My feed

to access all these features

Chat with other users about all things related to working life on our Work forum.


Returned to work - does it get any easier?

44 replies

oliveoil · 09/06/2003 11:47

I returned to work 7 weeks ago when my dd was around 5.5mths. First week was horrendous, bit better since, have good days and bad days. I do 4 days, and get home for tea etc which I know is more than some but I feel I am missing out big time on everything. I work in an office so I its not as if I will be giving up a huge career or anything. We could just about manage on my dh wage but would then be counting pennies and I reckon life would be a drudge and no fun. Can't make a decision and just see a stretch of crammed in weekends and sad Mondays ahead

OP posts:
griffy · 17/06/2003 09:57

I've been back at work since DS was 4 months, and work full time. He's 2.5 now. Everyone said that it would get easier - and of course it did. To start with it would break my heart to leave him in the mornings (I'd cry all the way to work after dropping him off), and I would literally run out of the office at nights to get to his nursery as soon as possible. As others have said, having good, reliable care is essential to your peace of mind.

On a practical level I thought it was very tough too. I found the hardest time was up to 1 year, since at night everything needed doing. Food preparation, bottles, sterilising, keeping everything ultra tidy and safe for the little crawler. And DS was never a sleeper - at that time he was still waking 4-5 times a night. When the bottles stopped at 12 months, though, and his waking reduced slightly, things began to get a bit easier.

I must say that now he has hit terrible twos, I feel rather guilty at the relief that I sometimes feel when I drop him off in the morning!!! And can't imagine how SAHMs cope with the pressure of dealing with their toddling loved ones full time. At the same time, I feel rather regretful that I have missed all that time with him when he was a beautiful baby.

Nobody ever said it would be easy... (perhaps I should have listened to them!). But rest assured all you new working mums, it WILL get easier.

emwi · 18/06/2003 23:13

I handed in my notice as a marketing manager shortly before finding out I was pregnant as I wasn't enjoying my job and wanted the summer off and we could afford it. I really enjoyed not working during the pregnancy. Just before dd was born we moved from London to the North East. DH works two days in London (staying overnight) in lucrative IT contract - couldn't have done it if we lived in London but cost of living much lower up north. Dh is around the rest of the week and takes equal shares in childcare. I have been a SAHM. DD now 7mo, we have just taken over running some holiday cottages from my parents who have retired. They live nearby and are delighted to get involved in looking after dd. DH is talking about packing the London job in and we could afford this but it would mean our income going down to about £15,000 a year - however, our accommodation is free, we don't need to spend much on clothes, we don't have to buy convenience food as we have time to do stuff like cook.

The point is that there is no point doing a job you don't really like that keeps you away from dd when you could be spending time with her and working out what you want to do when she goes to nursery - start training for something, work on some ideas you had for a business, whatever lights your fire. Think how much you spend on office clothes, lunchtime sandwiches, snacks to keep you going, commuting, ready meals, alcohol and treats to make you feel better - add it all up. Now work out what your income really is from this job. Is it still worth all the time you're giving it?

I personally think offices suck and I can't believe I spent 15 years of my life trying to fit into office life. Other people feel differently about this and that's fine. I'm glad I found out now so I have time to enjoy my new life.

oliveoil · 19/06/2003 15:52

My 3 day week has been okayed with people in my department BUT needs 'rubber stamping' at a meeting's hoping!

OP posts:
elliott · 19/06/2003 16:58

That's great - finger's crossed! I think you'll find it makes a big difference.

aloha · 19/06/2003 21:14

Oliveoil, I work three days and really do love it. I feel it's a good balance for me - I really enjoy being with ds, am really relaxed with him & go at his pace when I'm with him, his nanny takes him swiimming etc which I hate but he loves so it's the best of both worlds for me. I expect ds would like me around full time, but he doesn't really know what that would be like - no lovely trips to the Lido on sunny afternoons, no hours in the park etc. I work from home though, and really, really relish the solitude! Glad you got what you wanted. It seems these new rules are actually really working.

