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I can't cope being full-time working mum, I am cracking up, but don't think there is any other way

(22 Posts)
roslily Tue 11-May-10 17:22:21

My ds is 8mo, I have been back at work full time since he was 6mo. I am a teacher, and a head of department in a secondary school.

I have suffered depression in past and been signed off with 2 significant periods of absence (about 6 weeks). I was diagnosed with PND and am on 60mg of Citalopram. I have an appointment with psych and end of may.

I have already had two periods (each 2 days) sick since returning. I am off this week as I had chest pains and significant sinisitus. But also as I felt so exhausted I couldn't go on.

I tried to work out if I could go part time, but dh says we can't afford it. He is now upset/angry as he feels he can't provide so that I can work part time.

I honestly feel like the best for everyone is for me to disappear. I would miss my ds so much, but I am not much good to him.

We can't remortgage as we are in negative equity, and we have a loan for home improvements that we need to cover.

I would happily rent, cut back etc, but not sure we would be able to sell house to cover mortgage.

God I am such a mess.

scurryfunge Tue 11-May-10 17:27:06

Sit down together and plan your future. Your peace of mind is far more important and if it means taking time off work until you have recovered, then so be it. It won't be impossible surely to reduce your hours to start with in a part time role? When you feel more up to it,you can also do a bit of supply to boost earnings but that will be when it's right for you.

whomovedmychocolate Tue 11-May-10 17:30:08

First of all, perhaps you should go back to your GP, your appt is too far away if things are reaching crisis point. I'm sorry you feel so down. Remember this is an illness. No-one should judge you for this - if you broke your leg people wouldn't judge, so they shouldn't judge you for this!

Secondly, do the sums again on cutting back, get some advice - can you take a mortgage holiday for a few months or anything? House prices are recovering slowly.

Please don't do anything silly, your DS and you DH need you and you will stop feeling like this.

belledechocolatefluffybunny Tue 11-May-10 17:34:06

I agree that you should pop and see your GP, get him/her to sign you off sick so you can have some time to rest.
The others are right, do your sums. If there's less money coming into the house then you may be eligible for tax credits which may help you financially.

Haggisfish Tue 11-May-10 19:56:30

Agree with seeing GP - six week periods off for depression is not significant! most docs will agree it takes, on average, about 6 months for bouts of depression to clear up (interestingly, they reckon with or without treatment).

Is there any way you could job share? It has been successfully done with HoD posts in secondary schools before.

have you thought about renting out your house to cover your mortgage and renting somewhere smaller?

Your Ds and hubby would be distraught if you disappeared - imagine how dreadful your other half would feel then!

roslily Tue 11-May-10 20:04:44

I don;t think renting in this area would cover our mortgage, as rent is so much lower than a mortgage.

My school won't contemplate jobshare for TLR posts. They also won't allow part time for TLR posts, so I would be giving that up too.

On paper our outgoings are £2300, plus £300 for childcare if I worked 3 days a week. So we should be able to do it, and yet we can't seem to do it now on much more than that.

Dh is now very stressed about money and making me ill.

I have started drinking now, which never helps./

minipie Tue 11-May-10 20:21:21

Is it working full time in itself that is causing the stress, or is it that particular job do you think? (i.e. too overloaded/staff politics/etc)

If it's the latter, then longer term, could you consider looking for other schools?

Short term though you need to protect your health - please see your doc.

roslily Tue 11-May-10 20:25:21

I am not sure. It isn't helped at the moment with me not teaching my specialism, due to me coming back from maternity. I have a very difficult relationship with my line manager, which doesn't help.

The problem is a new school means starting over with the kids, all that stress of a new school.

Generally the school is good a supportive, but lately it has become ridiculous with paperwork and stress.

mummytime Tue 11-May-10 20:44:20

Contact the teacher support network England - 08000 562 561. That is what they are there for. Everyone moans about the paperwork and stress, there was even a thread about it being worse this year (on the TES website).
What about cutting hours and doing some tutoring? Its better paid.
Also try to talk to a CAB debt adviser.

Good luck.

ohsomuchtodo Tue 11-May-10 20:53:50

Hiya. I can relate to your post, Roslily as I am a teacher too. Best thing for my pnd was being signed off long-term. A good gp will recognise the huge stresses involved in our job and understand that you just can't do it well - or at all - if you're not firing on all cylinders. You'll get up to 6 months paid sick leave, depending on how long you've been there. My advice? Teaching is one of the most emotionally draining jobs there are and also one that you can feel so guilty about having time off from. Put yourself and your family first; see your gp and be honest about how you're feeling and use your time off to rest and make some enquiries to see what tax credits your dh could claim if you went part time. We're actually no worse off me being part time than if I was full time and we were paying for ft nursey costs, because tax credits help a lot. Personally I wouldn't move schools as it takes ages to build your reputation as a teacher, learn how the school operates etc... hope that helps a little. Keep posting and good luck x

ohsomuchtodo Tue 11-May-10 20:57:13

... also, the best thing I ever did for my stress levels was to give up my TLR post.. could you do that and go part-time? Are there any relatives about who can have dh to save on nursery costs?

tootootired Tue 11-May-10 21:13:07

You have quite a lot on your plate here - your work, your DH and the not insignificant challenge of working full time with a small dependent baby. There's a good reason a lot of mums work p-t: many of us simply don't manage to stretch our resources to running a full time job, family and household, especially if there is financial worry, illness and not much help.

