 21-Feb-14 08:56:08

I am another one who says 'don't give up your job'. I loved being at home with my child, had loads of interesting and fulfilling voluntary work to do but our circumstances changed drastically and trying to get a job in your mid 50s with a few years out of the work place is no easy matter. sad.

(Actually, good news is that I have just got a part time job - but the salary is less than 50% of what I was earning before children - not even allowing for inflation - but it is something smile.)

monkies Fri 21-Feb-14 22:45:59

Thanks again!
Pumpkinpie - enjoy while it lasts! I remember expressing in the staff loos during the day after I went back... horrid but got through it. I kept giving myself these little deadlines like you are and I guess it worked for me.

Nice idea woodburnerbabe, but my childcare bill is £30k+ so there won't be any savings until the free nursery hours kick in! I think you are right though, that work can make you a better parent if you feel good about it.

Thanks also, christmascandles... I think you know what I mean about that 'now what? ho hum..' moment when a whole day of rain and a toddler indoors stretches out before you.

Congratulations Ragwort! You have a lot of happy memories as well as a new job!

I'm so glad I tried this out - not a MN regular - but it has been amazingly helpful to get some impartial advice. Thanks.

WoodBurnerBabe Sat 22-Feb-14 11:01:24

Ah, I thought I'd read that your mum looked after them. That is one hell of a childcare bill!

Rangersandfairys Sat 22-Feb-14 11:17:22

Im a SAHM. Im both grateful for this, love it even when I have some really shitty or boring days. I wouldn't want to have missed this very short and fast time in their lives.

Why can't you pick this kind of job up later? Is that absolutely the case that there is no chance of you doing this ever again?

If that is the case, keep the job. I don't know if you can reduce the hours? That would be ideal.

I do think full time working mums are missing out on so much and I feel for them from that point of view. In saying that, I certainly wouldn't give up any chance of doing a career I love and couldn't get back.
You have a life too and they will be busy at school, activities and with friends before you know it - then what, if you couldn't do your job again?

So if it was me and I have grasped all the facts right, then i'd keep the job. Good luck.

Chunderella Sat 22-Feb-14 18:01:33

It doesn't sound like you actually want to give up working OP. You've given no reasons at all in favour of it, only said you can afford it. Nothing wrong with being a SAHP if you want to and it works for your family, or even if you don't want to but have no choice in the matter. But there's no rule saying you've got to be one if your other half earns enough!

Melonbreath Sun 23-Feb-14 10:40:18

Personally I would take the temporary career demotion and go part time. It wouldn't be forever. But as everyone says a term time job is like gold dust and you wouldn't necessarily find another one.

plantsitter Sun 23-Feb-14 10:44:42

If you are not sure, don't give it up. Give it up when you are sure (which will be never, especially by the time you get to the end of the summer holidays grin).

Angloamerican Sun 23-Feb-14 16:16:10

You'd be insane to give up a job like that. Push any "guilt" aside (although why you feel that way, I don't know!) and carry on. You won't regret it!

apermanentheadache Sun 23-Feb-14 16:54:52

It might help to bear in mind that working mums are the norm in many other countries. And that men generally do not have this massive guilt about working: it's just how it is. I would say: be strong, do what is right for you and your family, and not what you feel is expected of you.

Like others have said, you can always revisit your decision 3,6,12 months down the line.

LauraBridges Sun 23-Feb-14 17:02:35

Well it's £15k childcare per parent not £30k she pays. Children have two parents! Full time nursery in London will be £14k per child (or a nanny about £30k including tax and employer NI) so that is about the cost but look forward. I carried on full time work when our first three were new born 1 and 3 and now it has really paid off. My income is pretty high, they all went to good fee paying schools, they have graduated debt free - all because I worked. The fact I changed 4 nappies a day for each one rather than 24 made no difference at all to our relationship.

Keep working.

Chunderella Sun 23-Feb-14 17:05:58

They probably won't even need full time childcare anyway. Some CMs do term time hours so that might be an option. And presumably the 3 year old will be in school or nursery school sooner rather than later.

MeMySonAndI Sun 23-Feb-14 21:06:01

Yes, and if you are paying such amount it would make sense to get a nanny for a while (you can nanny-share if it needs be)

Chunderella Mon 24-Feb-14 09:52:42

Also if the 3 year old isn't getting the 15 hours just yet, presumably he will do in the very near future- I know some places only offer it from the start of the term immediately following the child's birthday. And the 18 month old isn't too far from hers either. The childcare position is likely to be really different by the end of next year. Which is not so far away.

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