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Back full time next week ... I don't think I can do it?!

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by happycat23, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. happycat23

    happycat23 New commenter

    HELP!! Couldn't sleep last night and I keep crying whenever I think about going back to work. I go back full time (primary) next week. LO will be with my mum 3 days and her daddy 2 so I know she will be fine but I am going to miss her so much and I am worried that the bond between us won't be as good because I will only see her in the evenings and weekends. I'm also worried about how much this job takes over my life and then I will be using what precious time I have got with lo to do school work.
    OH is convinced we can't afford for me to go PT (I earn more than he does) - has anyone or does anyone work 3 or 4 days a week? Could anyone tell me what the pay would be per month after tax as I can't work it out! This is my 4th year of teaching.

    Aside from the question about pay I would love to know how other people cope who are full time. Would you reccomend it or would you reccomend part time? I absolutely love my job and even if I could afford not to work at all I would still work but can't help thinking that full time is a bit too much!

    Hope all of this rambling makes sense! I would really appreciate any opinions or advice.

    Happycat (LO 5 1/2 months)
  2. Hi Happycat,
    I went back full time when LO was 7 months. Like you I cried a lot beforehand, (and at work on the first day!), but also like you i really love my job. I did think seriously about going back part time - something i always said i'd never do - but decided to try full time till at least september then reassess. Now though i feel happy that i did go back full time and will be staying ft at least till we have another lo (all being well), and to be honest prob still after that.
    I don't feel i would get the same job satisfaction that i do if i had to share my class (i'm primary). I also think that the ladies at work who do job share (3 days each a week with PPA cover in the half day crossover) basically fulfill almost a full time role anyway - i know they work at home on the days when they're not in, plus they regularly end up coming in to meetings/parents eves/assemblies etc on their days off - it's not a requirement for them to do this but they often do. When one of them didn't she always said she felt 'out of the loop'.
    Coping with full time: Organisation! I have made a meal planner for a month then i know what we're having for tea every week day; i just start again when the 4 weeks are over. I know what to buy at the shop, plus i try to make as many meals in advance as poss - i cook a lot at the weekend or eves when LO's in bed then freeze it so it's easy to reheat for us all when we get back from work. Also little things like getting your clothers and LO's clothes out the night before helps (obvs with yourOH having LO that;s not an issue on those days). We get up around 6-6.30, do a feed on one side (bf) in bed, quickly get dressed, have breakfast (i get my OH to make LO's breakfast before he goes to work so it's ready for us - he goes to work at 7), feed on the other side then brush teeth and out! We usually get out around 8. I don't work far from home and LO goes to a nursery across the road from work so we're there by 8.15. It sounds like a rush but it doesn't feel like one, and i actually love my mornings on my own with LO.
    When it comes to work, i made a rule to never work when LO's awake, and so far i've been back 6 months and stuck to it! One weekends i work when he naps (still twice a day - i guess i'll find this rule harder when he drops a nap), and on week nights i work when he's gone to bed for about an hour or two. I do somce home at 4 every night though, unless we have staff meeting or whatever. It honestly doesn't feel too bad to me, and i really appreciate the holidays with him where we can do lovely things like go to the park and painting etc!
    Sorry for the massively long post, and this is just my experience and opinions - i know other people will have totally conrasting feelings! Good luck whatever you decide xx
  3. i went back full time when LO was 16 weeks - just before 4 months. it's been fine and i've enjoyed being back at work. i'm very careful with my time at work (work my breaks & lunch) and very careful with PPA (no sitting round chatting at all any more) and then when i'm home i save my work for after LO goes to bed. i was struggling to bond with LO so for me our relationship has improved with me being at work rather than at home all day because although i don't miss him while at work as i'm so busy, i'm really pleased to see him when i get home and spend lots of time with him.
    before returning i was crying, suffering from insomnia as i was so upset at the thought of going back and was dreading it to the extent my GP offered to sign me off sick but once back i just slipped straight back into it. and i do love my job which helps!
    good luck x
  4. jacobgril

    jacobgril New commenter

    I'm back full-time tomorrow too. Sob Sob! My LO is 5 1/2months too and is with OH who doesn't work so no choice about going back full time.
    When I went back after my little girl was born (she's now 3 1/2) all the things above helped. I could give myself to my job when I was there, my kids when I got home, my paperwork when they were in bed. The only person who suffered was my OH. Don't know if anyone else had this problem. He got ignored terribly as I would fall asleep about 15 minutes after marking the last book. Usually leaving a full glass of wine! Any tips to avoid this would be brilliant? (time with OH not wasting wine!)

