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Career or motherhood?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by tb123, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. Hi,

    I've just had a baby and was planning to look for part time work for the next few years as I didn't want to put my baby in nursery before he was 3.

    I've been 'asked' to apply for a promotion. It's a dream job but I know that it will be very time consuming and stressful.

    I just don't know what to do. Would taking a step down effectively, ruin my career in the future? If I applied for the job (and got it) would I regret 'missing out' on motherhood?

    Any advice/views would be appreciated!

  2. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    I can only offer my own experience... I went back to work when my little girl was only 3 months. I had to go back to work that early as maternity pay was changing to statutory maternity pay (£100 a week) which we could not live on as my partner though worked full-time was very low wage. I ended up being signed off for 8 weeks with severe post natal depression (which I still suffer from 5 years later) - I was HOD and the demands put on me when I returned to work was unbelievable. I know some people say that women can have it all - a career and a baby. That maybe true. I know that I found myself feeling guilty all of the time. Your baby will only be a baby for a very short time, enjoy it, cherish it, breathe in every minute... I wish I had..
  3. jazz2

    jazz2 New commenter

    Everyone has to make their own decisions about what suits them best.
    But I do agree with FollyFairy. The time when your baby is small can never be repeated. You could be offered other promotions in the future, but you can never go back to when your baby is just growing - and the time passes incredibly quickly, too.
    Not working at all might not be an option - and often isn't - but I'd be aiming for the least I needed to earn, to avoid spending any more time away than I had to.

  4. greta444

    greta444 New commenter

    Spend as much time with your baby as you can afford. Before you know it, your kids will be old enough to do their own thing and then you can take your opportunity to get that promotion. Promotions will still be there when your children are grown up.
  5. breadmaker

    breadmaker New commenter

    More of the same- enjoy your baby, the promos can wait.
  6. I remember a poem( a bit corny) that I once read. It applies to motherhood in general, but I think it could also apply to working mums.
    I hope when my children look back on today
    They remember a mother who had time to play.
    There will be years for cleaning and cooking - children grow up when you're not looking.
    So quieten down dishes, dust go to sleep.
    I'm rocking my baby, and babies don't keep!

  7. I love this and echo what everyone else has said.
    I too went back 3 months after having my first, then 6 months after having my second child. I am currently a stay at home mum, doing some supply to try and keep the wolf from the door. If I could afford it I'd take a break from teaching until both my children are in full time school. The job market will chop and change but I am sure there will be something for you if you decide to go back in the future.
    Time with your children is precious and can't be banked for the future or stopped whilst you progress with your career. I personally don't think I'll look back on my teaching career and say "I wish I'd accepted that assisstant head post instead of going part time to look after my children"
  8. Waterfin

    Waterfin New commenter

    I was on maternity leave when the opportunity for pretty easy career progression (acting dept) came up in my place. I was informed about the possibility, but the fact that I was about to pop meant the decision was pretty much taken out of my hands. Occasionally I wistfully thinkg about what could have been, but I never regret it.
    I chose to work part time after having children and have loved every minute of my work life balance arrangement. Someone advised me to put my family first when I was still expecting and I have worked very hard to do that.
    There have been other promotions and opportunities to go full time and earn quite a bit more than I currently do, but I wouldn't swap it. My kids are in school now and I still keep my hours. It makes a world of difference to the time I can spend with my kids when they are home if I've had a day of getting the shopping/housework out of the way first. Plus, even though my eldest is too old to really care whether I pick her up from school or not, my youngest still counts the days through the week until it is the day I am at school 'like the other Mummies' to pick her up.
    I may regret it somewhere down the line, but so far I haven't. And "I put my family first when my children were young" has got to be a good enough reason should anyone ask to put career off for a few years.
  9. jazz2

    jazz2 New commenter

    EcoLady, the way things worked for you sounds great. But what you describe is often not possible for a full-time teacher, particularly a HOD.
  10. Please put family first - there is plenty of time for career progression. Look at SLT in your school how many hours are expected of them after and before school.
    I went back part-time after my husband died and so wish I'd done the same beforehand - to give time to him and the children (now aged 10 and 12).
    Time with family is too precious and school can wait - I echo others sentiments. Teaching is a totally different ball game to the "real world" - they expect blood and more.
    Don;t look back and regret - look forward and enjoy.
    But only you know the answer and know what's right for you

    Good luck and enjoy whatever you do

  11. gergil4

    gergil4 New commenter

    Yes, do what's right for you. I seem to be in th minority here, but it's been right for me so far.
    I wasn't overly happy being at home so I've pretty much worked full timesince my children were born. I'm just a teacher - no real responsibility. It's hard work and something has to give - housework, beautiful displays in my class ..... But it works for us as a family. I won't let myself feel guilty though there are times when I'd love to be able to pop in and see a teacher, watch sports day, get to know the other mums etc. It's hard not having that connection with your child's school world, but that's life.
    I'd say don't make long term plans yet, see how you feel. I don't for one moment think it will affect you long term. My school is full of part-time teaching mothers with varying degrees of responsibility.

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