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  1. #1
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    Default Did you feel you lost part of your identity when you had kids?

    I think the reality of the isolation of having a baby has just hit me. DH mentioned something to me about who he's planning to get to look after a challenging part of our business next Christmas, and I said "Don't worry about it. I'm happy to do it."

    There was a pause and he said, "I appreciate that, but I'm not sure *baby* will be able to come to work with you".

    I feel completely and utterly stupid, because I'm 26 weeks pregnant and although I knew I would have to leave work for a time, I guess it's only just occurred to me that it will be for several years. We have no support system within 1000km, so we literally have nobody to help look after the baby except me (and DH, but he's at work most of the time).

    I feel like a massive part of my identity is linked to work (since I first started working at 14, I have never been unemployed), and I just don't know how I'm going to go without it in my life. I am one of those people who gets a massive amount of personal validation from working and feeling as if I'm contributing to a team.

    I'm just wondering how others have gone in similar circumstances? How did you fill the void and maintain your adult identity once the baby came along?

    I've considered putting her in childcare after about age one, but DH and I both initially wanted her to be at home with us for the first couple of years, and also it seems really cost prohibitive. I don't really understand how the rebates work (or whether we would even be eligible for them) .... if anyone could shed some light on this too, that would be so amazing.

    I think I'm having a pregnant lady meltdown

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    Can't help you with child care we also live 1600km from support I have been studying the whole time in a new field keeps me busy finished by bachelor's last year took 6 months off was bored silly so started a master's this July I have a 4.5 year old and 16 month old 😃 so studying is one way to keep you feeling worth something as well as it being a good opportunity to retrain or expand your training. My mum went back to work when I was 6 weeks old doing afternoon shift at a hospital while dad worked during the day but I was bottle.fed so this could happen. I wouldn't stress just yet babies are time consuming and very tiring you might find that is enough or you.might work 1 or 2 days for your sanity 😃 good luck with the rest of your pregnancy

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    Shoopuf  (22-12-2016)

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    Childcare benefits for the moment come in 2 parts but I think they are changing it.

    Atm if you work x amount of hours your get CCR which is 50% of the fee. It either goes directly to the centre or rebated to you.

    The CCB is income tested and for those not working/studying. It is also added to CCR if you are low income too I believe.

    Do you work from home? Depending on your work etc and also your child it is possible to work from home with a child. Also, is it possible to share work/child time? So one works while the other is at home with your child?

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    Thanks @flowers21 and @twinklify

    I have considered study ... I finished my undergrad degree this year and there is a masters program I have my eye on that is offered online, so that's an option.
    @twinklify, thanks for the info re: CCR and CCB. I think our household probably earns too much for CCB, but it's good to know we may be eligible for CCR

    It's not possible for me to work from home at the moment (with our current business), but I'm considering potentially starting a new online tutoring business from home. Again, another option I guess.

    Your suggestion of sharing work/child time is a good one. This is probably just me wanting to 'have it all', but the only thing that turns me off it is the fact that we would never have any time together as a family of 3, because our work hours are really long so we leave early (7am-ish) for work and get home late (8pm-ish). So baby would probably (hopefully!) be sleeping during the night when all three of us are here.

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    I will add I am struggling to answer the identity question.

    I think I have changed. And I continue to change as the children get older and I *know* that there will be no more pregnancy/babies etc.

    I think its important not to lose your grounding identity and if that for you is work then both you and your DH need to work together in order to keep it.

    It may not be working full time - maybe it is looking after a certain part of the business you find satisfying. Maybe you need fulltime work.

    For me it is individual. I know mine is not lost forever. It is on hold a little and has changed for now but I am ok with that.

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    Shoopuf  (26-12-2016)

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    I didn't ever feel like this actually...though I did feel like a completely different person during pregnancy. I had to return to work part time at 6 months pp...luckily I had my Mum to help a couple of days a week though. I put ds in childcare when he was almost 16 months and he loved it! So my views on childcare have completely changed - I love childcare now and it's definitely worth the cost (about $40 a day after rebates for us). I now work 4 days a week which I'm really enjoying, most of the time.
    Last edited by AdornedWithCats; 22-12-2016 at 10:25.

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    I go crazy at home with the kids full time; just can't do it and be a good parent. Hat said, I was at home full time when the kids were younger (until16 months with DD and 11 months with DS) because I can't express at my workplace and breastfeeding is important to me.

    We now share the work/childcare. DP runs his own business and I work casually. When DP has a lot on, I take fewer shifts; when I need more time at work, I take more. Neither of us gets exactly what we want all the time, but it's a give and take. We both need our work for our sense of self an mental wellbeing.

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    yes i lost alot of my identity when i had kids.
    I struggling with it alot and ended up in a dark depression over it.

    My solution...find a new one. I had to or i wouldnt be on this earth today.

    You need to find something that is just for u and you just HAVE to find a way to be able to do it.

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    Shoopuf  (26-12-2016)

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    Just jumping in on this tread so I can come back to it later. Sending love to those who need it xo

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    Shoopuf  (26-12-2016)

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    I will add one more thing.

    I think onset of PND/PNA can make us feel like we have lost our identity and it may be hopeless to have your identity back. So make sure you are looking after your mental health.
    I think keeping an open mind and communication is important. Different things work for different people.

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