    At least we have the holidays. Don't know how full-time mums who are not teachers do it.
  5. happycat23

    happycat23 New commenter

    thanks for the replies ladies - MLT I'm looking forward to that lovely feeling of coming home to LO. [​IMG] I'm glad to hear that it is doable! Good luck jacobgril xxx
  6. I have just read through this thread and have found it really useful. I'm going back to work f/time next month when LO will be 8.5months and am really anxious about how it will work out. Finances esp. mortgage payments dictate returning full time. Thankfully only have the last couple of weeks of term to settle in before getting the hols but the come Sept it will be full on!
    Thanks to all those who gave their experiences and good luck to other mummies soon going back to work f/t
  7. jacobgril

    jacobgril New commenter

    You too happycat23! xxx

    Must go to bed...currently doing the if I don't go to bed then morning wont come' thing. Hasn't worked yet!

    Let us know how tomorrow goes and the first 5 minutes after leaving is the worst!

    P.s. Don't break any speed limits when driving home.
  8. Mrs Music

    Mrs Music New commenter

    Good luck when you go back; I went back full time when LO was just over 6 months old. I have found it has got easier as time has passed (she's 2 in August). I remember so well crying my heart out on the nights before I went back. Going back part time was never really an option, and although admittedly, I did find it really hard for the first few months, I'm glad I did go back full time when I did and neither of us are any worse off.

    I have a friend who had a baby around the same time as me, and went back to work (not teaching) 4 days a week. We worked it out over the year and we have pretty much the same amount of days off to spend with our LO. As others have said, organisation is really the key, but one thing I have found is that since going back I'm so much more efficient with my time at work! One of the hardest things I found at first was the fact that we'd just started weaning, and trying to get tea done once I'd got back, picked her up etc. Apart from when I have meetings, I'm out the door at 3:30. I felt terribly guilty about this at first, but then realised that there are actually other teachers who are parents doing the same thing, and that I'm still putting the hours in to do the job properly, doing school work once LO's in bed.

    Our LO goes to a childminder 3 days a week, which I know is different to your situation, but I honestly believe she's thrived going there. And the time we spend together in the holidays is so special. Remember, they will always know who Mummy is. (And those lovely holidays are so precious - did I mention that? ;-) ) xxx
  9. Mrs Music

    Mrs Music New commenter

    Apologies for the lack of paragraphs! Why does Google chrome do that?
  10. happycat23

    happycat23 New commenter

    Ahh thanks for that mrs music. I think you are right about leaving earlier, everyone stays really late at our school but i think half of it is probably chatting in the staffroom! I guess i need to get out of feeling like i have to stay late to prove i am doing a good job!
  11. happycat23

    happycat23 New commenter

    Oh and jacobgril will do and you let us know how you got on too! Thanks for the warning aboit spee
    ding lol!
  12. I went back to work 4 days a week (primary teacher) when my daughter was 9 months old. To be honest I was looking forward to going back, having something other than babies to talk about!

    I found 4 days a week much harder than I thought I would. I was basically doing a full time job, all the planning, assessment, preparation, parents evenings etc. After 1 term I felt I couldn't carry on, my daughter was with a childminder and caught every illness going!

    After a year I was lucky enough to be able to reduce to 3 days a week. I now have the perfect work.life balance. My daughter spends a day with her Nana, and 2 days with her childminder, my workload has been cut in half as I have a proper job share. I still love my day to day work with the children, but I am able to go home and be a mummy from thursday-Sunday.

    The school holidays make it all worthwhile!!

    For me, 3 days a week gives me good job satisfaction, i feel like I am keeping my career going, not just treading water, I am making a difference to my class and my school. I am also able to give my daughter the quality time with me that I want, without being too knackered!

    As far as routine goes, I try to get everything ready the night before. We get up about 6:30 and we are washed, dressed and in the car by 7:15am. I drop my daughter off and arrive at work by about 8am. I usually leave work by 5pm so I can collect her on time, and rarely take work home with me.