Wills · 19/06/2003 21:30

Oliveoil. When I first returned to work I did three months on three days a week and that was definitely the best. 3 days of being me and 3 days being mummy. However I do love my career/job and to progress I returned to 5 days. There are times when I seriously regret this and there are times when I love it. I'm not sure I could ever be a full time SAHM for many many reasons, however there are times when I seriously consider 3 days (although I have maternity leave about to start ). Do let me know how you find 3 days and whether that achieves the right balance for you

Batters · 20/06/2003 13:47

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SamboM · 20/06/2003 13:49

Wills, what were you on the 7th day (or did you rest)

Wills · 20/06/2003 14:48

Well spotted SamboM

oliveoil · 20/06/2003 15:54

Got my 3 day week starting August!!
Got to cover hols in July full time though.

Can't complain, v happy, there are some decent bosses out there after all!

OP posts:
emwi · 21/06/2003 19:14


badjelly · 23/06/2003 09:44

Well done! I'm sure you'll see the difference straight away.

Now just to figure out what I'm going to do - I took a sicky one day last week so I could spend a bit more time with dd, now I do feel like crap but have had to come into work as I'm so far behind with my workload!

princesspeahead · 23/06/2003 09:46

brilliant, olive oil, well done! now you are officially NOT working more days a week than you ARE - that's getting the work life balance moving in the right direction. congrats!

oliveoil · 23/06/2003 09:56

Badjelly, hope things work out for you, I really didn't think I would get a yes as I have only been here for a couple of months but they said they didn't want to lose me (head swells to alarming size)

OP posts:
badjelly · 23/06/2003 12:43

Thanks - Just Monday blues which I think are being made worse by me feeling like a big bag of baggy granny pants!

Baba · 23/06/2003 19:57

Don't worry OliveOil. I felt the same as you when I went first back to work but then I was introduced to something magical - working from home running my own part-time business but getting a full-time wage!!

Since then, I have never looked back, I get to see Joshua, my one-year old more than ever, I don't have to pay any childcare fees and I am happy and healthy as well!!

I am currently looking for three key people to join my team so if anyone wants to do something that will allow them to make choices for the first time, e-mail me on [email protected].

aaaj · 02/07/2003 20:45

oliveoil - wanted to say well done on getting your 3 days. i am just trying to put together a case to get my employer to agree to 3 days (with alot of help from mumsnet) - how did you play it? any tips?? i am so desperate for this to work but made the mistake last time of letting the stress get to me first and ended up taking a drop in status and salary. dont want the same thing to happen so i know i need to stay focussed on the childcare situation rather than the personal effect it is having on me. is this right - is that how you played it - does it matter?

oliveoil · 03/07/2003 12:57

aaaj - I work in a department of 3 so I emailed the 2 people I worked with before I went out for lunch so they could bitch/discuss my request freely.

When I got back they both said it was fine with them so I then emailed The Man Who Decides to request my 3 days and informed him that it would not affect my colleagues - this apparently was a plus point, as he did email them to ask their opinion, and I had all the answers for any hurdles he could think up. I also have to be flexible to cover hols, etc and as my MIL looks after my dd, its not a problem, would be if she was in nursery.

The company I work for has lots of parents who take time off all the time for their kids so reckon it is family friendly anyway, probably helped.

Not sure if this helps, good luck!

OP posts:
Northerner · 03/07/2003 14:35

aaaj, I also recently dropped my hours from full time down to 3 days. It has made a big difference to my life. Again I checked with my collegues first if they thought it would effect them in any way, then presented the case to my boss. I explained that I felt I would be more productive at work as I would be less stressed etc etc. I also explained that dh and I felt that to improve our quality of life I needed to only work 3 days, and if boss could not accommodate I would look elsewhere. (in a nice way though - don't want boss to think you are threatining him!!) It worked and I am a different woman!!!

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.