Things are not going to get any better unless you and your DH create some space to address them - your budget/money management (there is nearly always a way, but it takes time, effort and control), your health and your relationship generally.

So your DH doesn't think he's working to support his family then hmm - so why get married and have a baby? Were you the main breadwinner? Does he help around the house? Is he self employed or have an unreliable income (this was a big stress for my DH even though in hindsight we did manage while I was on ML).

I would really suggest you investigate going P-T for 12 months initially : you won't go bankrupt in that time and you might actually get things together a bit. It's not the answer to everything but it does give you a bit of breathing space.

Good luck and DON'T go disappearing smile you are worth a lot more than that.

roslily Tue 11-May-10 21:13:59

Thanks. Will talk about dropping TLR. My biggest worry is that they won't replace me (small department) and I will end up doing the same job but with no money. It is a start.

Just had a good old sob on dh. He doesn't know what to do, wants to fix things. He wants to know what is causing it, but he can't understand that it is just something in my head.

roslily Tue 11-May-10 21:18:05

Tootootired- no he is upset that he can't provide enough for me to be able to go part time. I am the main breadwinner. His job isn't that unreliable. He helps around house, and with ds.

He is really worried about me.

Caz10 Tue 11-May-10 21:21:02

I feel your pain, also a teacher, went back when DD was 9mths. Have now dropped to 4 days, which means we still manage financially (DH in low-ish paid public sector job, at 5 days working I was the main earner but not by much). I can't stress how much better the extra day off makes it - is that a possibility? Sadly you DO end up doing 5 days work, but I do the extra when DD is in bed and really enjoy my 3 days with her.

Why do you feel like you are no good to your DS, are you feeling bad about being at work so much? If so, honestly, just one day has made a huge difference to my guilt/peace of mind, and we can still scrape by (just!)

amidaiwish Tue 11-May-10 21:22:14

you have an 8 month old baby and working ft in a stressful job, and are on medication for depression. no wonder you feel like it is all too much, it is.

do what you have to do to get through the next short period of your life
- get signed off for a period to allow you to recover/re-group
- switch to interest only mortgage to give you some breathing space
- investigate pt work/hours/pay

you can always go back to ft when your ds is in school, it is so so hard looking after a baby (which is what your ds is) and working. but it is just a short period in your lives where you need to make some adjustments, urgently. You can always resume a year, two, three down the line.

i find remembering "it's not forever, just for now" a very helpful little phrase!

tootootired Tue 11-May-10 21:28:53

You two stick together and you will be fine <hugs>.

There is no shame in dropping a few responsibilities while your DS is little. Try not to worry about the long term future.

Not sure what else to add but I think if you can just take the pressure off a bit, you will be able to work through the other things.

didgeridoo Tue 11-May-10 23:14:41

Roslily, I too hit a point in my life when I seriously believed my family would be better off without me. This is very dangerous territory & you simply can't go on like this. You MUST make dh listen & take you seriously. You say you've started drinking as well which worries me even more. I think you need to explore any possibilities that would take the pressure off you, such as speaking to your mortgage & loan providers to see if they can reduce the monthly payments (even if it means taking longer to pay it off). Your job is obviously a major factor in your problems so I would consider other options. What about childminding, as you are obviously good at working with children? Or perhaps part time tutoring in the evenings instead of working all day every day? I don't know if my suggestions are any good but I really hope they help.

seashore Tue 11-May-10 23:25:25

Hi, I think didgeridoo's advice is really good. I'm sorry I don't have any to add but I just wanted to say that lots of us have been there with regards feeling not being much good for dc when times are tough. But it's not true, all they want is you, it doesn't matter to them if you are in top form or not, they still want you, and you can do it.

I've been going through some hard times lately and I'm using hypno cds for self esteem and confidence issues, maybe you should try them, at least it's 40 mins of relaxation and that's got to help.

I really hope things get better for you.

ASmallBunchOfFlowers Tue 11-May-10 23:26:57

Hello Roslily. I think we met a while ago in the one child tea room (I'm a frequent name-changer).

I'm sorry to hear you're having such a grim time. All the advice here - especially about going back soon to your GP - sounds excellent to me. I also wondered whether your union could help? They must have advised lots of other teachers facing similar problems and stresses and might have some suggestions for you.

All the best. Come and have a cuppa in the tea room if ever you've got a minute.

Ellokitty Wed 12-May-10 20:23:06

I'm a part time teacher, and so I fully understand the stresses and strains of teaching and having children!

I totally agree with giving up the management responsibility when you have children. I did, and now think that the money you get totally does not justify the extra hours that it takes.

Also, to help with money - have you thought about exam marking? I do a fair bit, and find the money really helps to pay for things (if nothing else, to clear credit card debts, Christmas etc - it totally takes the stress away from saving for those things).

Also, perhaps you could look at the child care you use. I swapped from a nursery to a childminder a few years ago - I now have a term time only contract, save money and actually get better care (my childminder is amazing grin).

If your hubby earns less than you then if you go part time, then you may be entitled to tax credits you are currently not entitled to. Its not much, only about £40 a month - but I didn't get them when I worked full time, but do now I work part time.

Finally, are you at the top of your payscale yet? I always find I could cope with the hardship when I knew my salary would go up in September and it was only for X months.


Toughlove69 Mon 15-Aug-16 20:17:52

Did your husband ever step up? Did he get a better job? Or did you have to completely fall apart for him to see you needed him to get a better job
And bring more support?

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