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  1. #1
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    Default Will I regret it forever?

    Ok this might be a long post. Thanks to anyone who reads and contributes.

    DS is seven months in a couple of days. I formally took 12 months off so theoretically shouldn't have to go back until May but I'm the main breadwinner so being a SAHM permanently isn't an option without drastic changes (sell the house, downsize everything, move to the country etc).

    Like a lot of mums my role has been made redundant while I've been on maternity leave (surprise surprise). My boss really likes my work though and would keep me if he could, but I can't foresee there being a role I want and I was previously working from home whereas I can't imagine that would continue. So for the time being assume I don't have a full or part time job to go back to.

    I currently have enough in the bank saved up that I could stay off work till May but then we'd have no buffer financially.

    There are a number of good full time jobs going currently, which would be great next steps career wise and good money, and good maternity leave pay for bub #2 which we'd hopefully start trying for by this time next year (shhh don't tell anyone).

    So here's the thing. If I went back to work full time in February instead of holding out till May when there may not be as good job opportunities?

    Should I be steadfastly looking for part time and just reconciling myself to letting career ambitions go?

    Right now the thought of my beautiful beautiful boy spending even an hour with someone other than me absolutely breaks my heart. But I'm in this ****ty position where I'm both mum and the breadwinner...

    DH works but his industry pays very low compared to me. He could potentially look after DS a few days a week or even full time (assuming we got past some issues he has currently coping with frustration), and I've secured some childcare and on waiting lists for others.

    My fear is I will forever regret missing out on time with my baby while he is so little still. I can never get that backs

    But if I don't take something in feb I'm scared I'll end up having to go back to work anyway to something that's not fulfilling and will feel totally not worthwhile for missing out on time with DS.

    If I get one of these jobs I'll try to negotiate a day or two working from home, and I'll continue to cosleep and try to keep the breastfeeding going. Is there anything else I can do to try and reduce the impact on my bond with DS?

    I'm mostly hoping at the moment I don't get interviews so I can say well I tried but it wasn't meant to be.

    Thoughts? Advice? I love my little man so much and I'm torn between being his mummy and being a good breadwinner. Ideally I'd be off work again with a second baby around the time he's two and the plan would be to earn more/adjust our finances so the next break I can take two years off or a bit more.


    Will I regret it? Should I just say to heck with it and spend all the money down to the last dollar so I can stay home a few months extra? Should we downsize everything so I can be a SAHM and a part time waitress? Should I just suck it up and find a way to cope with being a working mum, knowing I'm doing the best thing financially for my family?

    I gotta say feminism really sux right now. Ever since DS was born I have such a strong sense of mortality and life being short and I don't want to waste a second but I also can't help but want to be smart about things.

  2. #2
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    I've answered this question on previous threads and my view never changes. When I had DD1 I was the main b/w. I knew I could never return to FT work so we either downsized or DH had to step up change jobs and improve his financial prospects.

    Which is what he did. I still work and always have but never more than 3 days a week. I have to be home more than not.

    I would have down sized and moved before working full time. I just wouldn't have coped being away from DD1 full time.

    Can your DH improve his financial position?

    I would not go broke to stay at home. I have to have a financial buffer

    I'm just incredibly fortunate it worked out for us, but I've sacrificed my career as a result.

    To me feminism isn't about having it all, but about having choices, and sometimes it really sucks having to choose.

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    Janesmum123  (22-12-2015)

  4. #3
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    Default Will I regret it forever?

    @ScubaGal I don't know you but what I've read on here I think you would hate working full time and leaving your boy.

    My fear was I would grow to resent DH if I had to work full time. And I knew that would be a recipe for disaster for us.

  5. #4
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    Thanks @Sonja
    DH would have to completely retrain to earn more. If I was to work full time he's agreed to study so he can improve his financial contribution but he'd need to take the time to get a new qualification. :-/

    Ps I was being a little bit sarcastic about feminism - it's great women have more choices etc etc but I just feel like we still haven't gotten the mix right in terms of supporting women to both work and be mothers.

    I feel like in ten years will be when I will really want to kick @rse career wise but to still be in the game I can't just totally downsize and then expect to come back again. The only reason I'd even consider full time is that it would sort of set me up for the future and one of the new job options would at least be more worthwhile than staying with my current employer.

    It seems financially and career wise to be prudent to go back full time and try to negotiate some days working from home each week, I've at least got form in working well that way, and then get UTD as quickly as possible to be back on leave but honestly I just feel like hiding away with my baby. He's so lovely and happy and id hate to jeopardise that.

