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  1. #1
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    Default Returning to work after 10 years being a SAHM

    Ive been a SAHM for about 10 years now. I've been really lucky to be able to be at home. But I managed to get a part time job working 15 hours a week.
    I thought it would be great. But I just worked my first shift yesterday and now can't stop crying.
    I'm absolutely freaking out. I'm only working three days but includes two afternoon/nights. The work does seem very stressful and confusing but I'm sure I will get the hang of it. But the idea of working and being away from the kids is making me feel sick. The idea of working over school holidays is making me feel sad. I feel guilty leaving them. I feel I have wasted the pass 10 years of being a mum I should of looked at maybe a teachers aide so I could at least been with them.
    This post probably doesn't make sense cause I'm crying.
    I just feel so confused. I thought I would be happy going back to work but why am I feeling so guilty and so sad? Will this feeling ever pass? I just want to quit but feel bad again cause I have just started. I'm a mess.

  2. #2
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    Hey there @onelasttime it's completely normal to feel the way you do. My kids are all in school now and I have gone back to work full time I am also a single mum. I know how you feel my girls go to after school care and vacation care and it upsets me that I can't be there to pick the girls up after school and when I do get to them it's 5.30 or later so week nights are a mad rush of homework dinner bath and bed sometimes no quality time is had and I get into bed at night and cry. To make it worse my ex husband and I are back to court Friday and he has put in his court papers he doesn't want me working past 3 or holidays...he is in Tasmania I am in Brisbane... He only sees the kids when he wants to and I am a NZ citizen so don't get any help from Centrelink so I have to work to provide for the girls.
    When I go to work I think of it like this... I am doing this for the girls and my family I am making money to provide a roof over their heads clothes on their back food in their belly and opportunities they may not otherwise had like soccer drama and dance. Some days when I am exhausted its ok to be good enough...kids don't want for much just my time and sometimes a movie in bed on a Friday night all together or a story filled with voices and expressions or cranking the karaoke machine up and singing and dancing with them...they are happy...they know why I work and for me it makes me feel good to do something that is benefitting my girls but myself too as I am contributing to something I enjoy.
    Take it a day at a time I know it's hard now because it's new it's an adjustment for us mums just as much as the kids but don't feel guilty feel proud of yourself and validate yourself and your decision to return to work and why.
    Your doing amazing @onelasttime you will learn this job and be brilliant and you will see that it's not quantity your kids want it's quality and I can see you love and adore them so much so your time with them will be so much more precious. You got this your ok and your amazing, have a wonderful day

  3. #3
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    I agree with above poster, it is completely normal to feel this way. There are so many things that run through your head from my children still need me, you still need them on these days & is it really worth all the stress and anxiety to work? I have been going through the exact same issues of late, haven't worked in 8 years and returned 2 months ago. My days are still tough but I'm finally feeling like I'm finding my place and enjoying working more, the pay check is nice too!

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    I've been at home for 10 years myself and I completely obsess about finding the right path now for this reason. But I don't believe working in a school just so you are doing school hours is the answer either. Is this a new field for you or are you going back to work in a familiar area? What time do your nights finish at? If it's only 2 days a week and your kids are already settled in school I'm sure today is just a reaction to this different focus? If you think you might enjoy this role or even just enjoy the financial gains I wouldn't give up so soon as it might not be that easy to get another one? Maybe you could plan something special with the kids after school this week on one of the days you aren't working? As much as I really hope I will be able to find a job when my youngest is at school I expect I will feel much like you on the first day. Even if it was within school hours it's going to feel sooooo different!!

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    I'm returning to a familiar industry but it's changed so much and I'm starting from the bottom. My hours are 130-730 two days then 1 morning. It's definitely enough but just the idea of working and being not home after school is really scary me. I'm feeling a mixoof emotions. Guilt, scared.
    Being out of work I've adapted to living around the kids and their schedule and being free. I feel like I'm getting tired down.
    Which all sounds silly and ridiculous but I can't shake it. I'm sure I would like the extra cash.
    Also the idea working with people in admin work and dealing with deadlines etc if so scary too. I'm not sure I can handle that again.
    I feel like I'm having a mini break down.

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    I don't think you sound silly or ridiculous. It's a big change!! Will they still be up when you get home on those evenings? Maybe you should give it a month and then see how you feel? I think people underestimate the effect of being out of the workforce for that long. I feel determined to find a meaningful job at the end of this sahm gig but if someone offered me work I'd be crapping myself! Which is nuts I always had at least 1 job from the age of 14, paid for own university fees (twice!), never had any issues getting work or holding down a job before kids but it feels like starting over. Give yourself some time. Who picks them up from school on those work days?

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    I was the same. Always had work and I would feel a bit nervous about starting a new job but nothing like this. I'm crying and can't eat. I feel sick and can't keep food down.
    I know regret not figuring out my next step while the kids were young. My youngest is 6 and thought getting a part time job would be exciting and what I wanted. But now I have one I'm freaking out. The pressure of the job seems high and working two nights makes me feel sad.
    It's crazy as it's only 15 hours per week but even that scares me. My second shift is tonight and I'm petrified. I wish I was so excitied but I can't shake this feeling. And I can't understand why. Am I'm making up excuses to not to work or am I really feeling this isn't right for me? This is what I'm asking myself. I really play mind games with myself.
    Over the years my anxiety has gotten worse and this is the worst I have ever felt so I really don't know how to cope.

  8. #8
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    That's so hard. My youngest isn't 3 yet and I've been looking for a new direction for about 5 years but it's not easy. People encourage me to do basic training and try and find any work but as much as I try to rise above it there's a huge loss of confidence having been at home for so long. I don't know your situation but for me I've no family here and none of my friends had a third child so this last baby has left me very isolated, my world has shrunk. And I think that will make it harder for me to get back into work. Even just simple things like fitting in with a range of adults after spending nearly all my time with children.Maybe try and focus on the fact that you got this job and the company who's hired you believe you can do it? And if it doesn't work out it's not the end of the world. People move jobs for all sorts of reasons, if you find it's not working out you can always stop if this isn't financially necessary right now.
    Apparently in some other countries there are back to work internships to help the transition. I think that is such a good idea.

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    You sound like you're travelling my journey. My daughter this morning was feeling sad that I won't be there this afternoon which made me feel worse. And I'm freaking out about dealing with adults and in a busy workplace with customers. This was similar to my old job which was fine. But after 10years it's daunting. I will try this week but if I feel like this end of the week I will seek help. This isn't me. I do get nervous but not to a point where I cry, stop eating and feeling sick. I can't function. I'm probably nervous but I don't understand why I'm feeling like this. I thought working would be a great change. A break from the kids and a small income would be good for me. I'm unsure why I'm freaking out.
    There should be a back to work program for long term SAHM. This would be ideal.

  10. #10
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    I know especially as the government is so obsessed with getting us lazy mums back to work! But that's society now isn't it, all about the individual, nevermind that you took time out to do such an important role that will benefit society, if you struggle to fit back into work that's just your issue! Grrrrrr


 

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