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I don't know if I'm a good enough parent to have another child(12 Posts)
I apologise if this is the wrong place to post.
I am 30 next year and have an 18 month old dd. We were fortunate to conceive quickly and have an easy pregnancy and birth (although a 3rd deg tear)
I love my little girl to pieces and have always dreamed/imagined I'd be a parent of 2. When growing up all I wanted to be was a SAHM I think because my mum was until I went to secondary school when she returned to train as a teacher.
However I have found being a parent really hard, harder than I thought and sometimes I'm not sure if I'm good enough to ever have another.
My husband is a teacher so is often busy and a huge amount of childcare and housework is on my shoulders. I work full time and my daughter is in nursery for long hours (7:30-5:30 mon-thurs, 7:30-3 fri)
I find life hectic and difficult and sometimes feel quite low about it. My parents and sister live far away and dhs parents are happy to help financially but rarely look after dd even if it's so we can do a big clean of the house. They have never and I expect will never change her nappy and have refused to have her overnight until she always sleeps through.
I know lots of people don't have someone who would take their child overnight but I know my parents would occasionally if we needed a break, but being so far from any emotional/physical support means I feel we never have a break (before anyone asks no we can't move closer to them as dh has written off the idea for numerous valid reasons)
I have started to dream of preparing for that 2nd child although have only been at a new job for 3 months and will wait until I've completed my 6 month probation at least (although I am not particularly happy in the job so wonder if I should try and find a new one and get that probation over with before ttc)
However without much support I feel I will be incapable of looking after another child. My parents are even visiting this weekend to help look after dd so we can do a spring clean as I feel that life has got on top of me.
I have to shower, clean, prep the next nights tea when dd goes to bed as otherwise I don't have the time, how would I fit these things in with a baby too without some extra help?
Does this mean I can't have another baby? I dont think our situation will ever change and I'd rather not have a huge gap between kids.
You're asking the wrong question Of course you're good enough to have another child. What you feel you're struggling with is the day to day practicalities, which is not the same thing at all.
Do you need to work full time? Could you perhaps ask to work 4 days a week, or find a new job where you can work 4 days?
Does your DH do anything at all around the house? Because you are both working full time, and being a teacher doesn't excuse you from your basic household responsibilities. Why can't he do some of the prep you're doing of an evening?
If you can't work part time, can you afford a cleaner? A regular 2 hrs a week can make a big difference as time goes on.
Can you afford a cleaner? And try simple meals that don't need any preparation? That would only leave you with having a shower after dds bedtime x
Thanks. I guess you are right that it's the practicalities. Dh has a lot of lesson planning and marking at the moment so can't help that much. While I am prepping meals and cleaning he is lesson planning. He has had new jobs each year since qualifying so has been unable to completely reuse things as each school has been different but hopefully over the next few years that will change. I want him to do more around the house and some weeks are better than others but he just hasn't reached that point yet. I try and do easy meals (slow cooker based) and have bought a new slow cooker with my Xmas money which I hope works better than my last as I used to have to pre boil all the veg.
We are on a budget so I don't know if we could stretch to a cleaner. Maybe we'd have to if we had another and that would be what made it possible. I guess the exhaustion is playing a huge part so would love a different job. I feel bad I'm only 3 months into my current one but the hours have been too much. I think I could reduce them where I am (maybe) but it would be the same work load into less time for less money.
When I went back to work in January we looked at part time but with nursery fees we would have been around £1500-£2000 worse off and we just couldn't afford it as dhs job wasn't secure (he has got a new one for Sept which should be permanent so maybe the next job I could look at 4 days)
How many 4 day week jobs are there though? I don't seem to see many around.
There are definitely some things to think about.
Also, any new baby would be minimum 9 months away, probably a year plus. Plenty of things could be different then. Your 18 month old will be 2.5 ish, and nearly eligible for the free nursery hours you get when they're 3yrs old. Would that help with the calculations?
Are you and your DH both using workplace childcare vouchers to pay for nursery? It gives you a tax saving which is helpful.
Is your DH primary or secondary?
Can you move closer to your parents? If he's a teacher, jobs are relatively easy to get at the moment.
My work doesn't do vouchers (dhs do) but they said they'd look into it when I agreed to the job. I haven't felt able to bring it up before as I had only just started but its something I plan to bring up at my review meeting (even if I might be looking into getting a 4 day week job instead) Husband teaches secondary science and has actually struggled to find work. There's lot of jobs out there but even more people wanting them. Thankfully he just got a new one which should be more long term. He won't consider moving for various reasons including its much much more expensive, and he has good friends where we are now. I'm not sure the being close to his family bothers him much.
That's a good point about free childcare from 3yrs. Id forgotten about that. Would possibly make it an option to get a cleaner once we had a second.
It shouldn't be a case of 'am I good enough?', but 'are we good enough?'. It sounds like your husband needs to pull his weight.
I am a teacher with quite a lot of responsibility. I work 4 days per week. I have a child your child's age and am pregnant. If I can do it he can! We have no family nearby, but my husband and I do equal amounts with the baby when he's awake. Once he's in bed I work and my husband does DIY or watches tv! I wouldn't expect him to do everything just because I'm a teacher. The housework is done in the mornings by me whilst my husband gets the baby fed and dressed.
It won't work if you carry on seeing parenting as your responsibility, but if you support each other you'll manage like many do.
Also, if he finds his job stressful and you find the parenting tough, could you consider shares parental leave next time, and could he go back part time afterwards?
The "free" hours from 3 yrs old (I think from the Sept after they turn 3) don't exactly make the childcare free but they should reduce the cost. You should have a look at your nursery's current policy on how they apply the free hours.
I used to be a secondary school teacher, full time, and then 3 days a week when I went back after ML. I do understand the pressure to mark and prepare lessons. But it should still be completely possible to get household stuff done between you.
I think shared leave might be something we would have to think about but I think he'd find staying at home harder than going to work and I'd miss spending time with my baby. He wouldn't enjoy parent groups and earn substantially more than me so it would possible strain our finances more.
I agree that he probably doesn't pull his weight enough, but I know he has definitely made progress from where he was. I guess I feel that if he is busy with school work then pulling him away will be detrimental to his work and therefore his students will suffer.
Dh is not a 'baby' guy. He loves being a dad and loves the toddler stage we are at now far more than the baby stage. He felt helpless and rather clueless. I know it would be different second time but I guess I just remember how hard it has been and wonder if we could cope a second time knowing we already have a little one.
The ideas are really helping me to focus my thoughts though and maybe trying to condense my workload and lighten the load will make me feel more confident as a parent and that I would be able to do it with 2.
Speaking as a recently ex teacher, I had a lightbulb moment where I realised that my child was more important to me than the children at school. My child deserved better, and that was a priority over the children at school. They deserved my best effort within reasonable working hours, but not every waking second of my life.
I'm a secondary school teacher and a mum.
Most of my colleagues are parents.
As PP have said, your dh still needs to pull his socks up, marking or not.
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