    I am sure it will get easier with time.
  13. happycat23

    happycat23 New commenter

    Thanks clementine what you have said makes sense and i am glad it works for you. I have spoken to a few people who do 3 days a week and from what i can gather it depends a lot on what thecother teacher is like who you are job sharing with. Princess have been ok so far. Have cried on the way to work both days but once i am there i am too busy to get upset. Its lovely coming home to lo but hard as i dont have long until she goes to bed. Ah well will just have to treasure the weekends! How did you get on jacobgril?
  14. glad it's been ok happycat. i cried too on the way to work but that stopped after the first week and a half and i settled into my new routine x
  15. Glad you're ok Happy - we miss you! x
  16. Hey all, I'm FT primary with a 10 month old and went back when he was 7 months. Like another poster I'm doing cover till september so things are easing in nicely.

    Organisatiuon is key. As someone who is not naturally organised, you can imagine the fear i felt before my return to work.

    I find making a double dinner helps - I make enough for four, then freeze the half leftover. Or soemtimes stick it in the fridge to make stuff easier the next night. Meal planning is definitely the way forward i think. I'm thinking of getting a slow cooker next autumn. Do shopping online (need to take my own advice on this one).
    Like OP, my LO is looked after by family - MIL looks after him in our house (great as she does a wee bit of ironing or dusting when he's asleep and always has the kettle on when i get in!). I take him to my parents' three mornings a week. I pack clothes for him the night before and then just stick a coat or cardi over his pyjamas in the morning. I keep spare sets of clothes at mum's. I also keep a little diary in his bag - I like knowing what he's had to eat over the course of a week so mum fills it in each day and as I leave food for MIL to feed LO i write it in for her. It was quite handy to note his milk intake when he was ready to drop the afternoon feed.

    A load of washing a day helps keep it under control - load washing machine night before then switch on as soon you getr up then you can get it out on line or whatever before work.

    Going back is hard but you really do just fit back into it. I first found it super hard after a couple of weeks when he started teething and i wasn't getting any sleep. That made stuff difficult - i was falling asleep on the sofa as soon as he went to bed. Roll on July!!
  17. MLT


  18. MLT


    Not sure why i just quoted the whole thing!
    Just wanted to say get a slow cooker. I got one before LO as I did a lot of tutoring and taught all year groups, so had a lotg of parents evenings. It was a God send. Coming home to the smell of cooking and knowing you don't have to do anything, is wonderful. So in love with them am i have given them to gifts to practically every teacher i know who does not have one.

  19. i have beenback ful ltime for half a term now and have to say yes it was v hard. also its hard for me cos i am nt in a class, am a booster group teacher for this term only, as they didnt want to disrupt a class, so i feel a bit out of it, but then again i suppose little planning and marking. however the hardest thing for me has been how i have been so tired in the evenings, literally 8pm i want to go to bed. being organised has helped, i plan my meals and also try to have my shopping done on line and delivered for a sunday night fo th eweek. am lucky that my husband is very hands on and will help with the ironing and cooking and bathing little one. sadly i cant afford part time, but like someone else said, i know of part time teachers who end up going home and doing loads of work, they may not be in school but still have loads to do. at least we get all the holidays to look forward to, unlike people in other jobs...am trying to look at all the positives!!!

  20. I was in a similar situation, when I went back to work after my fourth child, only difference is I went back up to 5 days! LOL! Until about a year ago we were battling with endless childcare for four children in two different places and I seemed to spend have of my life driving around. It's a lot easier now as my husband rearranged his hours to work when the children aren't at school, so he does all of the school runs and looks after our younger two who are 2 and 4 (when our 4yr old is not at nursery). We make it work by me nagging him and him doing everything ;-) Seriously, we try to be organised. I go into work early and three days a week I leave just after the children so that I can go and pick my eldest two up from school. We chose a school that was local to where I work rather than where we live because it was more convenient and meant I had the option to pick up, which was something I wanted to do. I wanted to know their teachers and for them to know me.

    I sometimes feel as though I'm not as important to our youngest as my husband is, during the week she can sometimes seem disinterested in me soon after I've got home. She makes me feel better by doing the same thing to my husband when he comes home on weekends.

    Oh, and I ought to mention that I tutor privately for four hours a week as well as working full time, because we need the money!! It can be done - you'll soon find your own rhythm!

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