    I feel like I am catastrophising it a little bit. Or maybe not. Motherhood really does totally change you that much is true.

    Waaaah. I wish the decision was out of my hands. Maybe if I get interviews I'll burst into tears and no new employer will touch me with a ten foot pole and then I can shrug and say oh well I tried.

  6. #5
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    There really isn't an easy answer and I watched my career die after I had kids.

    But life is strange and 10 years on I find myself in an entirely different place career wise. I still work in law but not in a major law firm. I've found a niche area I can work part time and on my own terms. And still feel I am making a contribution and getting ahead, but just on a different path.

    Good luck finding an answer. The thing to remember is even if you do go back full time it's not an irreversible decision. I knew many women who did it and hated it, so changed their lifestyle as they knew what they wanted after giving it a try. I'm a pretty firm believer life usually has a way of working these things out for us.

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    ScubaGal  (22-12-2015)

  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonja View Post
    There really isn't an easy answer and I watched my career die after I had kids.

    But life is strange and 10 years on I find myself in an entirely different place career wise. I still work in law but not in a major law firm. I've found a niche area I can work part time and on my own terms. And still feel I am making a contribution and getting ahead, but just on a different path.

    Good luck finding an answer. The thing to remember is even if you do go back full time it's not an irreversible decision. I knew many women who did it and hated it, so changed their lifestyle as they knew what they wanted after giving it a try. I'm a pretty firm believer life usually has a way of working these things out for us.
    Those are really great points. I know I'm putting a lot of pressure on myself to make the "right decision" especially considering I haven't technically gotten any callbacks yet.

    Definitely what I want to do over January is lock my phone and computer in a drawer and just be with DS full time without being distracted.

  9. #7
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    It's going to suck to go back no matter when it is. Not helpful and doesn't answer your question. But when you return to work you feel like the worst mum in the world. Doesn't matter when you do. I walked in on my first day back and burst into tears in the middle of a meeting.

    But this is my reality. Yes it's hard. But I'm fine with it now.

    Basically my answer is "there is no right time".

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  11. #8
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    For me personally, I have very strong beliefs that I need to be there for my kids when they are young. Work and money can go to buggery. So long as I have a roof over my head and food to eat, financial comfort can just wait a little bit.
    FTR I have done that; I have been a SAHM or part time worker all this time, and I have not regretted it for one second, I have loved that I made this choice and I believe my kids are very happy I made this choice. They're only little once!

  12. #9
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    Not sure if I'm fully qualified to answer your questions as my DD is only 16 months, but I'm going to give it a go anyway! I think if you need to go back to work early to give your family financial security, you should. Especially if there's the possibility of working from home one or two days a week. I know the thought of someone else looking after your DS is scary, but it is amazing how well it can work out.
    My personal experience is that I went back to work part time when DD was 6 months, in spite of planning to have 12 months off. DD went to childcare some days and DH looked after her other days. Childcare has been amazing, she has done so many things I wouldn't have thought to do with her, and they love her. DH has really appreciated his time with her, as it gives us both an idea of how the other feels on work days (if that makes sense). I pumped for days I wasn't around, and really appreciated the time out at work to pump and think about DD.
    My friend went back to full time work not long after I did, with her DS looked after by DH/family/her working from home. She introduced formula for days she wasn't around, it took him a while to get the hang of bottles but he ate a lot and drank water from a sippy cup so it wasn't stressful getting him to take a bottle. She is still breastfeeding him, and he loves his special time with his mum. So it can be done successfully, with a happy baby. And a happy mum who doesn't feel that she's thrown her career away (as my friend would have if she hadn't gone back).
    The only other thing I would say is if there's a possibility your DH will study, he should do it sooner rather then later! DH and I both did a masters while DD was a baby, and I can't imagine being able to find time for that now she's getting towards being a toddler! There's lots of great external study options.
    Hope that helps a bit, sorry for the essay, I know leaving your LO to go to work is daunting but it can be rewarding for everyone involved. Good luck!

  13. #10
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    I'm being made to go back FT in the new year. It's either that or I go back to my substantive role at 2 1/2 days a week and much lower pay. It's just not financially viable for us anymore and quite frankly my brain was oozing out while I was stuck in a job that I was over qualified for. I went back to work early this year in order to take a promotion (DS2 was 9 months) I went back 4 days a week and it worked really well. My contract has been renewed but the area is having a restructure and the position is no longer available at 80%. I'm struggling with this, but as I don't plan on more kids at this stage, it's important that I take some leaps for my career now or I'll get stuck.


 

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